CVS / MAR. 14, 2015
version 8, draft 8

The CV Debate (Round 3): Traditional vs. Creative

In such a competitive job market where you have to make sure you differentiate yourself from other candidates, choosing the right CV format could actually make a big difference to getting noticed by employers. However, the big debate between traditional and creative CVs continues to be of central interest. Which type of CV employers prefer the most? Is the creative CV more effective than the traditional one?

See Also: The CV Debate (Round 2): Chronological VS Functional  

Let’s go over the two types of CV to find out which one comes out as the winner:

The Traditional CV

There are many people who argue over the popularity of the traditional CV and whether it is outdated. Despite the fact that online CVs have made a great appearance in the recruitment scene due to social media, employers still need the traditional CV to effectively assess a candidate’s value.

To be specific, the traditional or ‘standard’ CV is ideal when applying for accountancy, computing, and management roles. Focusing more on the actual content instead of design, this type of CV can give out to employers the only essential information they need that’s relevant to the role. In this way, employers don’t get distracted by colourful designs and shapes, and most prefer it that way.

A CV can also be creative with just a tasteful boarder added to a traditional CV. Since creativity means different things to different people, using few colours to make your CV stand out could also make it look a bit more visually appealing. If you prefer the traditional CV, you can still be creative by colouring up lines and main points. 

The Creative CV

The creative CV comes in a variety of formats. In contrast to the traditional, the creative CV is much more embellished and could consist of an infographic, a 3D CV, or even a video CV! While these types of CV are normally used to apply for jobs in the creative fields including advertising, media, graphic design and multimedia, many also use them to apply for a job in other fields.

In terms of design, creative CVs are easy to stand out in contrast to the plain black and white standard CVs. But how would you know if you have gone too far with embellishing it? Having said that, you shouldn’t go overboard with excessive use of colours or extreme designs, however, as this might even confuse employers. That is if your CV messes with the presentation of information that you intend to give out.

Choosing the CV format that works heavily depends upon the position you are applying for and, more specifically, to the organisation’s culture. If the company has an old-industry culture and prefer to work along those lines, then you should also follow the traditional approach to writing your CV.

See Also: The CV Debate (Round 4): First vs. Third Person?

Some companies recommend that you use the standard traditional CV while others are thinking outside of the box accepting more creative CVs. On this note, creative CVs should be solely used for creative roles, and traditional CVs should be able to stand out focusing on content, and make use of colour appropriately and wherever possible!

What’s your opinion on CV writing? Do you prefer the traditional or the creative CV? Let us know in the comment section below.

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