Transforming your CV into a Mind Map

Writing or reading CVs is often a boring exercise, and you never know if a recruiter will clearly understand your main skills, experience, and how you fit for a role. I tried to use a different approach and transformed three pages of text into a Mind Map, and you can do the same.

I have seen many CVs (~100), different templates, and styles of writing. In many cases, it wasn't clear to me what those guys actually know, what level of experience he/she has, and in which areas can be a candidate strong.

One day I was working on a complex problem again, which typically starts with visualization of all components, their relations, dependencies, and requirements (a form of mind map), when one of my friends asked me to review his CV as he wanted to apply for a new job.

It was yet another boring CV, with unclear information about what skills he developed in his previous roles and what type of work can be interesting for him. Unfortunately, I didn't have any good examples of a CV to share, so I decided to transform my own CV into a mind map and share it with him as a template file to do the same. Something that you can do as well.

I hope this will help you to also better market yourself. Imagine recruiter having 50+ CV on his table/inbox/ATS. Many of them are full of text, boring, unclear, and suddenly he/she opens your mind map. Wouldn’t this be something that will make you different and possibly increase your chances for an interview? I believe it will be a clear sign that you did something extra, something on top and unconventional.

All materials which I will share here are under the CC-BY-SA license. It means you can do whatever you want to with them, but if you use it as a base for your own work, you need to publish it under the same license. Easy as that.

Here is an example of my CV Mind Map

Obviously, some information has been abstracted and removed from my CV (school, certificates, …). Feel free to add it, but my opinion is that it doesn't really matter where you have studied or how many certificates expired. You can also create a 3rd level object with further details about your skills, projects, and hobbies. Just don't overcomplicate your map too much.

As you can see, in terms of my professional career, it's clearly visible what was my career path, which company I worked for, for how long, and what is my current role. On the next side, we have professional skills/experience from multiple cybersecurity areas and how deep is my knowledge in each of those domains. For skill levels, I was using the scale from NIH (National Institute of Health) as I found it clearly defined compared to others like SFIA. 😑

Private projects and hobbies are, in my opinion, also important. I believe people should be doing what they like, and you can get an indication from this. Luckily my job is my hobby, but I know it’s not the case for many others. It's also helpful as a bucket of topics during an interview to explore areas that might relate to an open position.

Some of my connections on Linkedin said that this form of CV could not be handled by ATS (Applicant Tracking System), which is true. Other opinions might be that if ATS technology is good enough, we don't need to write a CV at all. 👍

Build your own Mind Map

You can download templates from Github (zip file).

  • Template in Diagrams.net format (.drawio) is easier to use for people not having experience with graphics editors <- recommended option.
    ** Visit diagrams.net and submit the “.drawio” file from Github via the web or download the application first and install it locally.
  • Template in SVG format (.svg) is a vector graphics format, and you can use free tools like Gravit Designer, Inkscape, or GIMP to import it.

For QR code generation, I used QRCode Monkey. You can find many others, but I found this one very powerful (and free).

I hope you like it! If so, please share this post. 🙏

Get connected: “Follow“ button is on the left, but you can reach me on Twitter or LinkedIn as well.

cybersecurity architect - interested in innovative technologies, bio/brain hacking, transhumanism, cyberpunk, blockchain, and deep learning. (Defensive.Network)

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