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The difference between an online or a print CV

by Soraya Pugh June 12, 2012

​An online CV (on LinkedIn for example) needs to be even more succinct than a print CV. If employers spend 60 seconds looking over a print CV, they will spend even less time looking at an online CV so it’s important that it stands out and grabs the reviewer’s attention. It should consist of relevant hooks to encourage the reviewer to want to know more. 

Bear in mind that an online CV is open and transparent and not as private as a print CV. On LinkedIn especially, future employers may well get in touch with your contacts for references so be careful who you add and think about privacy settings as well. An online CV does allow for more flexibility, and it becomes more of a fluid and flexible document.  My advice would be to approach this with caution – make sure your messaging is clear and consistent. Increased flexibility allows for a more interactive and constantly updated CV.  Use this to your advantage. On LinkedIn, your CV is there for everyone to see and in a much more public domain. Think carefully about any changes and updates and make sure that any transferable/softer skills are at the forefront of what a perspective employer will see. Online CVs can show more personality, show your proactive approach and even if through LinkedIn, your network of professionals.

Make sure that your CV does not contain any mixed messages. Keep the content succinct, too many messages or just too much content will detract from your key skills. An obvious one perhaps but check, and double check for any spelling or grammatical errors. Do not sell yourself too strongly, this can put employers off in an instant.

On LinkedIn, you are able to include recommendations (references) to sell yourself and your skillset further.  You would only include names of referees on a print CV so do make good use of this.  Don’t just get your friends to recommend you but credible business professionals, mentors, alumni networks from your universities.  With Linked In, you are able to showcase other attributes which are not obvious in a print CV.  For example, you can join relevant groups on Linked In, or follow companies you may be interested in, link to your twitter account or update your profile with relevant status updates.  I have also seen video CVs which can be useful to give the employer a snapshot of your personality but be aware first impressions are hugely important.  An employer will be even more judgemental when it comes to a video CV.  You need to make sure you look smart, neat, professional or appropriate to the nature of the role you are applying for.  Everything is magnified when you are on camera so a sudden movement, a brightly coloured shirt, a small fidget can distract the employer from what you are actually saying.

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