CV styles and formats

Old Oct 4th 2019, 11:37 am
  #1  
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Default CV styles and formats

Scamp (and others)... I've not done any recruitment for a while so have a question on CV formats.

Where's the market these days? How do we feel about:
1. Experience CVs vs. Skills Based CVs
2. Word vs. PPT
3. Pictures vs. text vs. designer
4. Intro bios

It would be good to know what the millennials are trending on and the mistakes gen-x/ old bastard do.

I keep getting called up for roles and while I'm not really interested (but you never know) - a CV is always requested. I'm thinking of sending over a text-heavy, skills & experienced mixed, somewhat stylized ppt (a bit like a professional services CV that goes into a pitch book) rather than a boring word style one. Any thoughts?
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Old Oct 4th 2019, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Scamp (and others)... I've not done any recruitment for a while so have a question on CV formats.

Where's the market these days? How do we feel about:
1. Experience CVs vs. Skills Based CVs
2. Word vs. PPT
3. Pictures vs. text vs. designer
4. Intro bios

It would be good to know what the millennials are trending on and the mistakes gen-x/ old bastard do.

I keep getting called up for roles and while I'm not really interested (but you never know) - a CV is always requested. I'm thinking of sending over a text-heavy, skills & experienced mixed, somewhat stylized ppt (a bit like a professional services CV that goes into a pitch book) rather than a boring word style one. Any thoughts?
I've received a 15 page CV recently which I threw directly into the bin, so don't do that.

I'm thinking summary of skills and experience in less than 2-3 pages. And don't use the words 'motivated' or 'self starter' anywhere
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Old Oct 4th 2019, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
And don't use the words 'motivated' or 'self starter' anywhere
Damn, that was at least 2/3s of the spirit of mine.
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 5:09 am
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

I brushed up my cv earlier this year (more of a total re-write actually) - things that helped me:
a. Keep cv to 2 pages
b. I do have a bio summary usually highlighting relevant experience to the job description
c. i have a 'database' of usually all the objectives that a role will require - then its a case of copy and pasting the paragraphs
d. I do put some quantification of objectives - reduced staff headcount by 12%, reduced portfolio costs by 28% by introducing stp etc

At the end of the day the cv is just to get the foot in the door or for them to be interested in you and to ask you for a discussion/interview

For headhunted roles - your cv/experience is already known so its just a formality to submit a document so HR actually feel part of the process
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 5:47 am
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

I saw one CV with a QR Code linking to the guy's LinkedIn profile that I thought was pretty cool and immediately stole the idea.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-c...e-karen-brown/

Overall though, I don't think it matters so much unless you're in marketing or something. Every time I get a CV to read, I skim read it for the parts I want to know, i.e. previous employers/job titles, education. If it's of interest, then I'll read again in deeper detail, but I don't think I've ever shortlisted or rejected someone because of the formatting.
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 7:43 am
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

1 - Bit of both, I know people say to keep it short but I'd rather know everything the person has done and is capable of.
2 - Forget PPT, keyword scanning software won't pick it up and you'll piss off juniors that have to print off 20 to send upline. I tend to use PDF if it's going out into the ether and Word if the request has been solicited. I did some trials with lock Word files and LinkedIn but I don't think it made much difference.
3 - Passport sized photo and text. If it's a creative position then I'd rather be wowed by your portfolio. They one page designed ones that look like an infographic are awful.
4 - Nothing wrong with a paragraph or two elevator pitch, adds a personal element to the bullet points.
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by Arnold S View Post
1 - Bit of both, I know people say to keep it short but I'd rather know everything the person has done and is capable of.
2 - Forget PPT, keyword scanning software won't pick it up and you'll piss off juniors that have to print off 20 to send upline. I tend to use PDF if it's going out into the ether and Word if the request has been solicited. I did some trials with lock Word files and LinkedIn but I don't think it made much difference.
3 - Passport sized photo and text. If it's a creative position then I'd rather be wowed by your portfolio. They one page designed ones that look like an infographic are awful.
4 - Nothing wrong with a paragraph or two elevator pitch, adds a personal element to the bullet points.
Thanks. In my experience of going over CVs, I don't think I've ever read that intro bio - or if I did it wasn't worth reading.

I agree with everything else you put really... that said, I'm going to band around a landscape ppt to piss off the juniors. I'd never send (or let a recruiter send) a CV cold to anyone (especially in HR) anyway.
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Scamp (and others)... I've not done any recruitment for a while so have a question on CV formats.

Where's the market these days? How do we feel about:
1. Experience CVs vs. Skills Based CVs
2. Word vs. PPT
3. Pictures vs. text vs. designer
4. Intro bios

It would be good to know what the millennials are trending on and the mistakes gen-x/ old bastard do.

