How to be Creative with your CV in a Millennial Generation

Being part of the millennial generation myself, I know how hard and frustrating it is to find a suitable job you want to apply for, not to mention then writing the perfect CV to accompany it!

As the economic climate didn’t favour our generation well, we have to work even harder to achieve our dream careers, carving our own path, the way we want to do it. We are the most educated generation, not to mention the deepest in-debt for this education, and most of us, including myself, are probably still living at home with parents! Yet we are tech savvy, we like flexibility and we are ambitious to move up in our career, on average only staying with the same company for 2 years. Therefore regular updates of our CV’s are essential.

This month I expect lots of millennials have attended their graduation date and will be spending the foreseeable future writing and sending their CV’s to potential employers. It is important for your CV to stand out from the rest, it’s not just about what you say but how you say it, presentation is vital! By no means am I saying everyone should have an extreme ‘outside the box’ CV, but I am encouraging you to take the time and care into writing one that accurately reflects who you are, the more effort you put in to the creation of your CV the more likely employers are to read it.

So here are a few inspirational creative CVs to have a look at.

The Resume- Ale

js1024_Brennan GleasonBrennan Gleason definitely thought outside the box when he brewed his own ale and used it as a way of promoting himself. The outside box contains his CV while the bottles display a portfolio of his graphic design work.


 Embroidered CV

js1024_MELISSA WASHINFor all you textile creatives take a look at Melissa Washin’s embroidered CV. It may be time consuming but it is unique and demonstrates technical abilities in it’s design.


 Three-Dimensional CV

js1024_odgers3Dresume_frontweb1Why not be imaginative and original in your CV creation, have a look at this three-dimensional CV idea by Sarah Odgers. This is an innovative idea that will no doubt have a dramatic effect on its reader.

Presentation Pack

Pat Schlaich is a graphic designer that created a promotional piece that was a miniature portfolio with business card and CV. This idea is fun and interactive for the reader yet it is clear and demonstrates all relevant information.

js1024_Pat Schlaich cv Fold out Envelope

Zi-Huai Shen’s  CV is a beautifully presented piece of design work within itself, he works on the idea of presenting personal visual design qualities in the work of the CV so that the interviewer can understand easier and gain more insight into personal and design abilities.­

js1024_zi-huai shen cv

Another way of promoting yourself is via video. There are many examples of video CV’s online as well as many tutorials on how to make it as professional as possible.

Check out Graeme Anthony’s video to give you an idea.


Here are 10 Top Tips to think about when writing your CV

  1. Keep it short and sweet, ideally no more than two A4 pages
  2. Make it well-structured and well presented
  3. Keep it relevant to the job description
  4. Don’t list irrelevant work experience
  5. Include what skills you learnt in each job that you list
  6. Don’t include passive interests like watching TV, make it interesting and diverse
  7. Keep it error free!
  8. Be clear and precise don’t use extravagant fonts or background images
  9. For creative jobs – online portfolio or website is essential
  10. Positive language, concentrate on strengths and sell yourself well

js1600_scarlet opus edit We are a positive and confident generation ready to take on the world! Have the best CV and be the best at what you do!

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Decor + Design – The Highlights

It’s our last day in Melbourne at the Decor + Design show and if you’ve been following us on twitter then you’ll have seen the photos of our sell out seminar. It’s been a great trip but before we leave Australia I wanted to leave you with my pick of the best products in the best area of the show, and for me that was VIVID:

VIVID (Vibrant Visions in Design) is Australia’s longest running design competition for new and emerging designers.  This year at Decor + Design it showcased the work of over 80 innovative lighting & furniture designers (including students from the excellent Central Institute of Technology in Western Australia)  competing for a prize pool of $10,000.  In no particular order here are my favourites:

1. CLING LAMP by Megan Devenish-Krauth

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, WA –

Inspired by origami this beautifully executed wall light, made from the Australian tree species Spotted Gum, can be installed in groups but looked equally striking as a single wall light feature.  It genuinely did appear to be clinging to the wall, having paused for a moment before it continued to creep further towards the ceiling:

