When a recruiter or hiring manager picks up your CV, you’ve literally got 8-10 seconds to make a great initial impression. This makes it a little difficult to show your personality, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things which can be done to show a bit of ‘brand you’.
Here’s some advice from our team, on how you can make sure your personality comes across in your CV.
You have 4-5 lines at the top of your CV to make a real impact. From this the reader will get a grasp of who you are and what you have to offer. Avoid wasting this space by writing a sentence full of meaningless buzzwords (like everyone else!) and use it wisely.
We assume that you’re ‘hardworking and reliable’. Tell us something that means something and that will help us see that you’re good for the job you’re applying for. This could be about your performance and related results, more about your career aspirations. Or your character traits which you could also back up with ‘evidence.’
Don’t ever be afraid to talk from the heart and be truly honest about your career goals on your CV. The more you sound like you, rather than other people, the better.
You can even go as far as adding reasons as to why you left a job, to give a real insight into your career journey and the path you have decided to take.
Add your hobbies
Your hobbies are however a great way to show off the real you. Don’t be afraid to add any sporting teams or additional interests that you take part in outside of work.
This can also include any voluntary work, extra-curricular activities or learning courses.
What this information can do is show traits within you that are applicable to the workplace. For example, showing off a sporting achievement shows you are willing to be committed, are set on working to a goal, and know what it takes to go that extra mile to achieve something above and beyond.
Be careful but don't be afraid of humour
There is a fine line between actually being funny and trying far too hard which can end up being offensive or a little cringe-worthy. We’re not saying that you should avoid humour altogether, but make sure it’s both genuine and appropriate. Less is more, we think when it comes to humour.
Make sure you are consistent, professional and authentic in all your communication and that the personality that comes through on your CV is the same as your covering letter/email. A word of warning though, even if you’re only being friendly try and avoided kisses at the end!
Be hesitant of adding photos
Unless it is specifically requested, there shouldn’t be a real need for putting a photo on your CV as what you look like is completely irrelevant and the hiring manager should be considering your application based on your skills and experience. Show your real personality through your work, your hobbies and achievements throughout your CV.
Avoid taking up space with a photo and use it for something more relevant!
Creativity - do it the right way
We love seeing some of the creative CVs we get through for roles within marketing and graphic design. This show some amazing creative skills.
However, if this isn’t your skill set or the role isn’t a creative one, try to avoid tacky colours and child-like fonts in an attempt to spruce up your CV. This can really cheapen it and can mean the document won’t get a second look.
There are some great, free to use templates you can adapt if you're looking for some inspiration - Canvas one of our favourites.
Finally, don’t forget to proofread your CV before you send it off with your job application. Spelling or grammar mistakes certainly won’t impress the hiring manager or recruiter.
If you need help with your CV or are looking for a role, don’t forget to get in touch or submit your CV, and we’ll be in touch to let you know of roles that suit you.