How to Inject Some Personality into Your CV

November 15 2019 , 0 Comments

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Half the battle of landing a job is getting hiring managers to like you—once you wow them with your skills and accomplishments, it’s all about how you vibe in the interview and how your interests fit in with the rest of the organisation.

It seems superficial, but personality is important, especially when it comes to company culture and how you’ll work with the rest of the team. And being able to tease a bit of that personality in your CV can fast-track you through the candidate selection process. You stand out, they pick you—it’s that simple.

So how can you showcase your skills AND give the hiring manager a taste of who you are in just two pages?

Let’s take a closer look at a few quick and easy ways to inject a bit of personality in your CV.



1. Avoid corporate jargon

Have you ever looked at a word long enough that it stopped making sense? It’s a common experience known as ‘semantic satiation’ where staring at a word or phrase too long causes those words to temporary lose their meaning.

Now think about it from a recruiter’s perspective. When you’re looking at hundreds of CVs a week, it’s easy to just skim over complicated phrases and words you’ve seen a thousand times before.

That’s why it’s so important not to use too many throw-away adjectives or overly corporate jargon. Phrases like ‘change-maker’, ‘thought leader’ and ‘agile’ sound good, but they’re vague and ostentatious. Recruiters see the same phrases day-in and day-out, and honestly, they don’t mean much. It just makes you blend in with the crowd when you should be standing out.

Instead, use simple, easy-to-understand language. Be authentic. The more human and relatable you are in your CV, the easier it is to build an instant connection with the hiring manager. Maybe even inject a bit of humour in there to make them smile (they’ll appreciate it, and they’ll remember it).



2. Consider a bespoke design

Not every CV needs to look like a black and white word document with way too much text. These days, it’s easy to find free tools and templates for creating a CV with a pop of colour and a bit of pizzazz.

You may think that things like font and formatting don’t really mean much to potential employers, but that’s not necessarily true. The right mix of colours and clean design can say a lot about your personality. The use of bright colours and funky shapes can show that you’re an extrovert. Or maybe some soft earth tones and a minimalist design says something about your love of nature.

Choose colours that match your industry or job type. If you work in the medical field, blue would be a smart choice. Or maybe you want to work in an environmental charity? Then green and brown would work quite nicely.

Things like colour can also be useful for bringing attention to important information, drawing the eye to things you want them to be aware of right away.

Ultimately, a good design is a means of grabbing attention. A great design can speak volumes about who you are as a person beyond just your skills.



3. Include hobbies and ‘fun facts’ about yourself

At some point in your life, you were probably told a CV should only include relevant skills and information. It’s all part of a larger, very regimented process—with guidelines you’re expected to stick to and interview questions you’re ultimately expected to answer.

But tackling the job search with a formulaic approach may actually be doing you more harm than good. You’re missing a trick—because your hobbies and the unique facts are the things that provide recruiters with the whole picture. That’s where you go from being a list of skills on a page to a fully fleshed human being.

Are you an avid cycler? Do you volunteer at the local homeless shelter once a week? Or maybe you perform as a stand-up comedian on the weekends. Each of those hobbies and commitments showcases skills in a way that job experience can’t. Things like volunteer experience and charitable work show that you’re passionate, empathetic and pro-active. And sport-based hobbies show you’re dedicated and self-motivated.

It all about adding that extra spice to an otherwise tedious process.



So don’t hold back

Show the full picture of who you are. Not only will it help you stand out, but it might land you a job in company that’s perfectly matched to your interests and experience.

And at the very least, it gives you a few juicy talking points for your next interview.


This content was provided by CharityJob, the largest and most specialised job board for the charity and not-for-profit sector in the UK.

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