Why your CV only tells part of the story
Your CV is not the only marketing tool you have. Obviously, if you’re applying for advertised jobs, you’ll need a CV in the first instance. But in a market where applicants are plenty, your CV on its own is probably not enough to set you apart from other applicants.
Many recruiters and hiring managers will check you out (online) before deciding whether to call you in for an interview. They’re looking for evidence of your expertise and suitability (often referred to as “social proof”). What they find there could well make the difference.
Being able to prove your skills in other ways than a CV has become almost a necessity for job seekers. I say “almost”, because there are certain categories of jobs and job seekers for whom it doesn’t apply:
- for most unskilled jobs
- for a minority of skilled jobs where hiring managers have decided not to search online
- for highly professional jobs where decision makers (such as senior partners) have probably already heard of you
But otherwise, it most definitely helps to be able to furnish proof that you are indeed talented, experienced, and up to the job. Here are some ways you can build your reputation.
A strong, online presence
A fully complete LinkedIn profile is a good start. By “complete”, you’ll need a photo, present and two past places of employment, 3 recommendations and at least 50 connections.
To be more easily found, you also need keywords (relevant to your industry), skills and endorsements, and evidence of activity through either your updates, or through your groups.
Activity elsewhere (on blogs, twitter and forums) is also a good sign that you’re enthusiastic about the industry, and keen to share ideas with peers.
A positive name check
If you’re Googled, what comes up against your name? Aim to have at least four, positive searches for your name. You can do this through creating social media profiles, by having a blog or personal website, or even a page such as on VisualCV, through writing Amazon reviews, and so on.
A wide network
Probably the best overall career insurance you can ever get, your network can keep you informed about jobs, projects and leads; be counted on to refer you to others; and provide you with information, support and ongoing professional inspiration. Obviously, if someone in your network can also put in a good word to someone with hiring authority, you’re already half-way to a new job.
Photo credit: Sarah Reido