After several unique life experiences motivated by your thirst for adventure and passion to discover the world, you find yourself in the employment marketplace with an “atypical” CV. But is this an obstacle or a driving force in your job hunt? If your profile is out of the ordinary, recruiters tend to be a bit suspicious, thinking that you’ll never be able to get back on the “right” track. So what can you do to make your unconventional profile work in your favour?

Use your unique background as the major selling point of your CV; draw on this experience and all other available resources for the position you are seeking. Above all else, be open and honest rather than trying to hide.

Even if you weren’t a bona fide globetrotter during your unemployment days, learn to say that this time of your life was rich in experience.

You could seem to be peculiar simply because your career path doesn’t correspond to a company’s expectations. However, this same CV could seem very attractive to a company seeking someone with an eclectic range of experience.

Interviewing an atypical candidate requires a lot of energy from recruiters in order to understand what’s really behind the candidate’s CV, and it also demands more curiosity, comprehension, tolerance, etc.

Even if you weren’t a bona fide globetrotter during your unemployment days, learn to say that this time of your life was rich in experience

So make their lives easier by highlighting the qualities directly linked to your career path! For example, if you’ve travelled a lot, then you can say you are open-minded, adaptable, multilingual, and capable of working in a multi-cultural environment. If you’ve undertaken a large number of short-term positions, you are curious and are quick to adapt to new environments and make a fresh start. Finally, if there are gaps in your CV, you should promote the value of the experiences gained during these periods.  This could even be the selling feature of your CV, or the foot in the door that shows the recruiter that, actually, you do have a more traditional set of experiences in addition to the atypical ones.

The recruiter brought you in for an interview because they were intrigued by you and your unusual CV; they want to know more. Therefore, it’s essential to have a unifying theme to assist HR in reading it. Without this, the CV might seem too vague or difficult to understand and impede your recruitment.

I’m seeing more and more atypical profiles of candidates less than 25 years old without experience, candidates older than 45 undergoing a 180° career change, expatriates, polyglots without qualifications…the list goes on! While each one is unique with their own particular attributes, their CV must closely match their job search. This is the principle of a good sales pitch; how do you sell something which may not seem useful?  It’s your experience, your CV, so who better than you to find the right arguments.

And who knows, maybe the person recruiting you has an atypical profile as well!


[Ebook] Is Culture the Holy Grail of Experience at Work?