1 cling2. HEKSY PENDANT LIGHT by Daniel Giffin

These aluminium alloy lights had a stripped-back elegance that appealed to me.  They were designed to be hung in clusters and would most certainly make a stylish statement if hung en masse:

2 heksy3. CRACKED LOG PENDANT LIGHT by Duncan Meerding

Because a chunk of my trend seminar was dedicated to biophilia, our relationship with nature and natural materials, I was naturally drawn to these lights made from reclaimed timber.  They emitted a pleasing warm glow through the cracks of the logs and, although I resisted, I had an almost irresistable urge to touch the bark and physically connect with these simple but stunning lights.  Also check out Duncan’s STUMP cracked log table/stool design available in his shop:

3 cracked4. UNDERGROWTH PENDANT LIGHT by Jackson Turner

Student at RMIT –

This was a really stunning light on quite a large scale – I loved the contrast between the smooth gentle curve of the blackened aluminium dome and the carefully criss-crossed reclaimed Eucalyptus branches which were tucked underneath.  This light would look so good over a dining table:

4 UNDERGROWTH5. DIAGRID PENDANT LIGHT by Rowan Page, Marinos Drake & Ilya Fridman of Studio Batch

This talented trio were the winners of the Beacon Lighting Award (prize money of $5000). The ‘on demand’ design was 3D printed in nylon and then hand-dyed. The lights are created through computerised code which generates a unique form each time it’s printed. Their printed lights will be available to purchase via their online store soon … but in the meantime why not buy yourself a piece of their very affordable and unique 3D printed jewellery (I’m LOVING the ‘Diamond Cage Ring‘).

5 diagrid6. THE TREEHOUSE by Ali Sattarpanah

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, VIC –

I LOVED this free standing piece!  It presented a bonsai plant, lighting and a small storage shelf on bamboo legs.  It takes inspiration from childhood treehouses – personal, secretive spaces. I liked that it combined a whimsical concept with an honest construction:

6 treehouse7. REYKJAVIK CABINET by Amy Perejuan-Capone

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, WA

Made from American Rock Maple, MDF, copper, brass and steel, this compact cabinet inspired by the capital of Iceland was full of character and getting lots of attention at the show.  Amy describes it as a place to “tuck away or display all your special little keepsakes.”  Perfect.

7 cabinet7. LUSTRE COFFEE TABLE by Alexandra Tyquin

Student at Swinburne University, VIC –

This laser cut and manually folded coffee table in American oak, steel and sapphire glass successfully showcased the beautiful grain of the timber on a faceted platform of futuristic gloss white steel:

8 lustreCongratulations to all of the finalists and winners of VIVID 2014.

I’m closing this post with my 5 takeaway memories of Melbourne:

  1. Cool city vibe – edgy, vibrant, accepting & welcoming.
  2. Queues around the block at H&M!
  3. The best/most unusual hotel room service delivery ever = hi-vis jackets, bottle of wine & taxi fare (thanks Annette!)
  4. Animal print.  Leopard.  Lots of.  No but really, what’s with all the leopard print ladies?
  5. The enthusiastic audience at our sell out seminar at Decor + Design.

Thanks for coming everyone!

seminar finalOur special thanks to the Decor + Design show team who looked after us so well and put on an excellent show; The Langham hotel in Melbourne; Natalie; Alex&Elle for the fab graffiti wall art; Lisa Green from Australian House & Garden; Harry the Greek!

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The Best of The Best Millennial Designers 2014

Last month I visited the Huddersfield University Textile Degree Show preview night; I still find it hard to believe that I was in the same position last year and now, one year on, I’ve returned to check out the new designers as part of the Scarlet Opus team!

There is always a diverse range of Surface Design, Textile Design and Textile Craft work on display that shows a variety of material manipulation, colour and pattern design.

