Courage to a colourful​ Resume – Diversity instead of Chimney Career

Many companies put the topic “variety” also known as “diversity”, in their employer branding focus. However, even when looking at incoming CVs for advertised positions, the permissible diversity reaches its limits. The usual and most feared question a recruiter asks an applicant is “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” This question still means the K.O. criterion for most applicants today. Either the applicant is too modest, then he is accused of lacking goal or career orientation or he formulates his goals too ambitious, then he is classified as a show-off and “wannabe leader”.

A recruiter will not tick all the “MustHave boxeson his interview guide,

• if the applicant does not have a clear, structured and comprehensible presentation of his curriculum vitae
– there are gaps in his or her curriculum vitae
– has a jumpy CV with short stations and different focal points

These aspects do not correspond to the ideal requirements of a top candidate that every company is looking for. If one looks at the applicants’ side, it can be seen that 2 out of 3 applicants (67 percent) feel almost compelled to have straightforward CVs. More and more applicants do not have this CV, which only leads in one direction. They live and love the variety.

This is how diverse and colourful CVs are created

This already begins with the fact that young people aged 17 or 18 for the most part do not even know what they want to become professionally. On the one hand, this leads to the fact that they first work or travel after school. They hope to get then the “brilliant idea” for an education or an academic study program. On the other hand, many also plunge into a course of study, an education that quickly turns out not to be the right thing after all. In this phase they gain valuable and varied experience.

Older employees, on the other hand, are increasingly losing their jobs as a result of the increasing number of restructurings in companies. Due to the increasing degree of digitization, they have to reorient themselves even in old age. Reorientation also means gaining new experience and developing new skills. However, this can only be achieved if one leaves the beaten track and collects “diversity”.

The tailor-made CV

In line with the current practice, there is recruiting, which searches for candidates who meet the following criteria:

  • Master’s degree
  • Several years in the same sector or industry
  • Knowledge of industry competition
  • Independent processing and planning of 2-3 projects in the year
  • Access to potential customers
  • No sabbatical in the last 6 months
  • A curriculum vitae structured according to relevance and clearly arranged

But these characteristics are becoming increasingly rare due to economic changes and social developments. They are becoming an obsolete model. Diversity and individuality are being expressed more and more. Incoming CVs are still sorted out by applicants who for a number of months did not have a profession in the classical sense. Applicants who were in other countries or seemed to be “jobless”.

Lived diversity

Above all, students who “take the summer off” after completing their Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis in order to recover from the stressful learning phase are still viewed critically. The problem is that recruiters don’t even bother to get in touch with the person behind the application. But this can happen completely simply and with small temporal and financial expenditure with a video application. Here the company can comfortably ask about the motivation for the job, the experiences and skills acquired during the supposedly unemployed period. Inquire about how diversity was acquired.

Thus not only incomplete CVs are sorted out as unsuitable, but also candidates who, for example, have started finance studies but have not completed them. Subsequently, they may have completed a traineeship in a charitable environment followed by trip around the world to learn new cultures and languages. Such a curriculum vitae seems to recruiters to be aimless and unstable. The desired diversity goes beyond its limits. On closer inspection, this person should not only have know-how in controlling and distinctive “social skills”, but also intercultural competence and a broad perspective.

But watch out for recruiters! This often means that valuable resources are hastily disregarded. The contact with people who are excellent at dealing with changes and adapting to them is hastily broken off. These applicants are able to deal with challenging situations and develop new solutions.

The color matters

The colour matters

Moreover, the “monotonous” career development path (employee, team leader, division manager) is no longer attractive for many employees. People strive for a “valuable” job in which they can be involved not only with their intellect, but also with their heart. For example, industry experts assume that in 10 to 15 years people will have completed 10 to 20 different career stages in the course of their working lives.

The 2018 labour market has already changed. The average duration of employment with an employer is just 2 years. Many employees want to take a break from stressful times at work in order to discover new sides to themselves. They want to develop and live diversity. This is made possible not least by the fact that notice periods have become shorter, but also that vacancies are recaptured faster or are intended for outsourcing.

In this respect, the question arises: How colourful can a CV actually be? How diverse can it be without appearing headless? And above all, what must happen in the labour market so that a colourful CV finds more acceptance and entry via recruiting?

Tips for a convincing and colourful curriculum vitae

A colourful curriculum vitae with many different stations and interruptions must nevertheless be structured and informative. A recruiter must be able to trace the curriculum vitae within 5 seconds. Year numbers should be chronologically traceable, and the education be apparent. It is almost irrelevant whether the education matches the job selection. Applicants must be able to justify their decision for a “colorful” career path in either the application letter, the video application or the interview.

Courage to alternative representations of the abilities, which are related to desired task, the applicants should always have. However, they should show the strengths that they have developed from the various stations. Different colour tones, patterns, italic as well as underlined words or even photos still do not belong in a curriculum vitae. An application for a marketing task may of course be designed differently than an application for a position in finance and quality management. But also suggestions for solutions to challenges facing the company are welcome. This information necessary for it can be inferred from the media.


Recruiters have to rethink. They are challenged to adapt to complex and “colourful” CVs. To take a close look at the people behind the application and to check where their competence portfolio is most effective in the company. Applicants should work out their particular complex experiences and acquired competences with regard to the desired task. The concrete application reference must become clear thereby. Not to forget that the curriculum vitae should have a comprehensible structure, so that diversity can really find its way into companies.

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