16 quirky things employers are looking for nowadays


When they’re looking for a new hire, employers might receive 50, 100, 200 or even more CVs to look through. Each CV might only be reviewed for a few seconds before it gets a yes or a no, so making it stand out from the crowd is essential. The standard CV blurb certainly isn’t going to cut it; and however good your academic grades are, that’s not necessarily going to be enough either. Employers are looking for something more.

Experience – think outside the box. If you don’t have work experience what do you have experience of that’s relevant to the role? How about:

1.Volunteering. This shows commitment, drive and an indication of the kind of things you’re interested in. What have you done within your volunteering roles that show creativity, teamwork, drive, or passion for a cause?

2.Team sports. Achievement in a team sport shows you can work well with others and have the drive to win!

3.Your online presence. Do you blog, have a Twitter account, or an online presence that shows skills like copywriting, design, or expertise in any particular topic? Include a link to it in your CV to show some practical examples of your work.


Creativity – A quirky CV can catch an employer’s attention. We especially like these:

4.Get noticed. This applicant literally got their foot in the door by sending a shoe through the post with their CV

5.Think outside the box. After spending his last £500 on a billboard ad, Adam received over 60 job offers

6.Use your skills to offer something different. This job seeker got the first job she applied for with her hand-sewn CV

7.Role reversal. And this guy built a website that let employers apply to employ him


Show your personality – Employers hire on character and attitude above skills. Show some personality in your CV and in the interview.

8.What do you like to do? Highlight any unusual hobbies or interests you have. This gives the employer more of a sense of who you are, and anything unusual will help to catch their attention, meaning more precious second are spent looking at your CV

9.Show you’ve got life experience. Talk about your travels, where you’ve been, what you did and what you learned. Experience of different cultures and places is a great thing and shows you’re interested in new experiences and adventures.

10.Speak in your own voice. CVs don’t need to be dull and standardised in the tone of voice you use, and letting your own voice shine through in the kind of language you use can set your CV apart (of course though, you need to also consider the tone of the company you’re applying to).


Show some style – Especially if you’re applying to creative jobs, show your style in your CV – for example…

11.How about an infographic CV?

12.Your very own brochure  

13.A  simple but beautiful CV

14.Or a visual timeline of your life achievements


Understand yourself – if you don’t understand what your drivers are, the kind of working environment and relationships that suit you, and what you’re aiming for in your career it’s going to be tough for employers to work out how you fit into their team. If you understand how you work best, and what you want in a role, you’ll look great to employers.

15.Understand how you work. How many times do you think recruiters have read that a candidate “works well alone and as part of a team.” It’s so clichéd, just forget it.

If, on the other hand, you know that your personality and aptitudes fit you to fulfil certain roles in a team (e.g. you’re great at detail tasks, or completing a job), it shows you’ve really thought about how you work, and helps employers to see where you’d fit in their team. If you can give examples to prove it, that’s even better.

16. Think long term. Most people at the start of their career don’t know what they want. Having an idea of the kind of career trajectory you want shows you’ve thought seriously about your future and that you’re motivated and ambitious.

Entrepreneurial businesses are, more often than not, looking for recruits who can grow with them as the business grows – the future leaders of the business.


But remember – quality counts. If you are not a designer and want to use some of the creative ideas, perhaps find a friend who is talented at design and offer to buy them a beer or bake them a cake in return for their help. If you do it yourself, make sure you get a fresh pair of eyes on the final result. Attention to detail and a good eye for design are a must for these things to work!

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 16.16.03

No Comments

Leave a Comment