The CV and Personal Branding Consistency
What else can be written about the trusty CV that hasn’t already been said? It’s been a career/job staple now for many years, but depending on what articles you read, there seems to be a movement toward cloud based options (storing your data remotely at online platforms). So, is the CV dead? What uses should you put it to in the technological “noughties”?
Personal Touches Still Count
My take on this is that the CV isn’t dead, not yet. Personal touches are an often forgotten factor. If proximity allows, imagine the difference it could make by handing your CV, with covering letter if appropriate, personally to the relevant recruiter or HR contact for the position to which you’re applying? Personal touches like that are rare, and it’s all about standing out from the crowd isn’t it? This elevates your personal brand – “you” – above the average applicant. Companies and recruiters will definitely want to “look you up” online, so take care to check and double check – including spellings and grammar.
One thing that’s certain is that consistency across multiple platforms is a major factor to consider. Take social media; LinkedIn is growing massively (100 million plus users and growing), so ensure that if you upload your CV that you maintain it, and ensure any factors you’ve majored on in your profile (hope you’re using key words in your LinkedIn summary?!) are mirrored in your CV. It’s become more of a personal branding (the buzz phrase) issue I feel, and simply put, it all revolves around making sure that all of the elements of “brand you” are aligned.
It’s also about being innovative. I’d avoid using words like innovative!! (in your CV & online presence anyway). Think instead about describing in a bit more detail how you managed e.g. certain projects, what key skills you used, as – joking aside – words like “innovative” are too generic to be able to differentiate you, and differentiation is what you’re trying to achieve, isn’t it? Some applicants have recorded YouTube videos to support their applications!
Recruiters Playing Catch Up
But perhaps recruiters are playing catch up too? The most often initial request is to “submit your CV” to apply for a particular vacancy, so we have to assume that as well as looking you up on social media, the initial sifting process will be carried out by using the CV, at least for now.
This is such a difficult one to call. The “CV” as an institution, has been around for longer than anyone reading this article. Change is happening though, and I foresee a time relatively soon where the accepted style of job application may be utterly revolutionised. Once one or two big recruiters start to use web-based solutions, others will follow. There will always need to be a CV of sorts of course, and perhaps the big point here is that it may become a virtual document, with clickable links, embedded video, and other visual tools. But don’t ditch that CV for now. I suggest to stay mindful and in tune with what’s happening in recruitment, and stay modestly active in a few LinkedIn groups, even when you’re in that new job.