CV Tips: How to show your personality on a CV
Writing a CV, regardless of what stage of your career you are at, is about a few vital things. Apart from the obvious aim of ultimately getting employed, the first and perhaps most important target is to get yourself noticed.
The RedCat Digital Candidate Resource Centre has more advice on this, but in general, it is important to remember that the tech and digital market is a highly competitive and candidate-driven market.
Bearing that in mind, it is therefore imperative that the person reviewing your CV – who will almost certainly look at many others on a day to day basis – notices you. That means that a CV that is a little different can make all the difference.
That doesn’t necessarily mean completely reinventing the wheel and changing the tried-and-tested format of a CV, although it’s worth considering that in some creative jobs, a CV is a useful opportunity to show off some of your skills, for instance through interesting and eye-catching multimedia. Not only will it demonstrate your aptitude, it’ll get you noticed for your positivity and creativity – thereby killing two birds with one stone.
Show your Personality on the page
But, for most people, the traditional Word/PDF format will be enough. It’s really about what goes on the page and how you put yourself across. Alongside some of the baseline rules – things like making sure you’ve checked your spelling, that the document is nicely formatted so it’s not a pain to read, and that you use bullet points rather than wild, rambling paragraphs, there are a few extra tips worth considering.
One of those is to get yourself across to the person reading the CV. That doesn’t mean giving them your life story, or telling them in detail about your away trips supporting your favourite non-league football team, but it does mean offering a few details about the sort of person that you are and what that allows you to achieve in your job.
There are a few things that you’ll want to have at the top of your CV. Particularly important when you’re considering how to get your personality across is the personal profile – of course – because it tells the hiring manager what sort of person you are.
One of Redcat’s candidate resources is a guide on how to write the perfect CV. As it says there, a personal profile should be: “clear and concise, no more than 200-250 words. Let the employer know the sort of person you are, what you are looking for/direction you are looking to move your career in, what you have to offer and what makes you stand out. This is a short, sharp piece of text to engage with the employer and make them want to read further”.
Taking your CV further
But it’s not just in the personal profile section that your personality can shine through. In the crucial “key achievements” section, you can show the type of employee that you are. Here is where you can show, with figures and examples, a highlight reel. It will illustrate that you are hardworking and get results, which in itself infers a certain type of personality. Not only that, it will also help you stand out from the crowd.
A final personality-led section of your CV is the part where you talk about your interests. As Redcat’s CV guide says, this is a chance to “provide a little insight into who you are and will help to show you fit the company culturally”. That last point may be particularly important if you’re going for a more senior role and are writing an executive CV, given that you will be managing people.
It is also a chance to show your passion for a sector or your job beyond just saying you’re passionate. If you are genuinely interested and care about your work and try to improve in your spare time, or even if you are working towards extra qualifications, then say so. It’ll show you genuinely care and are likely to keep improving and adding value. To reiterate, it’s important for candidates to remember that the CV is about getting noticed, and that you can do that through showing off your personality – because it’s you and your personality that will produce the work that the hiring company wants.
If you’re looking for advice on the digital job market, the next step in your digital career or even just looking for CV tips, give one of our consultants a call on 0207 265 7800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org