A concise grammatically correct formal cover letter and a positive manner in an interview was good enough to be in the frame.
Now covering letters have to be more than just an introduction to an applicant. They need to clearly show in a few short paragraphs why we are right for the particular role we are applying for.
With the majority of job applications being done online now, the attachment of our ‘word doc’ CV has become second nature. But that sacred text is changing fast.
Now the expectation is that our CV is tailored to the role we are applying for. At least that is an easy process. A bit of rapid word processing does the trick.
More and more employers are looking beyond the CV for information about us, and the digital footprint we have is increasing all the time.
The most common source of information that prospective employers look at is LinkedIn. For more peripheral info they like to look at Twitter and Facebook.
What we say about ourselves and what others say is now very significant. No longer is the CV the only window that a third party has into our skills and experience.
Elizabeth Garone writing in The Wall Street Journal, says that these days “if you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. Which means your CV needs to have live links to your LinkedIn profile.”
Krista Canfield, a spokesperson for LinkedIn warns that job seekers should avoid using over-used words like innovative, dynamic, motivated, extensive experience, results-oriented, proven track record, team player, fast-paced, problem solver, and entrepreneurial, on their LinkedIn profiles.
“Your online profile is a valuable piece of professional real estate,” says Ms Canfield.
“The problem with using generic words and phrases in your profile and resume is that hundreds, if not thousands, of other professionals are describing themselves the exact same way.”
She suggests replacing the overused terms with descriptions of those specific projects you have worked on and which resulted in concrete results.
Many headhunters will now sift through LinkedIn to find candidates suitable for roles they are recruiting for.
With 100 million users of LinkedIn, 700 million on Facebook and 100 Million already on the new Google+ it is not hard to see where peoples valuable time and effort is going into.
These digital platforms enable us to market ourselves in much more creative ways like; providing links to further information, Video clips and online references. Now our CV’s are able to market for us 24/7 to a massive audience.
One thing won’t change though between traditional CV’s and the digital age CV’s. We always need to put the effort in on content and presentation to make ourselves stand out from the rest.