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How to update your CV for the technological age

04 Aug
Computers have infiltrated every single aspect of our lives, and it’s no surprise that those who are able to navigate through the complicated world of job seeking are often the people who best understand the technology behind it.

Many people opt to stand out by creating their own online CV or portfolio website, but no matter how elaborate these are, a standard text-based CV document will still be required for most applications.

Optimising your CV

 Modern technology has allowed for significant advances in the way candidates are screened, including using CV parsing software to sort through large volumes of applications.

This technology has come a long way since early iterations, now understanding complicated semantically relevant terms and putting up red flags for anyone seen to be keyword stuffing. The trick to getting your CV marked as ‘highly relevant’ is to reflect the language used by your potential employer, not just in their job ad but in their product pages, press releases and any other literature distributed by the company.

While these tools strip out most formatting from your document, there are some style rules you should adhere to. Bullets beat long paragraphs every time (both for humans and software) and text in tables is notoriously complicated to decipher.

Optimising your online profile

According to Adweek, 92% of recruiters use social media to hunt for candidates, while 52% choose to vet candidates on social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a whole host of other sites - to see if those applying are a suitable match for their company.

Even if you opt not to include links to your profiles on your CV, if the personal email address you use is associated with any social network, many recruiters will have plugins installed which allow them to quickly scan the web to find out what you’ve posted and where. Consider this your opportunity to either overhaul your social network profiles to make them more recruiter-friendly, or review your privacy settings to keep prying eyes out.

Optimising your network

There’s a very good reason that Microsoft recently purchased professional networking site LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. While it’s not the slickest social network out there, it is populated with the vast majority of companies and individuals having a presence.

It’s a powerful tool for pro-users (which most recruiters are) but many candidates fail to make the most of the features at their disposal.

Recommendations and endorsements are one of the lesser-known elements of the site, but something HR teams look closely at - it’s easy for someone to say they’re good at something, but much more convincing if there are lots of their peers backing up the claim.

Your professional gallery is an incredibly handy way of showing off examples of your work - after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Take the time to create something worth looking at (and keep it up to date) to show those looking at your profile what you’re capable of.

The ‘How you’re connected’ feature lets you know how close your relationships are to places where you want to work. It may not be a simple linear connection and you may have to buy a few coffees or call in a few favours, but if you want an introduction to a person or company, it should be simple enough to jump from stepping stone to stepping stone until you land where you want to be.

Are you confident with your CV and looking to put it to good use in an exciting new role? Take a look at IFDS’ current vacancies here

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