Is Your CV an Asset or Liability?

It goes without saying the CV is a vital tool when it comes to searching for a new job. Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Directors, Business Leaders and even CEO’s are at some point in the hiring process going to come into contact with your CV which could influence whether you stay in the process or end up on the rejected pile. So why is it that some CV’s are seen as an asset and others a liability?

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Latin for course of life and I think some candidates take this too literally. Listing every job and the associated daily tasks is a common practice, but it does a poor job of selling a candidate to the Recruiter, Hiring Manager, Sales Director or anyone else who’s first impression of a candidate is the CV not the person. Regardless of the type of role you are applying for a CV needs to sell not tell.

Does the CV format need to change? Is there a better way of pitching your skills, experience and qualification to prospective employers? What about using video, photo’s and social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Infographics? The CV has changed little in the last 20 years, the majority of candidates opt for a chronological format, 2-3 pages and no photo. I conducted a LinkedIn Poll asking people to vote on their preferred format and as you can see from the results below, out of 202 votes almost 50% chose chronological as their preferred CV format when applying for jobs.

Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that this poll in anyway implies one format is better than another, there are a number of factors to consider besides format before submitting a CV such as: type of role, seniority and the channel you are applying through. There is also no shortage of CV templates to choose from; type Free CV template into Google search and you get 2,800,000 hits. What I think a lot of candidates find challenging is selling themselves and relating their skills and experiences to the role they are applying for, not the format.

Would incorporating video, multimedia, images into your CV make it easier for candidates to stand out and sell themselves or help employers select the best candidates? I think we’ll start to see more integration between our online and off-line profiles as the CV morphs and evolves into a digital experience. This is already happening as candidates include links to their social media profiles such as LinkedIn on their CV’s and post video resumes on YouTube. There will be a number of Platforms like ResumeTube to assist candidates in producing video resumes and applications like LaunchPad which use video interviews to screen out candidates. However, content and how you connect your skills and experience to the role you are applying for will remain the deciding factor in whether your CV is an asset or liability.





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