C.V. or not C.V.?

Bad day at work?

Thinking your career lies in a different office?

Naturally your mind starts wondering to those three words…’update my CV’. But maybe it’s our thinking we need to update.

As more and more millenials move into positions of authority interviewing other millenials the name of the game these days is ‘making an impression’ do they just want to see a CV?

Don’t get me wrong a record of our achievements is a useful guidance but are we missing a trick in making a connection with future employers?

Many business owners will ask for a covering letter to gain more insight into your character. Something that shows you can express yourself outside the rigid constraints of the CV ‘education’ ‘work history’ ‘interests’ structure. But could we go further?

Social Chains CEO Steve Bartlett realised CV’s wasn’t the way to hire the best talent for his business, creativity was. Apparently a candidate who applied for a role by flying an owl into the office with a USB Stick wasn’t the most ridiculous attempt for an interview. Now I know what you’re going to say “on that USB Stick was…A CV!!”

And you’re right a CV will have its place to show a record of achievement, work experiences and your interests where everyone puts ‘keeping fit’ and ‘reading’ because watching Goggle Box with a tube of Pringles doesn’t say ‘go getter’.

All I’m saying is we need to be thinking about how someone feels about you before they even read that CV. Nobody ever said “you had me at 2 sides of A4 paper”

If we think about it what are employers get from a CV?


Do they have the requisite skills?

True, but then that is not always a dead cert, people from similar industries don’t always hit the ground running. Different businesses in the same sector often have different ways of achieving the same goals and maybe the reason they are moving on is because they don’t actually fit in that industry.


A proven track record?

Remember history is written by the victor and just as easily a phone monkey in an agency can easily become head of internal and external communications. ‘Smashed team targets’ become ‘smashed individual targets’ and the ‘leaving because I was of no use to anyone’ suddenly reads as ‘I achieved everything asked of me I and needed a fresh challenge’.


Which university they got their degree at?

Yeah, I don’t know about you but I don’t really know my University of Winchester from my Cardiff so…


They’ve got something about them?

This is the key! This is the point that struggles to be seen in a CV. This is what is going to make the difference to your team dynamic, your company growth and ultimately your bottom line.

Creative thinkers with an eye for the spectacular…I’m not saying we need to start training owls to fly through office windows, Maybe video presentation, the technology is at your fingertips with today’s mobile phones. Give yourself the front page treatment that showcases your design skills. Create a webpage dedicated to you and your skill set. Do something that shows them what you can do for them beyond a brief history of your adult life.

If you’re looking for that person to bring magic to your business is a CV enough for you?

I think for the time being a CV is the default request on most recruitment ads but if you are ‘updating your CV’ you could do a lot worse than to think about how you plan to present it and how it presents you.

I Want To Talk About Big Sam

I was listening to the radio the other night whilst stuck in rush hour traffic and it was a sports phone in talking about Sam Allardyce. For those that don’t follow football or read the papers, Sam Allardyce was the National Team Manager who was sacked for alleged corruption.

Don’t worry I’m not about to start ranting about corruption in football, what I want to talk about is a call I heard on a radio phone in from a Sunderland fan. For those that don’t follow football, Sunderland is the team Big Sam managed before his ill-fated spell in charge of the National team.

The radio show had asked if Sunderland fans would like Sam back at their club. Despite his tenure at the club being successful, by Sunderland’s standards, the general consensus was they didn’t want him back.

“He kept you in the premier league” implored the radio show host

“Nah, he played rubbish football”

“I don’t pay my money to be bored senseless week in week out”

“We want to be entertained”

And some other stuff about ‘a lack of width’ and an over-reliance on the ‘big man in the box’ which wasn’t really relevant to my point.

The point was that, despite saving Sunderland from relegation and the financial rewards that entailed it just wasn’t good enough. This got me thinking about what we do in advertising. Do we worry too much about the results?

Now, before you all start banging on about “ROI!” I absolutely understand the point of advertising is to generate revenue for our clients. However, on the same hand, you are only going to bother advertising if you are confident you have something that will generate those results otherwise what is the point?

I guess what I’m trying to say is maybe sometimes we get so caught up in the result of the campaign we, like the beleaguered football manager, forget people want to be entertained.

I had this conversation recently with an Account Manager who, when his client had played it dull (I don’t like ‘played it safe’ as this implies thinking creatively is somehow dangerous) with their creative. The uninterested Account Manager said: “As long as it works that’s all that matters”. I disagreed, ‘working’ certainly matters, but I would argue that isn’t all that matters. Why not have creative that not only works but also inspires, provokes, makes someone smile, gives someone an emotional connection, makes them remember you…Whatever?

Next time you feel you have something worth advertising remember, if you are willing to invest your money, then you must believe in it. And if you believe in it then why are we playing it dull?

Otherwise like poor old Sam Allardyce, all that good work you did may not be remembered with the fondness you hoped for.

It may not be remembered at all.