How creative should you be with your CV?

Should you make your CV stand out from the crowd with colours and graphics?In a day and age with social media, and creativity, where people are told to celebrate individuality, should this transpire to your CV as well?

When it comes to applying for job roles, you may be tempted to ‘sex up’ your CV in order for it to stand out from all the other applicants or to catch the employer’s eye, but is this a good idea and will it help?

It was a question posed by Jaclyn Thornburn from ARMA last week on Linkedin after an article of the same question. In the industry that ARMA regulates and TemplePM specialises in, Block Management, the idea of being creative with your CV, adding graphics, colours etc. probably wouldn’t make sense or help distinguish you for the right reasons. 


Steve Grimsley, MD at TemplePM made the practical point that most companies still print out CVs and wouldn’t want to use up ink on colourful unneeded graphics. Also, it’s important to note that a lot of information could be missed or hidden between colours, font changes etc. This is information that could have made the difference between getting an interview or not. Whilst it’s important to move with market trends, most clients do not want to see a colourful resume, but want to be able to quickly skim over and pinpoint important information necessary to them, without being drawn to bitmojis!

Steve has worked within recruitment for over 15 years and in that time CVs haven’t really changed, and we don’t foresee change in our industry either. As a recruitment agency who sees lots of CVs daily, we spend a lot of time editing resumes into our house format, as other agencies would also do meaning we would be cutting out all the effort you have put in, to make ready, what is purely just an information profile. 

Of course, if you are working within the arts, or a design industry, then it may be very welcome, by being able to instantly show an example of skills and individualism. An interior design company commented on the same Linkedin post, stating that they would appreciate someone being creative and thoughtful with the appearance of their CV, but that the content is still key. 

Online CVs and digital resumes are also becoming more of a thing. Linkedin is a great tool at being able to find out a person’s employment history, interests, and personality. Will the social business networking site negate the need for a CV? Possibly, as it enables a paperless easy way for employers to search, but that’s only possible if a candidate is actually on the site, and also if they show up in searches, with the correct details. 

If you need help with your CV, or would like us to look yours over, get in touch.

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