Making a CV stand out in this digital age

1310top.jpgThe jobs market has changed a lot in recent years: a) it’s worse and b) much of it is done online. So many of the old rules about making a good CV have gone out the window. Of course, the best thing is to have lots of great experience written up succintly, but there a few tips on presentation that could help with doing a CV in the 21st century.

It takes more than some nicely formatted printouts in this day and age. For a start,

There are always a few extreme examples… like the man you formatted his CV over a google maps page, or other people who bought up the google search terms for the names of the CEOs of companies that he wanted to work for, guessing they’d probably do a vanity google at some point:

1. Google is now your CV – make sure your name googles well. If you have a common name consider including your initials in the websites or profiles that you set up.

2. Linked-In: yes. It may be dull but it is useful, lots of people are on there, it has great google rankings.

3. Tidy up your Facebook: I don’t mean deleting anything, but just sit down with the privacy controls and take things you don’t want employers to see off public view. Common sense. I don’t think you should have to hide yourself from people who go out of their way to stalk you down and find drunk pictures that you’ve taken precautions to hide. I mean, then they’re the ones with the problem. But you should be relatively clean from a quick google.

4. Back to the CV itself, include links where relevant. You no longer need to explain what every organisation you have worked for does, when there are relevant links online, use them.

5. Keep it punchy. Just because there are no page limits on-screen, doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep to the page limit. Keeping it juicy and relevant is essential however long the

6. If Google is your CV… Twitter could be your employer. Well, not literally Twitter, but certainly one of the people on Twitter or even Facebook. Think of social media as an opportunity as well as a liability. These people are your contacts, your extended network, the people who might know someone who knows someone who might hire you.

7. Make your own website. If you have time, this isn’t too hard to do, and needn’t really cost that much using free software like wordpress. It shows you have a certain web-savvy and get-up-and-go. Obviously they will be more impressed in some professions than others, but if you keep it simple, informative and unassuming, it’s only going to be impressive.

8. Your personal brand. I hate to use that phrase but it keeps cropping up. Again, not relevant in all industries – you wouldn’t really care about your doctor having a personal brand, but having a certain authentic character across your various profiles and sites makes sense. Even if the different sites are showcasing different aspects to you. It doesn’t need to be squeaky clean, just authentic and professional in the right places, I think. It helps people get an instant sense of you who you are, whether they will like you and whether they would like to employ you.

Related: Yes people put drunk pictures on Facebook & what of it? Why the media needs to grow up..

Anna Leach

One thought on “Making a CV stand out in this digital age

  • Some very interesting points as to how employees have to be careful with their online footprint. Certainly there is an increasing awareness from candidates that they have to be careful what they post and to ensure that potential employers can not discriminate against them based on what they post online.

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