Matching your CV to employer/profession
In the last step we looked at the five main forms of online CV:
- LinkedIn (or other online professional networking platform)
- QR code
- Interactive video
You need to consider all of these forms and decide on which one best suits the job for which you’re applying. A really creative and imaginative CV you might expect to submit for a creative and imaginative job in advertising might not be the best mode of delivery for a job with a firm of leading accountants.
All “digital resume” really means is that your CV is available online. Employers want to see that you’re web savvy enough to at least put your CV on the internet, because using a computer is pretty much essential in most companies these days. When it comes to creating an online CV, the only real limits are your imagination and skillset.
CVs are often read very quickly in three main phases — individuals compiling their lists of possibles; the panel pooling their list; and discussion of the list and final shortlisting. Each selector individually runs through all the candidates on a first look basis, trying to identify their personal picks as ‘probables’ and ‘possibles’. Once they have a more manageable long list (maybe 10 to 15 people) they will then spend more time on a detailed second look.
Key advantages of online CVs for you:
- Employers are looking you up, and you have a great opportunity to show off your best skills. An online CV puts your information at their fingertips at any hour of the day.
- Beyond showing off your impressive skill set, posting an online CV tells employers that you are Web savvy. Using a computer is virtually a “must” in today’s workplace. Not having a professional online presence could hurt your reputation in a job search. Play it safe and consider an online CV as yet another advantage in showing off your tech savvy business strategy to employers.
- You can link to your online CV from other websites, like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
- You’ll always have it with you.
Key advantages of online CVs for employers:
- Employers and recruiters can find and approach you, rather than limiting it to the other way around.
- Your resume will be available and working for you at any hour of the day.
- Prevents fraud. Checking the veracity of all claims made on CVs is time-consuming, costly and difficult.
Key challenges in getting your CV read:
- First, the traditional CV format is just dysfunctional — it actually almost completely masks what you’ve written. Unless the employers doing the choosing happen to have already met you, or to have read something you have written, how on earth can they tell from your brief details what you are like as a researcher or a writer? Or how good you actually are at writing? Or how easily and creatively you tackle writing tasks?
- Second, no one now, ever, prints out CVs until a very, very late stage of the appointment process — they’re meeting you tomorrow. In the crucial early stages where you have to survive ‘the cut’, all CVs and covering letters are now read onscreen.
The absolutely key thing is to make the initial long list of candidates and then to survive through to the final shortlist. And here’s where including technological elements in your CV can make a lot of difference. What selectors find so difficult is to see past the obscuring element of the CV to the person behind. Often their problem is to see the good in an applicant who has done themselves few favours in terms of a poorly organised CV stressing elements in their application that are not required in the job.
© University of Glasgow