A curriculum vitae is an important part of a job application. It tells an employer who you are, what you can do and what you have experience in. It shows your professionalism and in some instances your creativity and charisma. The CV has evolved over the years, from the good ol’ paper version, to online via sites such as LinkedIn and now moving onto more visual online platforms such as YouTube in the form of video CV’s.
I personally use a paper CV and have my Linked In profile which is an expanded version of my CV. But since I’m going into Journalism, I need to show my creativity to employers. I need to be able to present myself as something that has intuition and the ability to design. The media sector is brimming with examples of video CV’s but I don’t have the skills or confidence to create one yet.
The paper CV is the oldie out of the three. It’s the most traditional way of showing employers why they should hire you. The general rule is that it should not be longer than two pages, with some people specifying no more than one. This is hard for me, as I have a lot of experience (I’m not blowing my own trumpet there! In fact I can’t even play a musical instrument!). I have a lot of voluntary experience with the media industry, but I am looking for paid work. My paper CV is colourful and shows the essentials, but I also wanted to step into the online platform of Linked In to expand it, so I could show prospective employers that I have an online presence.
Social media is a big thing in today’s world. It’s everywhere and it’s used by a lot of people, including employers. Job sites now allow you to create a CV and put it online, but Linked In is a step further and allows you to create an online CV, that has no limits! It can be as long as you like it to be. There’s also the competition of making the star as full as you can! Sign up and you’ll know what I mean! It’s a step into the present day and lets you showcase more of yourself. You can add pictures, videos and documents and you can even write posts and make connections. Think Facebook for employers. It’s a great tool for the more modern and tech-savvy individual.
We can take it a step further and create a video CV. I came across them a few weeks ago and I’ve been hooked. I’m not a design-orientated person, although I’m hoping to change that but I am creative. I want to make myself stand out and want employers to see that I can use a more creative outlet for showing who I am and why they should employ me. I’ve been told that it has to be ‘short and sweet’ and to the point. It shouldn’t be long – up to a maximum of 2 minutes. I can talk for England as my mum would say, so maybe this isn’t the best way for me! But I’m sure that on my Journalism course, I’ll learn to be concise!
I’ve seen examples of people stepping out of the box when it comes to their CV’s. Some have created games, used cut outs and so much more. In the media industry, I guess that it pays off to be maverick about your approach!
You can use additional things to bump up your CV, such as a covering letter (which most if not all employers ask for) or you can use a portfolio if you want to show the work you have done on your course or in your spare time.
I’d personally use all three and adapt it to the company, but it’s up to you how you want to show yourself. What type of CV do you prefer?