The atmosphere was amazing as usual, all the students had worked extremely hard to display their work and create a fantastic space for the viewers to walk round. I want to congratulate all the students on receiving their results and I hope we see a lot more of these amazing designers in the future (some are exhibiting at New Designers).

Here are some of my faves…

Chloe Fisher

Such an interesting and delicate use of materials. I love the unusual shapes created, the intensity of colour and the detailed patterns.

js1600_Chloe_FisherDaniel Matthews

Beautiful innovative illusional digitally printed fabrics inspired by the art of paper weaving and London architecture. I would also like to congratulate Daniel on his success in the SDC International Design Competition.

js1600_Daniel_MatthewsHeidi Beesley

Woven fabric designed around the photography of everyday moments. I love the sophisticated colour palette and simplicity of the presentation.

js1600_Heidi_BeesleyNichola Duce

Love the concept, it’s unique and wonderfully presented. The intricate embroidery adds detail and originality to the product.

js1600_Nichola_DuceAmy Leigh Green

The Eclectic Vibes collection reflects a relaxed, hippie, bohemian style (How very on trend). With inspiration gathered from gypsy cultures which for centuries have fashioned themselves based on floral elements, folkloric patterns and jewellery.

Fantastic use of colour and bold patterns!


Fatima Hussain

I love the minimalistic architectural influence created within the structured weave. Simple but very effective.


Amy Price

Amazing presentation of printed fashion fabrics with beautiful photography.


Adriana Tavares

‘If you can draw it, you can tuft it’ is a collaborative community lead project. This project promotes the educational benefits of crafts. The project challenged the perception of rugs and revolutionised them by pushing the boundaries of shape, colour and aesthetic.

js1600_adriana_tavaresKimberley Harrington

This collection takes inspiration from the growing variations of street art throughout the colourful city of Berlin. A very bold use of bright colours, it’s exciting, energetic and the ‘organised chaos’ presentation makes it unique and inspirational.


Melissa Oswald

Surface design at its best, the colour and material combination create inspiring designs!



js1600_scarlet opus edit

Intense use of colour, disorderly pattern and precise themes define this year’s final shows.

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From Clicks to Bricks; why e-Tail is moving into Retail

Hi, I’m Laura the Trend Forecaster here at Scarlet Opus and I’m going to give you a little explanation about our hot topic ‘Clicks to Bricks’.

First of all, what does it mean? Well, ‘click to bricks’ is a term given to renowned online retailers moving into physical spaces on our high street. Traditionally it has been known for retail brands to succeed in store first before establishing an online presence however the growing trend of ‘clicks to bricks’ demonstrates that well-known online retailers are now becoming more experimental and toying with the two concepts of online and offline.

Creating a virtual presence before moving into a physical space is becoming a more recognisable transition; moving away from the web is not a step backwards but is about adapting to consumer needs. The brands that do create multiple channels of distribution are offering a variety of shopping experiences to suit individual consumer lifestyles.

A couple of examples of this movement include US online accessories brand Bauble Bar, online eyewear brand Warby Parker and online menswear retailers Bonobos.

These brands are less concerned with the traffic that ground level high street shops provide and more interested in the consumer experience, which can inform later decisions made regarding the future of the store.

No doubt you’ll all be familiar with the ongoing rise of the pop-up shop in recent years; which could be seen as another form of the ‘clicks to bricks’ model. This allows online retailers to ‘test the water’ before moving permanently into a physical space. This has been happening more and more as we see e-tailers take over high street stores on a short term basis or even set up their own physical space to attract consumers to take a look. With the majority of the products showcased online, small retail outlets can merely be a way of showcasing these products in real life, giving customers a chance to look and touch before they buy (showrooming).This is also a great way to boost the brand recognition.

