What's an online CV?
Next we need to consider what we mean by an online CV. In the past, CVs were typed or written on paper and delivered by post to employers. While this still happens, it is much rarer these days. The growing trend is to use digital technology to create, store, and advertise your CV.
How much technology should I put into my CV?
Digital technology offers you lots of great opportunities to make your CV stand out from the crowd, but you have to also consider that your CV must be appropriate for the job for which you’re applying. Let’s take this in stages:
A CV with a small amount of technological input. Here, you convert your offline (or paper) CV into an electronic document so that it can be sent as an email attachment. You might also consider adding a photograph, although some employers ask for this not to be done; it varies. You also make the changes suggested throughout this course and perhaps add a link or two and you’ve already made a significant difference to your job chances.
A CV with a medium amount of technological input. Here, you’ve gone beyond the Word document. You’ve added a photograph as well as links to articles you’ve published or to events in which you’ve been successful or to award ceremonies…the opportunities go on and on…
A CV with a high degree of technological input will have all of the above, but may also include, for example, a video personal statement and make use of QR code to draw attention to the CV or even a creative way of putting together the personal statement.
In terms of the design itself, here are two creative ways to inspire you and to show a graphic summary (resume) of your achievements. The first is an infographic; the other a flyer, but both of these would catch an employer’s attention.
By the end of the course, in addition to new technological elements, your completed CV will contain each of the headings below.
Headline and photograph (if allowed)
This part includes your name, address, telephone, e-mail or other relevant contact details. Make sure your name stands out from the CV. The heading becomes a hook that helps to gain the employer’s attention, so work hard to get this right. Remember also to check what the application guidelines tell you about including your photo or other personal details. Some employers prefer not to have any such information for equal opportunities purposes.
Some CVs provide a brief description of your current profile. This is a very important part of your CV. It’s an introductory paragraph designed to capture the employer’s attention to make them read on to find out more about you. It should contain a summary of your credentials (qualifications/experience relevant to the job) track record, and aspirations.
This is where you should explain your educational background. Remember to begin with your most recent or expected degree. List degrees, majors, institutions, and dates of completion (or expected date) in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Don’t go back any further in time than secondary school, no need to list primary school (or the equivalent in your country).
Here you can speak about your work experience. This part is often divided into several possible categories such as “Consulting,” “Management Experience,” “Research Experience,” “Teaching Experience,” or “Postdoctoral Work,” as well as many others, depending on your professional background. Reverse chronological order is again the rule.
This is again an optional part in your CV but don’t underestimate its value. Think about your voluntary work experience, organisations or professional groups to which you belong or have belonged, highlight anything that is relevant for a particular job. This part helps employers to understand your character, your involvement in society etc.
In this section talk about your future plans and how they will benefit the recruiter. Try and relate your career aspirations to the job on offer how they will benefit the company.
Now check your own CV.
What’s missing? What do you need to add? What are the advantages of including a photograph? What are the disadvantages?
Use the comments area to share your thoughts!
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