What fresh grads can learn from Barbie's CV
Body proportions aside, Barbie is a proper career woman. Source: AFP/Matthieu Alexandre

Barbie is hardly the first person to go to for career advice. But for all her unrealistic body proportions and lack of diversity, her back story makes for one impressive résumé. The famous doll has proudly held 72 careers throughout her lifetime. From cheerleader to astronaut and even the President of the US, she’s done it all. Total earnings thus far? A staggering US$45,267,107.

But all these achievements are lost on her future employers if not properly represented in her CV.

A mock-up copy of Barbie’s CV, provided by Silver Swan Recruitment, gives us an idea of how this is done. Here are five things we like most about her CV:

Barbie's CV

Source: Silver Swan Recruitment

1. It doesn’t try to include everything

All success stories, big or small, deserve to be celebrated – but do it elsewhere, not on your CV. It should be an exercise in restraint, like Barbie’s CV above. The woman may have had 72 jobs but she’s picked only the five most important ones. Save the rest of victories for the interview.

2. It’s all on one page

Everything feats neatly onto one page, which translates to easy handling by recruiters during interviews. There are clear sections discussing all the required information: education, volunteer experience, key skills and references. Recruiters don’t want to be hunting for this information – by providing it to them in this manner, they don’t miss out on the things that make you the best candidate.

3. Only big picture responsibilities

See that part below each position? That’s where you describe your duties. There is no doubt Barbie logged in thousands of hours in each role, but she focused only on those she’s most proud of. No need for 20 sentences for each position – stick to five most impactful ones instead.

4. It’s visually appealing

Aesthetics matter. It doesn’t need to look like a piece of art (though for design roles, that may be necessary) but it has to be easy to read. Barbie has coloured lines to divide each section clearly (but not too much – moderation is key). The font is neither too large or small.  Paragraphs are equally-sized. Margins are perfectly aligned, showing recruiters attention to detail.

5. It presents the right keywords

Many large organisations use applicant tracking systems (ATS), which are essentially robots to help HR filter the deluge of job applications they receive daily. The ATS will usually select the CVs with the key phrases and contextual information related to the job scope. Barbie’s skills and job description for Game Developer has just the right amount of verb phrases and skills to capture ATS without it turning non-sensical from a barrage of keywords.

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