Image courtesy of - Image courtesy of

Ebay pop up shop in Covent Garden London – Image courtesy of Ebay store in New York – Image courtesy of

We are also seeing retail brands moving into a more digital way of thinking and creating methods that mimic the online shopping experience. By blurring the lines between the digital online platform and the physical in store experience; retailers are creating a multichannel presence to expand the brand and enhance the consumer shopping experience. For example more brands are using digital services in store such as touchscreens, interactive displays and tools to enable customers to creatively customise their products, this offers a unique, quality experience to the customer, as well as making it convenient and hassle free for anybody to purchase the products.

The window below includes a huge touchscreen that’s ready to take your order and deliver your goods in less than an hour:

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Amazon locker installations are being set up in many densely populated locations around the world. For the urban dwellers it is a great way to collect items at a precise location rather than worry about deliveries being left unattended on the doorstep.

js1600_Amazon-LockerSo why is this happening you ask… well, online shopping is becoming easier than ever before with laptops, tablets and smart phones all at our fingertips, with one click to buy and one touch of a button is all you need to purchase items online however; consumers are in search of that unique shopping experience with that personalised touch.

Not only is it important to physically feel the connection with a product but also to have the personal customer service in store. Consumers want to touch, feel and engage before they buy, to be able to have the tactile aspect with the convenience of online options such as home delivery or collection while interaction with digital devices enrich the shopping experience.

The convenience of shopping from the comfort of your own home is obviously beneficial in many ways, particularly for those who work 9-to-5 or those without transport to reach shops and not forgetting those (like myself) who sometimes like to indulge in a late night ASOS shopping spree, yet to be able to physically see and feel what you’re buying adds a completely different dynamic to the whole experience.

js1600_scarlet opus edit‘Clicks to Bricks’ describes the online retailers that are setting up space in physical stores, these retailers are adapting to consumer needs by creating unique shopping experiences.

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How to Make Student Placements Mutually Beneficial

CBCatherine Burgess has left the building!

Those 48 weeks came and went all too quickly and we’ll miss her, she added a great ‘take on our business’ from a young persons viewpoint. We don’t think we’ve met anyone that could eat their way through a workload as fast, as efficiently always achieving an excellent result, as Catherine does. She will be an asset to any future employer, unless that is, she decides to start her own company. We’ve no doubt she would be successful.

Well, as I say Catherine is now headed back to her final year of study at Huddersfield Uni’s School of Design. But in logging into the ‘backroom of our blog’ I see she even had time to leave us her thoughts about the past 48 weeks and having read them I think  they’re worth sharing with you………………….

“At the end of my placement year at Scarlet Opus, during the third year of studying Surface Design for Fashion and Interiors at the University of Huddersfield,  I’m writing to evaluate the benefits of taking a year out of university to undertake work experience – a ‘sandwich year’ and to leave a surprise blog for Victoria & Phil!

Huddersfield University’s option of taking a placement year always appealed to me– when I started the course I wasn’t sure if I’d definitely take it, but as I got further into my studies, I began to realise that university alone wouldn’t realistically prepare me for the world of work; it would simply develop my academic and creative potential.

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In my experience at university, you develop your skills in your chosen practise, e.g. printed textiles, through advice and feedback based on your academic or design work, but you’re not given much guidance (if any) as to how to put these skills into practise in a real-life, working situation. It is all quite ‘conceptual’.  I wanted to take on a work placement to discover first-hand how my skills could be put to use, and develop these to make sure I was industry-ready.

CatherineJadeBurgess attacks the biscuits!A strong work-ethic is extremely important in getting to where you want to be. You do need to be hard-working and have willing in order to embark on a potential future career in such a competitive industry.  I’ve always had part-time jobs around my studies, although not relevant experience, I feel that this is definitely an advantage in preparing for the year.

A benefit of my course is the range of sponsored design briefs we’re set as part of our design modules.  Designing for a company helps you to think more commercially and professionally, whilst still having to add your personal touch in order for your work to stand out. Having to design for a specific market, maybe for a certain season, with tight design specifications and to set deadlines is hugely beneficial, and should be set more often and be available to more courses. However, I’ve always felt that during these assignments, we’re treated as students, rather than ‘future designers’.