I keep getting called up for roles and while I'm not really interested (but you never know) - a CV is always requested. I'm thinking of sending over a text-heavy, skills & experienced mixed, somewhat stylized ppt (a bit like a professional services CV that goes into a pitch book) rather than a boring word style one. Any thoughts?
Some answers below and other points, question number against response, not in order.
Don't worry about millenials, that's me - we're fine, we're normal human beings just being shafted as an inbetween generation, it's these Gen-Z pricks who are going to be the nightmare ***** demanding your application in Snapchat whilst eating a tide pod.

(2.) Content over format is the concern....although, not interested in a powerpoint CV, personally. I want to see a PDF, they read best on mobile devices and normal screens. Have it saved in word so you can tailor but then save as PDF to submit.

(1.) Typically reverse chronological detailed experience is best. I'm always curious and cynical when someone has a skills based CV or functional one, it's probably hiding the fact they've had more jobs than I've had hot dinners.

Worry less about the CV, more about the introduction and the interview. In my world we're placing huge efforts into referrals and getting our people to generate candidates. These are then given big priority over the hundreds who just apply directly and might be amazing. They don't even get looked at.

(3.) I wouldn't include pictures personally, I can google something if I want to know what it is and if we're in the same industry I don't need to see the logo of the company you work for. What other sorts of pictures / diagrams? Bullet points for text outlining experience are perfect. Picture of you? Yeah probably, it's nice to see who you're about to reject sometimes.

Not that you would, but having colours, bold, highlighted bits is horrific. 'You' don't know what I'm looking for. 'You' might highlight that you built a tall tower, whereas it's distracting from the fact it's a hotel and a luxury brand I might have been searching for. It's easy to miss if a CV is geared more towards one area. Trying to be generic yet detailed yet concise is really, really hard. I ended up copying job descriptions from Gulf Talent to make my current responsibilities on my CV read better

(4.) Every CV reviewer is different though. I've never read an opening paragraph / summary, ever. I'll never, ever, ever read a cover letter....however, we've got hiring managers who want to see these things and read them carefully. I've got one on my CV because some idiot is going to be happy wasting their time reading that bullshit. Written in a passive voice tense / person if that makes sense - I quite like this....."I was project manager responsible for humping the driver on Wednesdays" sounds OK, but in my opinion, "Responsible for all driver humping activities weekly" can read better as a bullet point. You end up with millions of 'I am' and 'I was' otherwise. Just passive voice seems to read nicely....perhaps take the human element out but I'm not bothered by that where some are. DEFINITELY avoid third person, can you imagine? "Scamp was responsible for humping the driver every week", instant filing in B1N.

My summary: Generic, detailed, concise CV over a few pages, outlining why you're a legend, what you actually did in a role / team / project etc and maybe some successes as well. Then create an angle to get it into the right person at a business or organisation you want to work for.


Also, don't forget to put your ****ing phone number on it. It's unforgivable to not be able to be contacted from a CV. You'd be amazed how often you write someone off because of this.


Crikey, once I get going on this I don't stop.
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Some answers below and other points, question number against response, not in order.
Don't worry about millenials, that's me - we're fine, we're normal human beings just being shafted as an inbetween generation, it's these Gen-Z pricks who are going to be the nightmare ***** demanding your application in Snapchat whilst eating a tide pod.

(2.) Content over format is the concern....although, not interested in a powerpoint CV, personally. I want to see a PDF, they read best on mobile devices and normal screens. Have it saved in word so you can tailor but then save as PDF to submit.

(1.) Typically reverse chronological detailed experience is best. I'm always curious and cynical when someone has a skills based CV or functional one, it's probably hiding the fact they've had more jobs than I've had hot dinners.

Worry less about the CV, more about the introduction and the interview. In my world we're placing huge efforts into referrals and getting our people to generate candidates. These are then given big priority over the hundreds who just apply directly and might be amazing. They don't even get looked at.

(3.) I wouldn't include pictures personally, I can google something if I want to know what it is and if we're in the same industry I don't need to see the logo of the company you work for. What other sorts of pictures / diagrams? Bullet points for text outlining experience are perfect. Picture of you? Yeah probably, it's nice to see who you're about to reject sometimes.

