Your CV is quite possibly one of the trickiest things to write. A document where the entire contents is 100% based on you can often be a frightening proposition to entertain! However, as much as we understand the angst writing a CV can bring, we also know the importance it carries and the part it plays when deciding if a candidate is right for a freelance brief.
For every great CV we have seen, we’ve also seen our fair share of CVs that don’t do our candidates justice. So from us to you, here’s our handy hints for creating a great CV that will capture a clients’ attention.
First things first you absolutely need a CV. Even if you are a serial freelancer and busy twelve months of the year, it’s still crucial to have an up-to-date CV that captures the exciting projects you have been involved with and the roster of agencies and in-house studios you have worked alongside. As recruiters we are enticed and excited by your career history and being able to build a profile for our clients (when representing you) is a key part of our job. We want to know you, understand where you’ve worked and why, what interests you and where you want to go next.
Secondly profile your personality, be it in your career objectives or personal statement, allow your characteristics to be conveyed through enthusiastic language and style. This is the part that demonstrates to your potential client that you’ll be a good fit for their company culture, so add some flavour and the power of persuasion will mean they want you on-side for reasons beyond being able to do the job and required mac skills.
If you’re a creative use a stylish font (NOT Times New Roman and definitely NOT Comic Sans) and use InDesign not Word for layout purposes. Also, if you can, keep it to one page – we’ll get to the heart of your work via your vibrant portfolio and/or key achievements - a list of every freelance brief that you’ve ever worked on isn’t necessary. If you’re a creative or a developer and have a web link to your portfolio, make sure it’s at the top of your CV. Sounds simple right, but often we find links half way through “work experience” or even at the bottom of the page. Endless scrolling and searching is tedious and time consuming and just like that – you’ve lost your audience.
Big up yo’self – be positive and showcase your greatest achievements to date, there’s plenty to shout about if you simply take time to reflect on the work you’ve done and we and our clients want to know about them! Again, we don’t need War and Peace, but specific projects, impressive stats, notable brand experience and new business wins will always be of interest.
Only add your social media profile links if they’re relevant to your work; if you’re a creative, perhaps your Instagram with provide additional insight to your work. If you’re a communications guru and consider yourself part of the Twitterarti, include your handle; if you’re an events aficionado and Facebook is your (censored) stomping ground, include the link. We’re not going to lecture you on the do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette in the professional sphere; but just be mindful of your presence and the effect it may create.
And finally, for all you creatives… last and definitely not least PLEASE don’t save your CV as a .docx file! It’s a real bug bear as most Mac users will struggle to open it and if they can, formatting is often skewed. Why go to all the effort of writing an awesome CV if the recipient can’t open it! PDF all the way.