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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A digital CV sends a positive signal

I was just reading a ReadWriteWeb post about rebooting CVs to bring them up to date for today's market and it chimed with me.

I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to see journalists move to using online CVs, especially if it links to evidence of their digital citizenry - blog, published stories, pictures, videos, social bookmarks, social networks and so on.

If I were hiring right now, I'd certainly rate someone who sent a digital CV. CBWorkSpace seems a perfectly useful site for presenting a CV simply and easily. And if you have video gear and are confident of your presenting abilities you might want to try CB Video Resume. The ReadWriteWeb post has a couple of other suggestions too.

I've started including links in my email signature to my blog and profile/career summary on Naymz and LinkedIn, as a point of reference for people 'meeting' me for the first time. Just last week I pitched for a job and found that providing a link to my LinkedIn career summary was enough background information to satisfy the client (we also met in person).

That said, it's important to have a good paper CV too and make both digital and paper versions available. After all, there are a fair few editors around who aren't too comfortable yet in the digital world (she said, rather understatedly).

If you do send a paper CV by email, make sure you save it as a pdf first - you never know how a Word document is going to print out and it could get altered when it's opened.

Final tip: when you get the pdf ready, you might also want to add hyperlinks for your email address, websites, online stories and blog address so your prospective employer can click through from the pdf when they open it.


Mark Ansell said...

Great blog. I've always wondered whether it'd be worth having a digital CV.

I did think of converting my CV in Word to a PDF but didn't because I know not all computers have software that can read PDFs. What do you think?

Julie Starr said...

Hi Mark,

Computers now come standard with pdf readers and they'd be standard in any corporate environment too.

Also, it's free and quick to download the Adobe reader so I can't think of any reason why a prospective employer wouldn't be able to open a pdf.

Anyone else got any thoughts on that?

I'd be inclined to send the pdf and include a note in the email suggesting if they have trouble opening it to get back to you, and maybe including the link to the free Adobe download.

I suppose if you know the guy who's going to read it is a Luddite, you could choose to send the Word doc instead (and make sure you save it in a pre-2007format in case they don't have Office 2007). Or you could send both formats.