The digital CV: what is it and should you have one

According to a recent survey, some 42% of students don’t think the traditional paper CV is enough to cut it in the modern jobs market.

With more people than ever before switching jobs, taking career breaks and even changing profession entirely, careers aren’t as straightforward as they used to be.

The jobs market has changed, and that means your CV needs to change to. But how? A digital CV could be the answer. So, what exactly is a digital CV and do you really need one?

What is a digital CV?

Popular with recruiters, you may have heard the term ‘digital CV’ before but not be quite sure what it means. The fact is that a digital CV can come in many forms, and is so much more than simply an electronic version of your CV.

It’s a way of demonstrating your skills and experience to employers that goes beyond a simple run-down of your previous roles. It can take many forms, the most obvious of which being a LinkedIn profile.

The largest professional network in the world, LinkedIn is the place to start when turning your CV digital. Creating a profile on LinkedIn couldn’t be simpler, while recently-added features enable you to include videos, online portfolios and recommendations from people you’ve worked with.

Click here for more tips on making the most of LinkedIn

Of course, a LinkedIn profile isn’t the only type of digital CV you can have. The sky really is the limit here, and many professionals are starting to get really creative.

From creating mock-up Facebook profiles that detail a career, to displaying skills and experience in an infographic-style visual, a digital CV can help you really stand out from the crowd. Click here to see some examples of very unique digital CVs.

Not everyone will be capable of producing a well-designed graphic, and it won’t be appropriate for some careers. So, an easy-to-make alternative is to create your own website. There are plenty of online tools that allow you to build attractive websites in a matter of minutes, which are a great way of housing all your achievements, skills and experience in one place that employers can view quickly and easily.

Should you have a digital CV?

It may seem like digital CVs are more appropriate for those in a creative industry, such as a graphic designer or photographer, but the fact is that every industry is digital these days. The jobs market is almost entirely online, so you need to be there too.

Yet more than that, you need to be able to stand out. We may have seen the worst of the recession but it’s still very competitive out there, with lots of people going for each new role. Research conducted by Social Talent last year found that there are some 250 CVs submitted per corporate job posted, so it’s never been more important to stand out from the crowd.

A LinkedIn profile is the very minimum you should be doing, while a dedicated website is a great way to convey a large amount of information in an easy-to-digest way – and show off your digital skills at the same time. A flashy, visual CV won’t work for everyone, but everyone should be trying to stand out from the crowd in the digital world.

What should you include in your digital CV?

As we’ve already said, different types of digital CV will work for different candidates and different industries. Yet when it comes to the content and information you include, there’s not a great deal of difference from the traditional CV.

Important information like your employment history, skills and professional achievements should all be included – the difference is how this information is displayed. So, think outside the box and remember that recruiters and employers could be looking at hundreds of applications alongside yours.

The key difference between a traditional and digital CV is the extra features you can include. An online version of your portfolio of work is a good way of showcasing your skills, while a short video clip of yourself will give employers something different. This may not seem like it’s worthwhile, but anything you can do to set yourself apart from the other applicants will work in your favour.