3 Things For Your CV You’ve Not Considered

cv tips

Last week something a bit crazy happened. A guy asked to connect with me on LinkedIn, then when I accepted, offered to look over my CV for a free check. I thanked him, told him that actually I have my own CV writing business on the side, but thank you anyway.

He replied back: “Looking at your background you wouldn’t have a clue how to write a CV. I bet you put References [sic] available on request at the end”

I sat, stunned, for a few moments, wondering how to respond. I did a thumbs up emoji, wished him good luck in his business. Then I took a screenshot, blanked his name and posted it on LinkedIn. I told people about my side business, that I’ve been doing it for a little while now and that there’s even a testimonial on my LinkedIn profile if they’d like to look.

Within 24 hours, the post had over 7000 views, and my inbox was full of people asking for me to help them with their CVs. I also put it on Instagram where the same thing happened there.

Sometimes, trolls help boost business – by taking the high road and just being focused on doing a good job, we get ahead.

With this in mind, I wanted to write about three things to put on your CV that you probably haven’t considered.

Your personality type

I am an ENFJ (extroverted, intuitive, judging, turbulent). On 16 Personalities, they call this The Protagonist –

“Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, Protagonists take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.

That’s me to the ground, right? But actually, a year or so back I took the same test and got The Consul, who is caring and eager to help. I was in a job that was pinning me down and making me unhappy, and I was keen to keep my head down and do good in the small ways I could.

I think personality tests (especially 16 Personalities) are really useful tools in helping us see the bigger picture and planning where we’re going. If you’re a person who has taken one in the past, I urge you to take it again as it may have changed. I’m no longer the person who keeps their head down; I’m proud of the good work I do, and having worked under an amazing boss for the past few months, I’ve been able to bloom into a Protagonist.

So how can we use these personality tests in job hunting?

How well you do in a role isn’t just on whether you can or cannot do the job. It’s also about whether you fit into the team or not. I’ve been in a variety of workplaces, from Nintendo where people used earphones and tapped away (with the occasional breakout pun battle), to at 3aaa where it was very much lads’ culture with sexist jobs being flung about the room. Right now, I am part of an 11-strong team of remote workers who have to be strong and independent to get stuff done. I think more than a few of us are Protagonists.

By putting your personality type on your CV, you can give the reader a heads-up to how you work and whether you’d be a good fit for the team. If you’re a great fit but slightly lacking in skills, you might be able to get a boost over someone with the perfect skills but not quite the right personality.

Where to put it? I’d say to include it in your profile at the top.

Charts and graphics

Now, this one is quite controversial because by and large you should ONLY have text on your CV – because you can’t guarantee what this looks like on the other end, because it might end up Picasso through a database… for lots of reasons.

HOWEVER, if you’re in a really progressive field, using quantifiable, hot skills, I think graphs and charts are a great way to show at a glance what you can do (which is one of the key things you should aim for with your CV).

So, for example, if you speak 5 languages at different levels, you might do a bar graph to show how many years you’ve been practising/what levels you have in each language.

Or, if you know multiple coding languages you might do a pie chart to demonstrate your strongest skills. Remember to put a key to the side to show how you are measuring these things – don’t just leave a pie chart without explaining what it means!

Where to put them? In your skills section, below your profile.

Links to your social media

Many of us use social media as a place to unwind, say stupid things and tag our friends in memes. However, it can also be used to boost your career. I save Twitter and LinkedIn as strictly professional, and spend at least 30 minutes a day on either of those, engaging with people in my field and posting relevant content.

If you have a passion for the thing you do, and you’re putting in these extra hours to hone your craft then you should be shouting out about it. Many employers these days search for you on social media, so why not direct their attention to the parts you want to show them (such as your very professional Twitter feed) so they don’t end up where you would rather they didn’t (your 38 story-long Instagram rant about delayed trains).

Where to put them? Under your email address.

These three things are a little out there, but I feel you have to be a little out there to get seen for the best roles these days.

Will you be trying any of these out? Let me know in the comments!

cv tips


  1. Interesting comment about the social media. In my education program we are required to put together an e-portfolio using wix, or similar or a more education grounded platform popular here called eduportfolio and later include it on CVs and I am oh so so so very resistant. They say that it will be great to send to recruiters and principals but I just can’t see why soneone would bother scrolling through a website looking for information they want when they can just outright ask for whatever information they want from me. I also argue that an e-portfolio is inauthentic for me (and they are all about authenticity) since I lean into anti-technology in the classroom for a number of reasons.

    • I think the thing to keep in mind is that asking you would require getting in contact – more and more recruiters find new hires through social media as they can get a feel for you without even bothering you. Wix is a super easy platform – I’m sure you’ll be able to sell your strengths on there!

      • Ashley Bissonnette says

        True, but I still believe it’s an inefficient use of a recruiter’s time looking on websites. I suppose it’s something they can look to if they are unsure whether to call someone in for an interview or not.

  2. My linkedin profile is in my resume, but it’s also pretty much the same data as my resume. The biggest difference is that LinkedIn has job data going further back in time than the paper resume, since I usually cut things off at about ten years for the paper CV. My other social media gets nowhere close to my professional persona though. Twitter is for fluff and silliness, and Facebook is for keeping track of my family’s doings.

    I have a few personal policies where the Internet and my job are concerned:
    1) I never, ever, ever, ever, EVER friend my direct boss or my bosses’s boss, or anyone above me in the power structure on social media, and
    2) I ALWAYS refer to my current employer as Mr. Company on social media. You’ve seen this before, since I used it here and there on my blog over the years. And finally,
    3) I don’t talk crap about my employer on social media, naturally, because nothing is ever truly private and you never know when what you’ve said will be surfaced beyond your control.

    • I think those are really good rules. One of my current bosses is really lovely – it turns out we were at the same school together. I would love to be friends with her but I have the same rule as you. I’ve made the mistake before and it really went badly…

  3. I am finding that recruiters are responding in one or two months, as opposed to one or two weeks — partly due, I suspect, to the volume of resumes received, and possibly due to internal changes in the job description on the client side. (As a former in-house recruiter, I experienced this a few times.) What I have also done is contact a candidate we can’t use, but I know someone else might, and steer the candidate to that alternate job. They are always surprised I took the time to due so, and most grateful.

    • Charlotte says

      While I’m sympathetic to people hiring and the volume they get, I think there are enough systems out there that will allow for timely responses. Often people get nothing back at all. I think recruiters need to think about how they are presenting the company, and proactive recruiters like it sounds you are, are an asset to the company.

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