My oldest daughter has nearly finished her schooling and is looking for some summer work. In the first job that she applied for, they asked for her CV, her resume. She came to me and asked me how she should put it together, and so, we went and looked at some examples of some current CV’s.
CV’s have always been a fairly boring document. Listing who you are, some biographical information, all of your schooling experiences, all of your skills and some references – stapled together in the corner and sent off to our future employer. That future employer has hundreds of those documents on his or her desk and yours can easily get lost.
The future of CV’s is not just about putting your CV on a different type of paper or writing it upside down. (Some people are being quite creative about this.) I believe that the future of the CV is a mind set shift to thinking about building your profile.
There are two ways in which we need to build a profile differently today.
The first is you need to do it online. Maybe LinkedIn is the place to do this. I think a wonderful CV of the future might literally be just a cover page with your name, maybe a photograph to get attention and then just a link to your LinkedIn profile, nothing else.
I realize that one or two employers might feel that this is a little bit presumptuous and might not want to take the time to go online but I think something like that would stand out from the crowd and would set you up for at least the employer looking at your profile and not dismissing it.
The second thing that I think we need is actually looking what is in the profile. You see if you’re building a LinkedIn profile, or some kind of website . Don’t just in the about section. Don’t just list what you’ve done. That’s typically what the CV is— what languages you speak, where did you to school, what did you study at university and so forth.
Rather tell us who you are and what value you add. If you’ve done a personality profile, put that front and centre. If you’re applying for a particular job, then show the company that you know something about the company. Show them why your particular set of skills, your personality profile, or set of characteristics is going to be a good fit in that company.
We can’t have a one size fit-all profile document anymore. We need to customize for each job that we apply for, for each situation that we go into. We can also no longer just throw up the sets of generics skills or even worse than that, a set of generic activities that we have done in the past.
No, we need to give future employers insight into who we are, into what we are passionate about, into what we believe our value add is. We need to profile that in our profiles.
Whether you do it on paper or online, I think we need to change our mind about what information employers are using to decide whether they want to employ us or not.
(Just to be safe, you might want to put the old CV information as an addendum right at the back or maybe make it available somewhere on you website, just in case that is what old school employer is looking for.)
The future of CV’s, I think, is very different.