Competition for jobs in the Media is tough, so you’ve got to make sure your CV works hard to get you the interview. Having read hundreds of CVs to recruit animators, production assistants and camera crew over the years, here are my five key tips to make yours stand out.
1. Simple and Clear Layout
Whoever is recruiting is likely to be time poor; trawling through a hundred CVs is just one of a long list of jobs to do before home time. The first thing I do is scan each CV to sort the wheat from the chaff. Make it easy for me to find out about you by having a simple, clear layout. Each section should have a heading that stands out, so if I want to look at, say, where you studied, I can find it on your CV within seconds.
2. Don’t Say What You Are, Show What You Are
Don’t just list your skills, make sure the person reading can visualise you in the job. Nearly every CV I read has some variant of “I am a team player who can also work as an individual.” Don’t just leave it at that, show it by giving examples: “I can work in team, like when I helped produced the University newspaper, and as an individual such as when worked as a Producer’s Assistant.” That way you haven’t just used hollow clichés.
3. Presentation makes perfect
Your CV is like any other product; good design will make it attractive and get it more attention. I’m surprised by how many CVs are written in Times New Roman 12pt, the standard Word font. Imagine yours is one in stack of CVs that’s just fallen on the floor. Does yours stand out from the crowd? Without going crazy, try different type faces, font sizes and colours.
This is the perfect chance to show who’s willing to give you a testimonial so never put “on request”. Be sure the person you mention has agreed to give you a reference first. The etiquette is that a potential new employer won’t contact your referee until you’ve been offered the job. So don’t waste an opportunity to name drop!
5. You Should Never Have a “Final” CV
Your CV should be in constant evolution. You should tweak it according to the job description of the position you’re applying for. Even if you don’t have direct experience in the sector the job is in, highlighting directly relevant, transferable skills within the work you have done will help your CV get on the list to request an interview. You’ll only achieve this if you tailor your CV for each specific application.
Gavin Ricketts is a director/producer/writer, who runs Napoleon Creative, a video production company and animation studio. He has written Clearly Creative CVs to help those looking to build their careers in media to write a great CV that increases their chance of reaching the interview stage.
“I set cv4.tv up back in 2007 because I kept reading CVs with the same problems: poor design, layout or simply communicating someone’s skills. When we post a job ad here at Napoleon Creative we get so many responses we can’t spend long reading each one, so those that do not hit the nail on the head hit the recycle bin pretty quickly.”
“The ideas in the course draw on my 15 years of experience in the industry (including running my own business) and systematic research. We give you the insights and tips you need to prepare a corking CV that will make your skills crystal clear to a potential employer, even at a quick scan.”