A big benefit of taking a placement year, I’ve found, is that your eyes are opened to the whole range of career paths that exist within the industry. I’ve always been open to trying new things, I didn’t want to restrict myself to the single option of being ‘A Designer’ – University might prepare me for being a great Surface Designer, but what else? I wanted to know what else was available to me, and I feel that all students should do. 

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Image from

Trend Forecasting is a topic that I experienced at the start of my degree, and has been of interest to me ever since – the opportunity to complete a placement in this field was therefore extremely appealing to me as I felt that there was a great potential to learn so much more about a subject I was interested in.

I had originally considered the idea of taking on numerous short-term placements within the year so as to gain as many different experiences as possible, however, on reflection I have discovered that you need a decent amount of time at a single company in order to really make the most of it, and actually develop your skills and fulfil your potential whilst there. I’ve had a wide range of opportunities at Scarlet Opus that I would not have had if I’d been continuously stopping and starting at different places for a couple of weeks at a time. I now feel that a placement shouldn’t be viewed as ‘just be something to add to your CV’ and you shouldn’t simply accept the first thing you’ve been offered without evaluating whether it’s right for you.

Image from

Image from

It is increasingly disappointing to hear about companies that hire placement students simply to do the jobs that ‘they’ don’t want to do, and end up not treating the student as a valuable member of the team.  I feel that university staff should have a duty to assess this, they should be more involved in individual sandwich year cases to make sure that all students are continuing to benefit from taking the decision to undergo a placement.

It’s fair to say, however, that if you have industry references and a placement year of experience compared to no experience of working in your relevant industry, you are definitely more employable and more likely to be considered for a position in such a hugely competitive jobs market. A placement year gives a better understanding of what’s expected of you when you graduate (even the little things like making the most of 9-5 hours compared to long uni lie-ins!) and develops a whole range of skills including personal confidence and initiative, time management, organisation and efficiency as well as technical and practical skills in your chosen practice (e.g. using software at a more advanced level).

A placement year will give you the opportunity to speak to, and gain invaluable feedback and advice from people at different levels within the workplace and make contacts whilst improving interpersonal and communication skills. Even the process of applying for placements and internships was valuable – I feel more confident after creating a successful CV, completing application forms, writing covering letters and attending interviews that I’ll be ready to apply for jobs as a graduate.

Importantly & unexpectedly, a year away from University made me evaluate my first and second years; to really think about final year design projects and my dissertation. I feel that I will go into my final year with a greater understanding and focus on what I want to do, whilst having the experience to pull it off. Although a placement is a year completely away from university, your degree still needs to be on your mind – I’ve been thinking about my dissertation based on things I’ve learnt this year, whilst taking time to design, draw and make in my spare time as it was something I used to do on a daily basis.

Generally, students that have completed a placement year, achieve more highly in their final year – I think that this is due to an awareness of the opportunities that are available after university and expectations of graduates.  Therefore, there’s an increased motivation to grab said opportunities. I’ll also be able to directly apply skills I’ve learnt during my time at Scarlet Opus to my final year studies – from my knowledge of the trend forecasting process, to my improved eye for colour and composition.

ynpn.orgI look back at pieces of my university work so far, and can’t help but be critical based on things that I’ve learnt at Scarlet Opus in the world of Trend Forecasting – I’m enthusiastic about taking on my final year with a fresh, new, more professional and industry-ready approach. I would definitely recommend taking the opportunity of a sandwich year to students .

Be willing to put in the effort, try new things, and make the most of the year that will ultimately prepare you for life after university.”

And we would definitely recommend that small business take the opportunity to host a placement year under-grad; it will we assure you be a mutually beneficial year as long as you let them work and contribute as you do any other team member.

We’d love to hear what your experience in this area is, or what you think of Catherine’s review – so please feel free to comment.

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