Should you get creative with your CV? | Network Marketing

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Should you get creative with your CV?

At Network Marketing, we help you to be in the best position possible when you are put forward for a new role in marketing, digital or creative. Your CV is the first introduction to our clients that you’ll have, so it must give the best impression.

Having recruited in the marketing industry for over two decades we really have seen them all and it’s not necessarily the most creative CV’s that hit the mark.

A CV needs to provide the reader with concise information so they can quickly make a decision on your suitability. When speaking to one of our long-standing clients recently, they confirmed that in most cases on the first read and sift, they’ll scan through and sanity check that the candidate looks the part for the job. Only prior to the actual interview will they fully read the CV! So here are a few tips to help get you in front of them.

Be careful of distraction

Graphic CVs may look impressive, but they can take away from core and crucial information. Don’t make your CV graphics so distracting that they’re in fact hiding your qualifications and background. Don’t let design get in the way of communication. White text on black backgrounds – no thanks! A variety of boxes scattered around the page with subsections of content? No thanks.

Make it easy to find the information

Your CV needs to make it easy for people to find out information about you, your skills and your career. Make sure these details are easy and quick to find but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all

Tailor your CV

How creative you get with your CV should depend on the company that you’re applying to, and the job that you are applying for. If you won’t be using graphic design skills in the job, why are you showing them off on your CV? Bear in mind the culture of the company too. Are they breaking boundaries creatively, or are they more conservative and traditional? It might be worth creating a couple of CV styles so you can tailor one of them to the company that you’re applying to. In fact, pretty much each application should have a tailored CV!

Show your skills

Whichever job you are applying for, graphics can only get you so far. Make sure that you’re showing why you’re a good match for the specific role. Your experience, qualifications and skills can take you much further than one well designed CV. Put context in there – talk briefly about the company you are working for to give that context, then detail your skills. By all means acknowledge accomplishments but make sure they are attached to the companies you have worked in. 

Whether you choose a creative CV or a traditional one, we’re here to help and advise you. Have a look at our guidance about putting together an effective CV.


Richard is the CEO of The Marketing Optimist a specialist marketing consultancy based in Yorkshire. He specialises in helping businesses apply agile marketing strategies to deliver ROI.