Careers: Is it time to dump the classic two-page CV?

With the two-page CV becoming outdated, Callum Wilkinson offers five tips to help students with their job applications
9th December 2020, 5:59pm
Callum Wilkinson

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Careers: Is it time to dump the classic two-page CV?

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/careers-it-time-dump-classic-two-page-cv
Careers: How To Make Your Cv Stand Out From The Rest

The world of work in the 21st century has evolved rapidly - especially in the past eight months. Remote working, once thought to be a luxury that only a few could "enjoy", has now become commonplace. We want to be able to assimilate information quickly and efficiently, and, as a consequence of that, the role of the "traditional CV" has since become outdated.

Traditionally, the CV was a reflective document about our employment history and qualifications. For young people, it's always been a difficult thing to write. What I've found is that they will generally fill it with information, particularly a personal statement, that is not really relevant. That is not their fault - they have been led to believe you need X amount of information spread across two sides of A4. But what is the alternative?


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Students can be incredibly creative and have a lot to offer, which is what employers want to see. Employers are no longer interested in the "course of their lives" on some dull Word document - they want to see someone who has gone the extra mile in grabbing their attention with the skills, knowledge, creativity and qualifications they can bring to their organisation. 

As we all know, social media plays a large part in a young person's life and, whether you love or hate it, is an integral part of the world we now live in. Statistics have shown that at least 75 per cent of employers will search for you on social media websites, so students should be using this to their advantage. LinkedIn, Globalbridge and Gradintelligence are some examples of great platforms to build a personal profile and display a portfolio of coursework and experience.

Organisations are also now readily promoting the use of "online CV's" and even asking candidates to upload a short visual presentation and sound bite about themselves. No CV writing required!

How to make your CV stand out from the rest

Some companies, of course, still ask for a standard-looking CV -  so here are some top tips to get your student to stand out:

  • Benefits over features. Tell the company why they should invest in you and give examples if you can - don't just describe what you are good at.
  • Bear in mind that employers are very busy, so make it as easy as possible for the employer to find the information they want.  Don't write 10 words when three will do.
  • Research the company you're applying to and write for them. For example, if you're looking to work within marketing, show your flare by writing catchy headlines and making your CV visually appealing. 
  • Be honest. A fairly obvious one, but don't lie about experience or qualifications. Getting caught out will be embarrassing and, more importantly, will get you blacklisted by the company. 
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! Make sure your wording reads perfectly and there are zero spelling errors.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we are living in a technological and digital age, so it's important that young people remain relevant in today's dynamic and fast-moving employment market.

Callum Wilkinson works as an industry placement adviser in a further education college. He is also a freelance copywriter 

 

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