In the age of peak creativity and competition, making your job application stand out is quite tough. We’re often told to think outside the box to get noticed, but that’s just vague, generic advice. It doesn’t answer the question of how to make a resume unique. However, Ankita Chawla, a graphic designer, social media influencer and content creator from Chandigarh, went beyond what one would call a “unique CV”. Instead of making a regular resume and listing her achievements, Ankita took a different route. She made another account on Instagram and the feed became her resume. She used her designing skills to create a memorable, impactful resume, and gave us some serious lessons in how to make a resume stand out.
We spoke to Ankita about why she chose such a different path, how to make a resume stand out and a lot more. Read on:
All About Eve: Why did you think of making a resume on Instagram?
Ankita Chawla: I believe that Instagram, as a social media platform and as a community for artists and creators, has come such a long way. It provides a conducive environment and a conducive audience for it to garner the right kind of attention. Luckily, it worked out for me. So, the idea struck me, like I had my eureka moment, during one of my lectures. I was going through my feed, still looking for a job, and I have to start working on my resume. Then I realised I could do something here. I wanted to reach out to my employers when they were looking for talent, I didn’t want to reach out to them when they were looking for an employee in their mailbox. I took this informal, casual route and it turned out to be really good.
AAE: How long did it take to create a resume like this?
AC: The resume took about 60 hours of designing. I remember while I was making it, I was stuck in one corner of my hostel, with my laptop, my music and a disgusting amount of coffee.
AAE: In 2019, how important do you think it is for your resume to look good?
AC: It’s 2019, is it important for your resume to look good? Yes, definitely. But is it the only thing that’s important for your resume? Definitely not. There are so many other factors that come into play. When you have your resume in front of your employer, the looks will definitely get their attention, but the content is what needs to get their interest.
Looking for a job? Read Ankita’s advice
AAE: When someone asks about your weaknesses in a professional environment, in 2019, what would you say? Do you think we’ve gone beyond cliches like “My weakness is that I’m a perfectionist”?
AC: This is a really tricky question. Because I know so many of them. But one of them would definitely have to be my self-critical nature. I would get into my own head and it would disrupt my entire creative process where my inner critique would just be like, “You know whatever you’re making is not that good.” And I would just think, “You know what? Maybe she’s right.” But in a professional environment, I also think that you have to be really diplomatic but also truthful. To the people around you, and most importantly, to yourself. If you’re trying to put out your weaknesses, I would suggest that you first write 10 of them. Be brutally honest with yourself. Also, when you’re telling your weakness to your employer, mention how you’re working on it, steps you’re taking to improve the same.
AAE: How did recruiters respond to your Instagram resume in the beginning? Did you get positive responses for your creativity?
AC: So, I got a really good response for my resume when I put it out initially. I think it would be a crime to not thank my friends who shared it the moment I put it out. So, thank you so much. And it honestly came as a surprise to me because I knew what I was putting out was a misfit, was something that was done differently, so it came along with a chance of failure. But the response turned out to be completely different, and I’m really glad it happened.
AAE: Finally, what advice would you give to young women looking for a job right now?
AC: My only advice to young women looking for jobs right now is keep reading, keep consuming content. Keeping yourself updated is so, so important. Make sure you stay relevant in terms of what industry you’re stepping into. Because that will decide the time for which you last in that very field. The second thing I would like to tell you is that literally no one – trust me, no one – can ever make you feel small or insignificant without your permission. So, if and when someone tries to do that, you stand right back up and tell them, “No, you’re not allowed to do this and I won’t let you do this.”
We hope you find the inspiration you’re looking for in Ankita Chawla’s story – a story which has just begun but what a beginning it has been. Check out Ankita’s Instagram resume here and her profile here.