Do Unorthodox CVs Land Jobs?

With the recent decrease in available jobs due to global recession, finding a new job at any career stage is harder than ever. In response to the tough job market, job-seekers are constantly looking for new ways to stand out and make their voices heard. One of the newest trends in job searching is creating a specialized CV for each job. Many job-seekers are turning to unorthodox CV formats, using visual representations of their skills instead of the standard text-based resume.

Types of unusual CVs


The infograph is a one or two page picture that contains all of the same information as a standard resume, just in bright infograpic-style.  These CVs contain more pictures than words, and what words are included are small summery snippets of information that are easy to read. The skills of the job-seeker may be illustrated with clip art graphics or other unusual designs.

Photo/logo based

Some job-seekers have created a different style of visual-based resume. These use photos and logos of the skills that the person has. For example, a person skilled in social media marketing would state those skills using the logos of Facebook, Google, and other social media sites. Other people have created resumes with industry-related photos or graphics.

Clever wording

Another trend in CV design is the unusually-worded CV. This CV sheet eschews the standard bullet point CV and uses different writing styles, like an informative letter, persuasive essay, or extremely casual writing style.

Pie charts

Another unusual CV style illustrates related job skills with a pie chart. The chart may show the percentage of education (including short courses), applicable skills, and experience that the job-seeker has. A pie chart makes it easy for a potential employer to see the overview of the person’s skills and experience as a whole.

Where to use an unusual CV

Some industries are more receptive to the unorthodox CV than others.  The following industries are typically more receptive to the use of unusual CV formats:

  • Freelance jobs
  • Design industries
  • Technology companies
  • Start-up companies

Where to skip unusual CV formatting

Some industries are turned off by innovative CV design. You may be better off sticking to a traditional resume format in the following industries:

  • Traditional offices
  • Medical jobs
  • Factories
  • Old companies
  • The academic world

The pros and cons of special CVs

A special CV can be a huge benefit in getting your name out there and recognized. Few people use special CV formats, which means any time you submit an application, you will get noticed. However, most businesses are looking more for the qualifications of the person rather than a flashy CV sheet. Your best chances at getting a job include targeting the right industry keywords in your CV sheet, having experience in that field, applying to companies in your experience market, and having a CV sheet that is visible in online searches.

Overall, a special CV can have a huge impact and help you stand out from the competition. However, if you are not applying to a technical position, technology job, design field, or start-up company, you are probably better off sticking to a traditional CV format.

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