Not that you would, but having colours, bold, highlighted bits is horrific. 'You' don't know what I'm looking for. 'You' might highlight that you built a tall tower, whereas it's distracting from the fact it's a hotel and a luxury brand I might have been searching for. It's easy to miss if a CV is geared more towards one area. Trying to be generic yet detailed yet concise is really, really hard. I ended up copying job descriptions from Gulf Talent to make my current responsibilities on my CV read better

(4.) Every CV reviewer is different though. I've never read an opening paragraph / summary, ever. I'll never, ever, ever read a cover letter....however, we've got hiring managers who want to see these things and read them carefully. I've got one on my CV because some idiot is going to be happy wasting their time reading that bullshit. Written in a passive voice tense / person if that makes sense - I quite like this....."I was project manager responsible for humping the driver on Wednesdays" sounds OK, but in my opinion, "Responsible for all driver humping activities weekly" can read better as a bullet point. You end up with millions of 'I am' and 'I was' otherwise. Just passive voice seems to read nicely....perhaps take the human element out but I'm not bothered by that where some are. DEFINITELY avoid third person, can you imagine? "Scamp was responsible for humping the driver every week", instant filing in B1N.

My summary: Generic, detailed, concise CV over a few pages, outlining why you're a legend, what you actually did in a role / team / project etc and maybe some successes as well. Then create an angle to get it into the right person at a business or organisation you want to work for.


Also, don't forget to put your ****ing phone number on it. It's unforgivable to not be able to be contacted from a CV. You'd be amazed how often you write someone off because of this.


Crikey, once I get going on this I don't stop.

**** me - I forgot the phone number.
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
I've received a 15 page CV recently which I threw directly into the bin, so don't do that.

I'm thinking summary of skills and experience in less than 2-3 pages. And don't use the words 'motivated' or 'self starter' anywhere
Were they South African? That seems to be the norm with them The French cram it all onto one page
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Some answers below and other points, question number against response, not in order.
Don't worry about millenials, that's me - we're fine, we're normal human beings just being shafted as an inbetween generation, it's these Gen-Z pricks who are going to be the nightmare ***** demanding your application in Snapchat whilst eating a tide pod.

(2.) Content over format is the concern....although, not interested in a powerpoint CV, personally. I want to see a PDF, they read best on mobile devices and normal screens. Have it saved in word so you can tailor but then save as PDF to submit.

(1.) Typically reverse chronological detailed experience is best. I'm always curious and cynical when someone has a skills based CV or functional one, it's probably hiding the fact they've had more jobs than I've had hot dinners.

Worry less about the CV, more about the introduction and the interview. In my world we're placing huge efforts into referrals and getting our people to generate candidates. These are then given big priority over the hundreds who just apply directly and might be amazing. They don't even get looked at.

(3.) I wouldn't include pictures personally, I can google something if I want to know what it is and if we're in the same industry I don't need to see the logo of the company you work for. What other sorts of pictures / diagrams? Bullet points for text outlining experience are perfect. Picture of you? Yeah probably, it's nice to see who you're about to reject sometimes.

Not that you would, but having colours, bold, highlighted bits is horrific. 'You' don't know what I'm looking for. 'You' might highlight that you built a tall tower, whereas it's distracting from the fact it's a hotel and a luxury brand I might have been searching for. It's easy to miss if a CV is geared more towards one area. Trying to be generic yet detailed yet concise is really, really hard. I ended up copying job descriptions from Gulf Talent to make my current responsibilities on my CV read better

(4.) Every CV reviewer is different though. I've never read an opening paragraph / summary, ever. I'll never, ever, ever read a cover letter....however, we've got hiring managers who want to see these things and read them carefully. I've got one on my CV because some idiot is going to be happy wasting their time reading that bullshit. Written in a passive voice tense / person if that makes sense - I quite like this....."I was project manager responsible for humping the driver on Wednesdays" sounds OK, but in my opinion, "Responsible for all driver humping activities weekly" can read better as a bullet point. You end up with millions of 'I am' and 'I was' otherwise. Just passive voice seems to read nicely....perhaps take the human element out but I'm not bothered by that where some are. DEFINITELY avoid third person, can you imagine? "Scamp was responsible for humping the driver every week", instant filing in B1N.

My summary: Generic, detailed, concise CV over a few pages, outlining why you're a legend, what you actually did in a role / team / project etc and maybe some successes as well. Then create an angle to get it into the right person at a business or organisation you want to work for.


Also, don't forget to put your ****ing phone number on it. It's unforgivable to not be able to be contacted from a CV. You'd be amazed how often you write someone off because of this.


Crikey, once I get going on this I don't stop.
Watch the spelling too. The amount of CVs i receive from Native Brits who cannot spell simple words, is on the increase!
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Old Oct 6th 2019, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: CV styles and formats

Originally Posted by reddiva View Post
Were they South African? That seems to be the norm with them The French cram it all onto one page
AMEN. They are the worst, cover pages, contents pages...the flippin' works.

Originally Posted by reddiva View Post
Watch the spelling too. The amount of CVs i receive from Native Brits who cannot spell simple words, is on the increase!
Especially offensive if you can't spell the company you worked for correctly.
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