I’ve found myself pondering recently on how long it would be before we no longer needed to create a “standard” CV. Over the last few weeks, I’ve attended several seminars and a course where developing a professional online presence has been mentioned and with so many different ways to promote ourselves online I couldn’t help but think why do we still need what seems to be now such a one-dimensional way of presenting our skills and experience.
A quick and not very scientific check of all the vacancies posted on the USW Careers jobsite showed that last year around 37% of employers requested a CV as a way to apply for their graduate job and with a month to go, this year it’s 34%. In 2011 it was 47%. Is that higher or lower than you would have guessed? For me, it’s actually a bit higher than I thought it would be. When I looked at who asked for a CV in 2014, I expected to see just small local organisations, but no, there were some large national ones among them. And I thought I would at least find a few employers asking for a link to, say, a Linkedin profile, nope, then again I didn’t spend a lot of time on this and I may have come across one or two if I had.
So for the time being there is still a need to create a CV. Even so, a standard CV is no longer sufficient. The speakers at the seminars I recently attended recounted several tales of candidates being rejected after being researched online and an HR friend of mine said that some social media was a bane for HR advisors. Now, don’t all go rushing off and hiding your social media accounts, as no presence at all can be equally as damaging. Employers say they are looking for candidates with the right “cultural fit” and in a recent study it cited that 50% of the employers said that they’d been positively attracted to a candidate because of good things they’d read about them on social networks.
It’s about bearing in mind that someone other than your mates maybe looking and adjusting accordingly. There are definitely things you post on your social media that can speak volumes about you – in a good way – and these things can complement a well-constructed professional profile.
So here’s some of the advice I’ve heard recently…
- Think about a long term strategy
- find a voice
- make a network
- help and share don’t just ask
- communicate with people not the logo
- work out your values
- join networking groups
- follow employers you would like to work for
- think keywords for profiles
- get recommendations
- and be a contributor
Check your own social media profiles using http://reppler.com. This will highlight any inappropriate content, and show you what aspects of your information are publicly available.
92% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in the hiring process – a study by Jobvite (pdf)
If you want to think more about how the line between public and private information has blurred, take a look at this thought-provoking TEDtalk by Alessandro Acquisti. He also talks about current research using photos to find information available online. Perhaps the future will be that we will only need to send a photo to apply for a job and I’m sure there will be an app for that! Now where’s that pen for the handwritten covering letter.
Sharon (USW Careers)