In Defence of the Good, Old Fashioned CV


If it ain’t broke.

Typewriter with a blank sheet of paper protruding

We’re continually bombarded with advice on how to stand out – with our Instagram pages, our business branding, even our homes (tiny house, anyone?). It seems that standing out has become so necessary, it’s almost a way of fitting in.

You’d think that job hunting is certainly the place you want to leave your mark, but when your recruiter is time-poor and results-driven, how focused are they on your egg-carton cut-out curriculum vitae? The jury’s still out on just how effective a “creative” resume is over the standard “skills and experience” offering.

So here are three reasons a well-crafted, good old resume can still trump a “fancy” one.

It’s not the best use of your time

Have you rewritten your resume lately? It sucks. It’s the most mind-numbing, time-consuming activity there is, so why spend additional hours adding glitter to the margins if it doesn’t actually serve a purpose?

Try spending those extra hours coming up with a cover letter that’s conversational yet professional, or subheads that make for a little chuckle but also easy reading. Or maybe try your hand at adding infographics that demonstrate your knowledge of a program you know your future employer uses in-house.

A custom-made cake that reads, “hire me!” may go down well in the break room, but a targeted, well-written CV can also do the same – all without the calories.

The person you’re aiming for might not see it

It’s important to remember that many larger companies still use internal HR managers to do their hiring. The crucial point here is that they might not be as partial to a “make your own CV” kit as the design director you’re hoping to attract. In the end, creativity is absolutely something to showcase to your potential employer – just not at the expense of your actual, tangible experience and skills.

Employers still know what they need

On that note, no matter how colourful and left-of-centre your resume is, it does still boil down to that old chestnut of experience, skills and workplace suitability. In an interview, your potential employer will want a sense of what makes you you, but only after checking that you’ve had some demonstrable experience in the field they’re hiring for. In short, a creative resume will certainly make you stand out – but it won’t necessarily land you a job, especially if you don’t have the criteria said employer is looking for.

We would love to hear your thoughts