The world of recruitment is fast moving and employers want to access candidate information quickly. Most employers will simply search online for information of potential candidates. Your digital footprint really counts, what information you put out or share online can create an instant impression for future employers.

So how do we stay relevant in the job market? The answer quite simply is to have a positive digital presence and to create a brand that employers want. These days your two dimensional word processed CV will form the basis of creating an online presence that will really take you in the premier league of the job market. Having a digital CV will become the smart phone of its era.

It is a truly a wonderful platform. Today there are many digital CV’s platforms to choose from and most of it is for free. Digital CV’s will optimise your personal profile and build your business brand allow you to communicate your value to potential employers, to build relationships and network for jobs and personal growth.

So how do you start? Well once you have a good word-processed CV, you need to consider what platform to use. There are few out there, such as LinkedIn and others like Not a CV, LinkedIn is a professional networking site, and Not a CV are digital CV’s that can also be used quite effectively to recruit. Both platforms allow content to be uploaded and shared.

Your personal brand is important, and the key messages of this brand needs to be interwoven into every aspect of your digital CV, you need to consider what this CV is telling others about you. From the pictures and video content you upload to the personal profile you create. Your personal information is important. We always connect with human beings before we connect with brands and logos. All this information needs to be in alignment. Your values, your beliefs and the messages you want to put out there are important. Your digital CV is a powerful tool that allows you to reach more people and grab their attention. People will buy into you personally, before they buy into your digital CV page. You need think carefully what your personal brand is and ensuring that it all matches up.

You need to add photos and upload images that will engage with people. It’s important your photograph showcases exactly that, as they haven’t met you yet. There are all these videos and wonderful, wonderful, words and expressive language in your summary which shows people who you are and what you’re made of. But your photo is going to have more of an impact than anything. You have to pick this carefully and put a high amount of energy into it.

Now consider what is unique about you? What is going to make you stand out? Always think that the thing that will set you apart from everyone else, from your competition, is not what you do (although of course it is important). Your Unique Selling Point (USP) need to be clear, what you are good at and more importantly why you do it. These can be the words that you use to describe you, make sure that these are included and interwoven in the fabric of your digital CV, (don’t overdo it! be subtle) make sure that you give examples to prove this. The digital CV will give more space to elaborate and show case your key skills, abilities and qualities that sets you aside from your competition.

A personal statement on a CV is very important. They are normally 3-4 sentences that can instantly create a positive or negative impression to the employer. You have a minimal amount of time to make impact; you have to grab that person’s attention.  You cannot deliver any kind of message to anybody effectively, unless you know you have got their attention.  If people see things over and over again, the same things, frequently, then they lose impact.

The problem is, if you don’t grab their attention, if you bore them, if you have no impact, within those first ten seconds, you are not going to win.  They will simply move onto another applicant. Most CV’s are very similar using words and phrases in their CV’s such as;

“Initiated, team player, adaptable, extensive, accurate, creative, flexible, competent, achieve, dependable, hard-working, motivated, problem solver, helpful, organised, determined, proactive, excellent, committed, efficient, innovative, reliable, logical, confident, desire, keen, trustworthy”

The digital CV goes needs to beyond the words and needs to encapsulate your key skills and abilities using more than words, it can use images, and even multimedia content to get the message across. Your personal statement can be industry specific to show how you can add to their company, as well as provide the reader with specific examples that will draw them into shortlisting you for a job interview. Think carefully about the words on a personal profile. Are they the best words and phrases that describe you?

Top Tips to writing a Digital CV

  • Optimise your profile; your personal brand must align with the key messages that you wish to showcase throughout your CV
  • You need to fully understand your why and know how to communicate this to your audience.
  • You know how to get that winning headline and an appropriate photograph
  • You know to add rich-media where you can as a part of your profile and throughout your CV as appropriate
  • You can use videos and media add content that is going to be engaging and draws the reader in.
  • Get feedback on your CV and act upon it
  • YouTube offers tutorials on digital CV’s and has many on LinkedIn that you can use

Now, carefully complete each section of the digital CV, cut and paste from your word-processed CV, add to this if required, (or work on word beforehand and cut and paste into the digital template online). Always provide examples to illustrate what you have done and what impact it made. Always check the final layout of all sections such as Education, Employment and Hobbies and Interests. You can always upload images and video-content to show the breadth of your experience and showcase your competencies. To create a good digital CV you need to put a huge amount of energy and effort into creating it and seeing it succeed.

LinkedIn, to me, is one best platform out there to a business, to connect and create a business. Other digital CV’s such as Not a CV are the future, they are part of the digital world, the world that exists today. Employers want information, quick and easy and in a format that is accessible. They want to capture information about all of you not just two-dimensional word processed CV. Hopefully catapulting you successfully in your chosen career.

Guest blog written by Sarfraz Ahmed, Leicester College.
Sarfraz Ali