Does anyone still remember printing out paper CVs and posting to potential employers..? If you do, it was probably quite some time ago and since then things have moved on a great deal in the recruitment industry.
Most CVs are now shared electronically, but in a competitive talent market, standing out with a traditional CV alone gets more challenging every day. The ability to differentiate and brand yourself effectively could be what will land you an interview and ultimately your dream job. In addition, a typical 2 page A4 resume can be restrictive and doesn’t meet everyone’s needs.
These days we’re often told that ‘the CV is dead’, so how can you replace it?
Everyone is on social now (or they should be!). The professional networking site LinkedIn is the most common first point of contact with a potential employer. A LinkedIn profile is a versatile and dynamic way to showcase yourself. You can include qualifications, work experience, skills and recommendations. It’s also a good idea to use your profile to share presentations, projects or videos to provide as rich and compelling content as possible.
However, please bear in mind that recruiters and potential employers might check you out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other more personal social platforms too. Keep your posts and updates professional.
Joining and actively participating in specialist online groups and other business networks can be very beneficial for your career. By showcasing recent projects, group contributions and achievements you can demonstrate your skills and knowledge as well as enthusiasm and innovation. This will no doubt impress potential employers and boost your application.
For example, quality GitHub projects are likely viewed as supplemental evidence of coding ability and conversation pieces for interviews.
Video/ digital bios
Many companies now use video extensively in the recruitment process and encourage candidates to submit videos or digital bios instead of or in addition to traditional CVs and application forms. In a recent ICT careers campaign we made use of video very successfully and the hiring manager talked candidates through the job specification, which was also available in text format.
Furthermore, video platforms allow recruiters to see their candidates in an interview scenario, which enables them to make better judgements on who they progress and how to prep them. There could be significant time savings for everyone involved.
Do something disruptive…
Disruption may well be an overused buzzword, but in order to stand out from the crowd it could be worth trying something unusual. However, if you’re planning to do something unconventional, first ask yourself, ‘Does this help demonstrate my skills and experience?’ If the answer is no, then don’t. Whatever you put in your application should be relevant to the position at hand.
A great way to impress employers is to present some ideas such as improvements to websites or new products. Or why not send a link to something you’ve created such as an app or a game?
You can also make yourself the target and create a recruitment campaign that will make employers look for you. It worked for Andrew Horner, a young programmer who decided to stop looking for jobs and instead got employers to apply to him. His website, Reverse Job Application, achieved very favourable results and led to many applications as well as eventually a job offer.
In conclusion, the CV is perhaps not dead quite yet, but its days are definitely numbered!