How Young Professionals Can Get Their CV Noticed in an Online Application

Tanya Lehrman is a recruiter specializing in the fashion (needle trade), retail and consumer goods industries at Prestige Recreuitment. She’s passionate about what she does because it gives her the chance to symbiotically elevate the situations of people looking for the right job and bolster companies by connecting them with the best people out there…

As a recruiter who specializes in fashion, consumer goods and retail, I receive a lot of CVs from various designers, graphic artists and other creative individuals. These types of candidates are usually the ones who like to display their creativity as much as possible and will often design a unique CV in hopes to get noticed. Sometimes the most valuable way to get noticed with your CV is by clearly stating your accomplishments in your work, something seemingly simple that is lost on so many. Because I use an ATS (applicant tracking system), CVs that are anything other than a word document format are never received by my ATS in the way the Word document CVs are. Often I have candidates pleading with me to accept their CV in the format they originally sent it. I understand this can be frustrating as you want your creativity to shine. But this is your curriculum vita, which is defined by Oxfords Dictionaries as “a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupations.” Hence, this is not your portfolio.

Hiring managers want to be able to look at your CV and find the skills they are looking for easily and quickly. If they like what they see, they would then ask about your portfolio in order to see some of your work. We all use different programs and computers, so standard formatting is always best. It will ensure the CV you sent looks the same as the one received. If you want to show some personality, you can choose a font and colour that you feel reflects you as long as it’s clear and easy to read.

If you are creative and want to be able to display some work, there are countless outlets to do this. Create some .jpegs or other types of boards and when possible, send them with your application, create a website (there are many free and paid options to suit your budget), as well as many other options where you can upload examples of your work and share it through different social media sites and portals. Include the link to your website with your contact info on your CV and in your cover letter. You can also create a PowerPoint presentation that you could send in your application along with your CV.

Anyone who is receiving CVs, whether it’s an agency recruiter, an internal recruiter, someone from HR or a hiring manger, is probably receiving several CVs for each posting. Don’t get them frustrated before they even meet you. Submit a CV that is easy to read and professional or you may just be skipped over. Follow up with them with a phone call about two days later to ensure they received your CV. I guarantee this will put you in the forefront of their mind, and if you have the skills they are looking for, this could put you on the list for an interview ahead of others.