There are two letters that when combined, can bring even the most influential business person to their knees. I am referring to the lethal compound “C.V.” Whether employed, in the search of employment or employed and on the lookout for new employment, updating your CV is a continuous challenge. Loosely translated, the Latin expression “Curriculum Vitae” means [the] course of [my] life. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Generation Y are expected to hold down at least 7 careers in a lifetime, so, how exactly are we expected to formulate our vast experiences and skills into approximately 700 words spanning two pages? Even if you are a skilled wordsmith and have honed the perfect CV, it all means nothing unless it strikes a cord with your potential recruiter. Now that we have established the two initial hurdles one will face at least seven times along your career path: cultivating an epic C.V and catching your potential employers attention, fear not. Us, Gen-Y’ers can use our powers of social consumerism & digital savvy for career-building good. Here’s how:
1. Dictate your own career path
As a toddler of your own career-dictatorship, remember to start with building blocks. Whether applying for a job or currently employed, think, “where do I want to be in two years?” I have begun to ask this myself this question regularly, even though, at the moment, I am happily employed. I keep an eye on the job market. I check in about twice a week to see what jobs are on offer and where they are on offer in my industry. When I come across a job that appeals to me I check out skills and qualifications that are required for this position. Most of these positions require 4-5 years work experience, so, while I may not be a suitable candidate right now, I know I am on the right track. Then I take note of the skills I need to optimize or learn in order to rock this position in the future. Finally, I check out the employer, their ethos, their work environment and what they offer. By taking a little control over your career destination, you will be in the position to tell potential employers why they need to hire you instead of why you need to be hired by them. First step: sign up for LinkedIn’s email update for “jobs you might be interested in.” Let LinkedIn make suggestions and remind you to check them out. Step two: Sign yourself up to www.hunsty.com; this tool is the cement that holds the building blocks together. Huntsy offers a bookmarklet tool (which you simply drag to your bookmarks bar) so that every time you come across a job you like, you can add this job directly to your Hunsty dashboard. Huntsy keeps track of the jobs you find and makes sure you never miss an opportunity. The dashboard organizes your job hunt with helpful features such as a task-list, job-application timeline, add notes, add contacts and archive option for each job. Moreover, if you grant it permission or sign in with LinkedIn, Twitter, Google or Facebook, Huntsy can check out your social networks to find connections to jobs in your hunt, giving you an inside shot at successfully landing the job.
2. Don’t sit in a pile of CVs
Most of our readers are involved in the new media/digital industry, directly or indirectly in the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries. How can you apply for a job in PR, advertising or marketing if you can’t publicize, advertise or market yourself effectively? Isn’t that what you are being hired to do for their clients? It’s time to practice what you preach. Great jobs, world-class jobs, jobs people envy, don’t get filled by people emailing in CVs. Ever. Take a look outside the white-paper CV box and see what you’ve got. How about an extraordinary letter of recommendation or a tangible project or portfolio or an online reputation that precedes you? A Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram account so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow you.
First step: If you are not already there –– get on LinkedIn. If you are already there sign up to some industry-related groups, take a deep breath and start getting involved in some discussions. Alternatively or additionally choose one social media platform for social-professional good. For example, set up a Twitter account and follow important people in your industry, try create a dialogue with them and reciprocate with insightful content in all your tweets. Not sure you have the interest or commitment or time to maintain a social-professional network? Make the decision to start cultivating a visual CV now and keep updating it every week. What is a visual CV and how do you get one? Keep reading.
3. Be peerless in your presentation
Visual Communication as the name suggests is information presented or expressed using images to include signs, drawings, graphic design, illustration and typography. A visual message, which accompanies text, may have a greater power to inform, educate or persuade a person or audience. In the digital social world, a visual message is far more powerful than a text only message. And as we become more accustomed to the increasingly image-rich online world, it is time to use visual communication to our career-building advantage. There are two main visual avenues one can explore in terms of cultivating a visual CV: a portfolio or an infographic. Traditionally, portfolios were for artists and infographics were for graphic designers. In 2012, however, they are for everyone.
Pathbrite is a “next generation portfolio product,” which lets you create an individualized online portfolio-persona. Add content that you are proud of such as articles, writing, press releases and pieces of code, design projects, photographs and videos. Convey your dedication, skills and values by including photos of you finishing a marathon, winning an award and family photos. Show recruiters why you are special by visually presenting your accomplishments in a portfolio that is attractive, clickable and full-bodied. Check out: https://pathbrite.com/
Visualize.me and Re.vu allow everyone to become a graphic designer and whip up a professional-looking infographic of their CV. After creating an account, you can edit your profile summary, work experience, education, links, skills, interests, languages, stats, recommendations and awards. One can omit the tediousness of adding this information by syncing your account with your LinkedIn account and let Visualize.me or Re.vu instantaneously produce a cool inforgraphic of your career history. Building you CV is now fun and aesthetically appealing. Start your visual career journey today with http://vizualize.me/ or http://re.vu/.
Do it. Create a visual digital you and be the job offer a potential employer can’t overlook.