Creating an Online CV
In today’s cyber era, the Internet has become the premiere spot for many job seekers to find lucrative employment opportunities. Naturally, the companies offering third-party job postings and position offerings also provide a place for job hunters to post their curriculum vitae (CVs).
The job seeker’s goal in this relationship is straightforward: download a CV using the online service’s template (or provide your own, when appropriate), then wait for the phone to ring or email to alert you to the presence of a new message. However, more and more employment seekers have become disenchanted with online CVs because they seem to promise more than they deliver.
What those individuals may not realise is that in order to make the most of your online CV, you have to write one with an online audience in mind. A few pointers for ensuring that yours lands in front of a hiring agent (and doesn’t waste away in a corner of the World Wide Web) are listed below:
1. Use KeywordsYou may be assuming that a human will read your online CV after you’ve submitted it to a job search engine; ironically, it’s likely that it will instead be “read” by a computer seeking out keywords.
Most software used in this industry is simply looking for a few phrases or terms. When the software spots those words, it may look for secondary keywords or automatically send your CV to a potential employer. At that point, you could wind up having your CV reach a human… or more likely, the employer may route your CV through another software program looking for even more keywords!
How is a job seeker to win this battle of man versus machine? By filling the online CV with industry-specific and commonly-used keywords.
For instance, how many job postings ask for people who are “multi-taskers”, “self-starters”, “team players”, and/or “good communicators”? The answer is obvious: MOST of them! Therefore, you should include such terms in your online CV (in appropriate spots, of course) to maximise your chances of a software program positively “reading” and “accepting” your CV.
Additionally, you should use keywords that are specific to your field. As an example, if you’re in sales, you may want to punctuate your CV with words like: “selling”, “marketing”, “leads”, “lead generation”, “cold calling” and “clients”. Those terms are highly sought-after by any employer looking for a salesperson or manager and will maximise your chances of getting a call.
2. Follow the DirectionsIt may seem like such a silly directive, but it’s imperative that you follow all the rules when submitting your online CV.
Read each guideline extremely carefully; if you’re to use only 12-point font or a certain typeface, don’t think that you can get away with 14-point text and several different fonts. The directions are given for a reason – they help the CVs look uniform. They also help “weed out” job applicants who aren’t going to respond professionally.
3. Never Include Personal DataObviously, you’ll want to include your first name (and perhaps last name or the initial of your last name) on your online CV, as well as employment background, et cetera. But it’s unwise to include personal data that reveals your home address, home telephone number (use your mobile number or just an email address instead), names of family members or National Insurance number.
Even if the job search company assures you that your online CV will never reach the eyes of anyone but screened potential employers, be very cautious. Information can find its way into the wrong hands.
Consequently, be truthful, but don’t give away too much data about you or your loved ones.
4. If You Do Get an Interview, FOLLOW THROUGHLastly, if you land an interview as a result of your online CV, make sure you follow through. If your interview is to be over the telephone, be prepared and ready to speak for the prescribed amount of time in a quiet environment. If your meeting is face-to-face, come early and give it your best shot.
Obviously, you want the job. But more than that, if you DON’T get the position, you want to make sure that you’re not blacklisted as someone who isn’t going to be professional.
Besides, you’ve come this far… why not give it your all until you land the position of your dreams?
Good luck with all your endeavours and with your online CV as well!