Yeah, I did just use the incredibly pretentious, “technically correct” plural form of Curriculum. Fight me.
So, as I might have mentioned once, twice, or a whole pile of times, I recently moved to Prague to give myself a taste of adult life. As a sheltered student never having had to earn my own way before, this has been a terrifying and emotionally scarring experience. I’ve only got through it with the help of beer, chocolate, and long international calls to my family.
At the time of writing, I’m in the process of applying to every job I’m qualified for, and quite a few that I’m not. As such, my CV has undergone a lot of strain recently – before this summer, I hadn’t updated it since Sixth Form, at which point my greatest achievement was playing Mary in my Year Two school play.
The first step in my journey to making myself look employable was deleting every reference to the flash poetry mob I’d tried to start in school. After that, the document was a lot smaller.
Partly motivated by a desire to build a life for myself in Czechia, and partly just because it felt easier than actually applying to any jobs, I dedicated myself to perfecting the art of CVistry. Through a combination of research, instinct and graft, I’ve compiled this list of tips to make your Curriculum Vitae sparkle.
Thank me when you’ve got more interviews than you can shake a stick at.
Do your research
Companies like it when it’s clear you’ve looked into their organisation a bit. Achieve this by, for example, changing your font colour to match their logo, or stealing answers from their FAQ page. Employers will appreciate your attention to detail and readiness to plagiarise.
Become an accredited organisation
That way, you can provide yourself with extra-curricular seminars and classes. If you get a printer, you can even do yourself some charming certificates to show off at interview.
Here’s an excerpt from the “Further Qualifications” section of my own CV (notice my daring experimentation with font & intriguing slogan):
[For those wondering, First Aid is ambulances; Second Aid is the doctor at the hospital; Third Aid is the cup of tea your mum makes when you get home; Fourth Aid is sympathy from your friends; and Fifth Aid occurs at the moment your friends judge it appropriate to start taking the piss out of you. I’ve heard rumours of a so-called Sixth Aid, but I don’t know what it entails. I reckon it might be made up.]
Include a picture
This helps let employers know that you’re presentable and outgoing. Stick a little thumbnail of you doing your best “please hire me” smile on every printout.
In fact, include two pictures.
Hell, why stop there? Delete all the words. If you can’t tell the story of your employment history pictorially, what’s the point? Your future boss will love your brevity and creativity.
Here’s an example:
This CV shows that Rosie Daniels is assiduous, creative, at home in a hard hat, studious, all round good egg, etc. etc. etc.
I don’t have a great deal of work experience so I’ve included some other people and stock photos in mine. I don’t think you can tell, though.
The one problem is providing contact details in pictorial form. You have to commit to the format though. Here’s an example of how you can spell out your phone number:
Honestly, if a potential employer can’t figure that out, do you really want to work for them?
Because no one’s gonna check if you’re actually the first person from your village to have been conceived through IVF, but it sure as shortbread sounds impressive.
Include hidden messages
Every good employer is as concerned about the environment as you are, and they’ll appreciate your thriftiness and commitment to frugality. Instead of printing off your CV, buy forty or fifty memory sticks and hand them to potential bosses. Not only does it take some of the pressure off the rainforest, it makes you look like highballer with millions of pen drives to spare.
Now, go forth into the workplace, my children! Stand by for my equally down-to-earth and level-headed interview tips (coming soon).