How to make a creative CV – your Character Sheet
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to learn how to have some fun with it and stand out from the crowd – with a creative CV!
In a world where resumes and CVs (I’ll probably use both interchangeably since I’m from the States but have heard it both ways), are submitted en masse online the tales of the unique submissions tend to stand out—even go viral. With these in mind I kept up my job search until I found the perfect opportunity – a fantasy writing position had a requirement of being able to win arguments about tabletop games.
What’s creative, is a tabletop game, and involves making a sheet about a character?
Dungeons and Dragons!
I made a Character Sheet CV. I tailored my resume information to match the standard DnD 5e character sheet using relevant proficiencies according to the job and my present skills. It took around four hours to do so, and the time flew by incredibly fast.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t get the job. What I did get was some great connections through Twitter when I shared the finished product. This included connecting with our very own Robin Bates and
getting dragged eventually joining the Facebook group where I’ve been lurking ever since.
Here are some of my biggest takeaways when having fun with a CV to level up your job application game.
Keep your creative CV relevant! Whether you’re hiding it in a donut box or designing something unique and crazy remember your audience and focus on what the job is and your qualifications. Don’t distract from the point that it’s about you, even by giving the good ol’ razzle-dazzle.
Think of the CV as the package for the product-with you being the shiny new toy. Nobody wants to open a boring package, so why give your next employer one that’s bland and generic? Let alone a package that is entirely different from what’s inside. You need to be able to convey who you are but be creative in the process.
This is probably the most cliché step since this can mean a million and one things. Sometimes amazing ideas don’t come easily. Like I said earlier, reading up on creative resumes can help get your creative juice flowing. Other times the inspiration instantly strikes upon reading the job listing.
If you’re really stuck ask a friend or an expert in the field you’re applying to – what can be done to stand out? Sometimes it’s as simple as tailoring the resume to use certain buzzwords, other times it involves finding ways to get a creative CV in the right person’s hands, or even making your CV and portfolio in an easy-to-access website.
- Find the Sweet Spot
Ask yourself: what’s your hook? What are the skills that set you apart from the crowd, that you can show off in a creative CV format or use to gain attention to your CV?
Now ask: What’s the job requirements? Did they list anything specific that can be focused on? What is unique about this company/job position?
Finally: Where’s the sweet spot between you and this job?
If you’re applying to a graphic design job focus on using company colors and fonts to make it look like something they would send out themselves. For a marketing position see if you can design your resume around a campaign template or use social media at your disposal. As an artist, you can draw up who you are and place your CV info in a thought bubble. If you’re applying to a generic run-of-the-mill starter job, hype up your skillset or strengths with infographics. The possibilities are endless.
Now, if you’re on this website and reading this, I’m going to assume you’re focusing on being a better person and levelling up in life. Which means you’re already awesome and becoming a go-getter.
Remember: A huge part of interviews is to see if you match the company culture or not. Doing the job is one thing, meshing with people is another.
You can help with the hiring process when you show who you are on paper beforehand since it can help show if you are a company culture fit or not. If you can’t do it on your CV you can do it with your cover letter, portfolio, project, or with whatever plan you may come up with to have someone look at your creative CV.
Remember the Basics
It’s incredibly easy to get distracted when being creative. I’ll admit it here: I made two mistakes on my DnD resume editing wise.
Always be sure double-check the CV basics and triple check your spelling and numbers. We’re human and sometimes things are forgotten or spell check doesn’t catch every error.
Bonus: Do Nots for a creative CV
Don’t go overkill with design and remember to keep a general format. Just because your way of designing may make sense to you, it might not make sense to others. The last thing you want to do is confuse the person who is supposed to be hiring you.
Don’t spend more time on this than you want. Anywhere from 1-2 hours is a good idea if you’re used to gamifying creative CVs to jobs. If it’s something creative and more unique, extra hours are okay. It’s on your time for a job you might not even get so it’s up to you to determine the worth of your time and how you will use it, especially when you are applying to multiple jobs.
Don’t stress too hard. It’s intimidating to put yourself out on the line when applying for jobs. Especially when you take the time to add creativity to the mix. Do this not just to get a job, but to have fun while you do it. We all want to work where we can enjoy what we do, so enjoy when you apply too.
If you’re having fun, hopefully those who see your work can tell you’re having fun too. It makes you and your life more interesting.
Let’s work hard and have fun while finding our future careers, shall we? And play more dungeons and dragons!
Since I left university last year I’ve seen a few really unique ways to catch a potential employer’s attention.
What are YOU going to create?
Dana Petersen twitter.com/extranzia – Armor Class: Creativity.
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