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CV rule breakers

CV rule breakers

If you think a sector you are interested in working in would prefer a different type of CV or a portfolio, ensure you research this thoroughly before applying.

In certain sectors, employers and recruiters expect a different style of CV from the standard type described previously. They may also prefer candidates to showcase examples of their work rather than submit a CV in isolation. In essence, you need to show them what you can do rather than just tell them.

It is essential to research the expectations of the sector you are applying to before sending out a standard format CV and covering letter. Specialist recruitment agencies are a good way to get more information on sector-specific expectations.

In general, recruiters advise that:

  • Creative sectors generally expect you to showcase your body of work through the use of images or links to a website of examples. Once the employer has seen your work, then they will look at your academic and career history and personal experience.
  • Advertising companies generally prefer to see a portfolio first and will consider a candidate’s body of work before their CV.
  • Architecture and design students in particular need to make a strong visual impact in any documents they submit as the audience will be heavily influenced by aesthetics.
  • Portfolios of work should be submitted in a format suitable for e-mail (e.g. PDF format). The file size must be small enough to e-mail and open without problems (e.g. less than 5MB as a rough guide).
  • The most important thing to remember is to do your research and find out what each sector requires. Be proactive and talk to specialist agencies as they may well have leads to internships and paid employment as well as giving useful advice on CVs for specific sectors.