A CV with difference

One of the joys of blogging and following others’ blogs is the unexpected inspiration you receive when you least expect it.

This morning in my inbox was an article from David Kanigan, whose Live and Learn blog I heartily recommend, as he has this effect on me regularly.  He had created a list of things that make him happy, each of them one letter longer than the previous.

It’s such a simple idea, and yet so telling.  This list of 30 or so items gives an insight into David as a person that you would never get from reading his CV.

It strikes me that this could become a new template for job applications.  Instead of the usual 2 page set of boring achievements and overblown jargon- ridden personal statements, we could require applicants to fill in something along these lines.  .

Perhaps we might call it a “Love tree CV”?

It gives an insight into personal values, beliefs and preferences, which as we all know are far better indicators of likely job performance than previous achievements.  It’s informal and therefore more revealing.  You could even interview someone using this as a structure.

“Tell more, Michael, about what Cathedrals mean to you.”  Straight to the heart of it:  what going away to be a full time boarder at choir school at the age of 8 meant to me.

Who not also use it to help build relationships within a team?  Have everyone share theirs and let people ask each other questions about it.

I had great fun doing mine.  I allowed myself 30 minutes only.  Would have liked longer to tinker with different fonts, colour maybe.  Here it is:








J S Bach


Pink Floyd



Vintage Port


Greek Islands

Inspector Morse

Adnams’ Broadside

Westminster Abbey

Roast Beef for lunch

Dartmoor granite walls

Roaring logs fires in pubs

Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton

Kingfishers on the River Teign

Lagavulin in a crystal glass tumbler

Winter Evensong in St Paul’s Cathedral


I’d love to see yours.  Please share!

Note:  the L at the top of the tree stands for Learning.

About Michael Brown Training

I'm a business skills trainer, facilitator and coach. I've been helping people to learn for 16 years, working all around the world on topics such as Negotiation, Conflict Handling, Sales, Leadership, Consulting and Personal Effectiveness. I'm an ENFP, constantly looking for new and inspiring things to do. I love my job for its variety and the stimulation I get from it, and spend most of my time seeing how far we can go with the subjects we work on in the training room. I've recently started a new venture in making video on how NOT to do things, which you can find at www.hownot2.com
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11 Responses to A CV with difference

  1. £
    My wife
    Open fires
    Good writing
    Being healthy
    Cold champagne
    Thelma & Louise
    Coloured pencils
    Being independent
    Seeing old friends
    Single malt whiskey
    A tall gin and tonic
    Spending time in Rome
    Solving a hard problem
    Hiking in the mountains
    Sunshine on my shoulders
    Being told I’m appreciated

    James Robertson


  2. lifestylemavens says:

    Loved your list, funny how just a few short phrases can unlock so many insights. Shared on LinkedIn. Vicki


  3. What a GREAT list. Like the L. I could have used that too to kick mine off. Creative start.

    Dartmoor granite walls. Don’t know anything about these walls. So I google it (http://www.devon.gov.uk/geo-dartmoorgranite.pdf) and I get it!

    Thanks for joining me in this exercise Michael. Great fun.


    • It WAS great fun David. A friend of mine told me that my list shows I am a lazy alcoholic pompous bore. Which to my mind proves the effectiveness of the tool! Got me in one.

      Glad you have now been educated in what Dartmoor granite walls are all about!

      I was thinking, even better to make the shape of a tree if one started in the centre of the page and the idea was to produce a Christmas tree shape?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. spen says:

    Fab – love it – reminds me of “6 word stories” which is also fun to use to get people talking in a novel way or even as a novel way of reviewing a workshop – I’ll do mine tonight – thanks Mike


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