The New CV - Is Paper Alone Enough?

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Recruitment agents are increasingly trolling LinkedIn. Hiring managers often check your online presence before they commit to hiring you.  When social media is well and truly dominating the world, is a paper CV alone enough?
The short answer is no.
But that’s too simple. The extent to which your online presence could be an asset depends very much on the industry.
First the obvious, yet often forgotten truth: Negative online presence is bad.
If your Facebook profile is viewable to public, make sure it’s not full of drunken pictures of you, or weird fetishes you may like to indulge in. If you like to rant and rave about things, don’t do it on the internet. Anything with your name against it is a potential problem. And everything that goes on the internet stays on the internet, so be mindful of that.
Now, let’s talk more about electronic CV.
What is an electronic CV?
This could be either literally an electronic CV – same as what you have on paper, except on the internet – or it could be so much more.
It could be

  • a website that details your work and reflects your professional side
  • an extensive portfolio of your actual work including samples of projects you’ve completed, feedback from previous clients or employers
  • your electronic presence, including profiles on social media, your contributions to any online content sites or forums and your website
  • it could be a culmination of all of the above
Do you need an online CV?
Consider your industry
Are you in an industry that is modern, forward-looking and takes full advantage of the digital age? Or are you in an industry where things work exactly as they did ten years ago, and half of your company doesn’t have LinkedIn profiles?
The industry you want to have a successful career in will define the standards your online CV needs. It doesn’t mean you can’t go above and beyond. But it does show how much effort is required.
For example, if you want to be a writer, or an advertising executive, online presence is essential. You need to show off your skill, your portfolio of work, and your ability to connect with people. If on the other hand, you want a career in old-fashioned manufacturing, online presence becomes less important.
Consider your target audience
Who are you trying to approach or impress? Contrary to popular belief, online CVs are not just for finding the next job, or an upwards career move. They could be so much more. An online CV could be a platform from where you advertise your personal brand. Not just as an employee, but as a person.
It could be a way for you to make connections within your industry, whether it’s for career moves or to simply share knowledge, and learn from others. It could also be a way for you to find other avenues of income, and advancement.
Maybe you know a lot about how to implement best manufacturing procedures. You can upload a video of yourself talking about it, or delivering a presentation, and advertise yourself as available for speaking gigs. Or maybe you want to show a potential agent that you know how to market your book; you can show that by your current social media presence, by your connection with your audience, and your contributions to the industry.
Being Traditional versus Being Creative
If you are in a traditional industry, you will need to have an old-fashioned paper CV. There is no getting away from it. Being traditional may get you the job. But that’s the extent of it.
If you want to take full advantage of the digital age, no matter what your industry, create your online presence.  In today’s world, a positive and proactive online CV will always be an advantage. You don’t know where your career will end up in a few years, but having an established presence – one that takes years to achieve – helps you set up your personal brand.
You will be able to show potential employers, clients and colleagues that you not only do the job, but participate actively within your industry, and are proactive and passionate enough to do so on your own time.
Is your online presence good enough to show off as an online CV? Tell us in the comments below.

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The New CV - Is Paper Alone Enough?

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