Can creativity damage your Job Application?
Being creative when writing a CV is one of the most debated issues in recruitment. People often wonder if being creative with a CV may work in their favour or if it cripples their job opportunities.
The first hurdle you need to jump over, if you aim to be creative, is the algorithms screening: being creative could be pretty impressive for people, but it doesn’t work for the machines. So, if you are starting to write your creative CV, make sure that the company you are interested in doesn’t operate with A.I. or bots to do a first screen.
It is important to know how your CV is screened by the targeted company, but that is that not enough. To use creativity correctly, you need to define and know your audience: understanding people’s attitude is harder than uncovering the algorithms. So, how can you recognise if a creative CV could be the best weapon to win over the company’s hiring manager?
Let’s start analysing places where people’s creativity is shown, i.e. Social Networks. The quantity of information we can extrapolate from social accounts is huge. From a Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn profile, we can figure out the levels of creativity, formality and the special interests of somebody. Content is sometimes key to play into people’s personality, cultural fits and preferences. Studying this content, should create a clear portrait of the Hiring Manager/Recruiter we want to attract, so we can match our creativity/formality with their tastes.
The type of position you are applying for also plays an important role in this process. Before sending a creative CV, make sure that the type of role you are applying for aligns well to a creative CV. E.g. a Graphic Designer or UX Designer role expect evidence of creativity with a portfolio. Why not demonstrate some of this creativity in the accompanying CV? Sometimes, creative CVs are considered confusing or distracting by Engineering or Software companies but are favoured by Marketing or Design firms. If creativity is inherent in your job, a preview of it in your CV may be appreciated.
Lastly, you need to consider the country where your CV will be reviewed. For example, Ireland is a booming country that’s trying to hunt the most qualified talent in the world. In this context, a creative CV could be a strong personal feature to separate you from other equally qualified professionals. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a job in a country where the competition for jobs is lower, a creative CV could penalise you. This happens because companies are not used to this format and are not comfortable with the ‘creativity gamble’.
So, can creativity damage your Job Application?
The answer is no, creativity by itself will not damage chances of success.
It is the way you use creativity that can hurt your application. If you don’t know anything about the person who will read your CV, don’t opt for an unusual CV structure and risk getting regretted before you have even begun. Creativity is a feature and as such is meant for whom can understand it.