I started working from about the age of 13 and held jobs down throughout my education. The only time I was unemployed was after leaving university so it’s safe to say that I’m familiar with the C.V. having used the formal black on white clean cut version for most of my life.
The same goes for when I left university, I was using the stereotypical C.V to try and find a creative job. None of my family or extended family work in the creative industry and all of their CV’s were also the typical mundane style so I had no idea that a designers CV could be a creative one.
That’s right as a designer your CV can be creative. Some will say that there’s a line of creativity that you might not want to cross but some of the best CVs I’ve come across happen to be the most outlandish.
Treat your CV like the discipline you want to work in. If you’re into designing identities then make an identity out of your CV. If the post you’re applying for is web related then make your CV web related in design. This is your chance to create something professional and personal and in essence make it a teaser for your portfolio.
Use the skills you’ve learned as a designer so far to create something great, something that will get your foot through the door and if you’re unsure of what to do just google it for inspiration.
If you’re having trouble creating one then there are a ton of creative CVs available for you buy from stock sites like GraphicRiver.
Much like graphic design a creative CV needs to be simply informative and easy to read so the employer can digest all the info quickly and easily. It’s pretty much a marketing tool like designing a flyer or brochure so think of it in that retrospect.
You may be wary of what to put on there with the likes of social media but don’t be too shy. Give the employer whatever they need to make an informed decision about you. Obviously stay away from drunken photos on facebook but anything that showcases you, your work or your thoughts on design is a good idea.
The key here are to again use your eyes but also to keep it professional in design, despite how original, wild or wacky your CV may be. It has to show professional practice.
Some of the best graphic design CVs I’ve seen manage to substitute words for graphics with rating style systems to demonstrate skills. You are a graphic designer so keep it graphic (or typographic).
Need help? Heres a few great examples.
After looking at all of the above you’re either thinking :
1. “Woah! Im competitng against these people, I can’t do that” or
2. “Woah! These are good but I can do better”
The truth is that you need to take both mindsets into consideration. The first is statement is a good realisation of what you’re up against in the design world as a graduate designer and the fact that you have to step your game up to compete.
To do this you need to go back to lesson 1 and use your eyes. Analise these pieces of work, see what techniques and ideas they’ve used and more importantly the principles where margins and alignment come into play to make it a trimmed and stunning piece of work.
The second mindset of “I can do better” is now what you’re going to have to do! If you think you can do better, then great, go ahead and do better but remember that the CV is a functional tool and it doesn’t need to be better, it needs to work.