This piece is taken from our Associates Bootcamp sessions. For this session, we spoke to Jo who works for Onfido where she tells us how to perfect the design of our CVs.

When you think of a CV, what do they look like? Maybe they are a white piece of paper with basic titles and bullet points that can be sent to lots of companies at once. Maybe they are a bit more advanced, with colour and perhaps a headshot. This is what CV’s have looked like for a long time, but with the job markets becoming more competitive it can take a lot to stand out. Here, Jo tells us what we can do to make our CV extra special.

To Colour Or Not To Colour?

Make sure you use colour on your CV! Most CV’s to come through the company’s door will be based on an online template, so you could make yours a different colour (Perhaps the company colours!). However, don’t go overboard. Whilst everyone loves a pop of colour, it should still look professional.

Headshots

It is best to avoid adding a picture of yourself to your CV. This is because all employers will have an unconscious bias on what you look like, and may dismiss you because of it. Imagine if you looked like their old boss who they didn’t like – they would quickly put you to the bottom of the pile.

Icons

We all know it is important to add our hobbies and interests to our CV, but instead of just writing them down in a list, try adding professional icons instead. For example, if you are interested in photography you could add a camera icon to show your interest instead!

This also works for companies you have worked for too – try adding their business logo instead of writing down the name of the company.

The ‘Skill Dots’ principle

By adding 10 dots next to your skills, and then filling in the number of dots based on how well you do the skill is an inventive and useful way to indicate your strengths and also areas of improvement (employers love to see that you are self-aware!)

Last, try to avoid sending the same CV out to more than one job. This is because you should be matching the tone and content of your CV specifically for the company you are applying for. The skills and experience you have should be tailored to each role you apply for- this shows you are the best fit for the job.


Want to discuss this with other young women in STEM? Why not join the Stemette Society to continue the conversation.

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