Careers Coach: The Online CV
Social media and websites such as LinkedIn are taking over the recruitment market. As with anything new, the rules aren’t yet widely known and using them to your full advantage can be tough. Soraya Pugh, Head of Graduate Recruitment at FreshMinds, tells us how to make the most of an online CV.
Online CVs, such as those on LinkedIn, need to be even more succinct than a print CV. On average, employers spend 60 seconds looking over a print CV, and even less time looking at an online profile, so it’s important to make yours stand out by using relevant hooks so that the reviewer wants to know more. Bear in mind that an online CV is more open than a print CV and future employers may get in touch with your contacts for references – so always think about privacy settings and who you add.
On the plus side, online CVs are much more flexible than print CVs. They are interactive and can be constantly updated, a feature graduates should use to their advantage. You can join groups, follow companies, link to your Twitter account or keep your profile fresh with relevant status updates. I’ve even seen video CVs, which are perfect for giving employers a snapshot of your personality, as long as you look smart, neat and professional.
Unlike print CVs, which only include the names and contact details of referees, on LinkedIn you can include recommendations to sell yourself further. Make use of this feature by getting credible business professionals, mentors or alumni networks to recommend you.
However, employers don’t like mixed messages; too much information can detract from key skills. Keep the content succinct and don’t try to sell yourself too strongly, as this can put employers off. And it goes without saying that, as with print CVs, spelling mistakes and bad grammar on an online CV are still a no-go with employers.