Free CV templates are lots on the Internet. It seems like everybody and anybody is offering free CV templates on websites. And the funny thing is that people use them. People look for them, they copy them and paste in their details and fire the CV off to whatever job their are applying for. And then they seem disappointed when they get no response.
Is it surprising that the pre-formatted CV you sent to the recruiter didn’t capture their attention? I mean come on – if you had to read through many documents that looked exactly the same, would you remember one over the next?
Be original because free CV’s usually aren’t!
Your CV is the first point of contact with you have with your potential employer. Do you want to give the impression that you are average or just the same as everyone else? Or do you want to stand out from the crowd?
By using one of these free CV templates, you substantially lower your chances that the recruiter will remember you. Do you think advertisers would get far if they just used carbon copies of other freely available adverts? Well, some try but you rarely hear from them again.
You have to be original. You have to sell yourself to the recruiter. You have to put yourself above the crowd. You have to maximise your chances. You have to show the recruiter that you go that extra mile. Remember, free CV examples are free for a reason!
So what use are free CV templates?
If you are new to job hunting, then knowing what to put into your CV can be hard – even working out how it should look can be difficult. So, you can use CV templates to give you an idea what everyone else is doing – then you can go off and create your own CV.
Following up on the analogy of advertisers, it is common practice for advertisers to watch what their competition are doing. It gives them a kind of benchmark for what they need to do to succeed themselves.
In the same light, you can use free CV sample to find out what other jobseekers are using (OK, not all use them, but it will give you an idea what the lower end of the competition may try!).
But shouldn’t CV’s be in a conventional format?
Yes and no. It’s a mixed bag where some recruiters have one opinion and others the opposite.
There is a lot to be said for having a conventional format for your CV – you shouldn’t make recruiters work for the information – it has to be handed to them in places where they will know to look for it.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t be original.
Take web design for example. There are many conventional design issues in web design that most web designers follow – that doesn’t mean websites can’t be original and creative.
On the other hand, there are some web designers who like to use free templates to create sites – it’s easier. But in the opinion of many professionals, it’s just lazy.
In the same respect, you can go the easy route with creating your CV – use a free CV example. But in the eyes of many professionals (recruiters and employers) it will look lazy. And that’s not the impression you want to give with your CV.
Originality and creativeness don’t mean loss of conventional formatting. You have plenty of options to customise your CV (font, size, layout) while keeping it in a conventional format (ie, education, work experience, etc).
It’s up to you to create a CV that successfully conveys your skills and abilities – through the information included and the design of the CV. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many industry professionals, you will have trouble doing this with free CVs.
Look at this way;
- If you cook from a recipe book, it may taste good. But the best cooks are the ones that make their own recipes.
- If you use an online tutorial to create a logo for your business, it may look good. But the best designers create their own work from scratch.
- If you play poker from what you’ve learned in a book, it may get you so far. But the best players are the ones who make the game their own.
photo by: Terra