How to spruce up your digital resume

A CV is no more a sheet of staid information. It has its own colourful life

Updated: Apr 5, 2016 08:54:40 AM UTC

Image: Shutterstock

Ever Googled “resume samples” or “how to make the best creative resume”? Well, then this may just turn out to be your quickest crash course on creative resumes. Scoring an innovative digital resume is way easier than you’d think. Before we get to the details about how a well-designed and creative resume can make or break your career, let’s begin with a quick know-how of what a digital resume really is.

A digital resume is the coolest way to send out a piece of yourself and catch your potential employer’s eye. More than your job, it’s you. A perfect modern digital resume, unlike traditional resumes, is interactive, social and is brought to life for all those viewing it. Before you start wondering how it’s probably the most difficult project you’ll ever work on, let’s put this simply… All “digital resume” really means is that your resume is available online. Employers desire digitally savvy employees and your digital resume gives you a few additional brownie points.

Still not sure if you really need a digital resume? Well, take it from someone who interviews a lot of candidates across categories, you do. You need one because your first level reference check now is your online presence and second, you need to be searchable for prospective recruiters.

If you’re now ready to stand out from the crowd and be future ready, let’s start exploring some new school options to build your digital resume.

Thanks to social media and the ever-dynamic digital world, we now have ready resources and digital tools. Here are a few handpicked tools to help you get started:

First up, let’s get the basics in place… Leverage Facebook and LinkedIn: Yes, you read that right. Facebook, too, is an integral factor that could help you land your dream job. Your Facebook timeline is literally the story of your life that displays everything about you. The apps you use, the stories you share, the music you listen to and the movies you watch add on a whole lot about you. Add to this your professional and academic background and you’ve got a profile to show prospective recruiters if you’re the right fit for their organisation. Similarly, your LinkedIn profile helps showcase your career graph very well and is an extremely important part of forming your digital resume. Their straightforward online resume system provides a form where you can input all of the information that you’d use on a traditional resume, including education, work history, and other important facts. LinkedIn is well respected within the business community, and it allows you to network with past and current colleagues. In addition to these, you may opt for platforms such as Twitter to showcase your thoughts and opinions about the career you aspire for, while you may use SlideShare to create content about the industry you’re part of and build a sense of thought leadership.

Explore some cool and easy resume-building tools such as ResumUP, VisualCV, Zerply, Creddle:

ResumUP: Import your profile data from LinkedIn and Facebook, and ResumUP crafts a gorgeous infographic, complete with your work history, skills, achievements, key values et al. Share it with potential employers by downloading it in PDF or PNG form.

VisualCV: Like other sites, this resume-building service extracts data from your existing resume or LinkedIn profile and then lets you choose a design, add multimedia items like presentations, images, and embedded videos, and publish to a public custom URL, a private share link, or a PDF export. VisualCV uses the same resume-parsing technology that many Fortune 500 companies do, meaning that you can rest assured your resume will be read correctly by applicant tracking systems.

Creddle: We can’t not include this completely free resume-making site that tailor-makes an auto-formatted document from your personal information (enter manually or sync from LinkedIn). Select one of the nine templates, then change headers, add colour, and move sections as per your liking. Once you’re done, you’re free to print it, share it online, embed it on your personal website, or send it as a PDF or Docx file too. What’s more? You can even use Creddle to quickly create a cover letter with a nameplate and contact links that match your resume.

Now that we’ve got our ‘reasons to create a digital resume’ and some handy and easy-to-use tools in place, let’s get working on our resume building must-do’s.

1)  Fonts and themes matter a lot: Use fonts that are easily readable on screens. Georgia is one such font for instance. Just like films need a strong plot, your resume needs a stunning theme. Make sure the layout is well thought of and highlights all things necessary.

2)  Set no limit to your creativity: Modern technology makes it easy to embed images (which definitely add a strong personality to your resume) and also links to online portfolios and work samples. So go wild and try it all.

3)  Say hello to creative formats: In an age where content and visuals go hand in hand, you could explore infographic resumes that highlight your design and creative skills. Ensure it helps enhance your personality, the role you aspire for and organisation you wish to apply at.

4)  Video resume? Why not: Video resumes are an increasing phenomenon since they cut through the procedures of tracking employee behaviour, culture fits and grab more attention. Video resumes can instantly make you stand out from the crowd while building that ‘instant connect’ with the employer. Did you know that a Google video search for “video resume” reveals 85,90,000 results. It surely is something you ought to consider.

It was an honest, adorable and different-from-the-usual video resume that got Robert De Niro his internship too, remember?

5)  Boast about your social media presence: The number of employers viewing a candidate’s social presence online is increasing substantially and this makes it necessary for you to have the relevant links in place. Needless to say that you have to maintain a decent image on social media to avoid it torpedoing an otherwise brilliant resume. Shortlist the platforms you’re active on, and that you’re sure will help provide an insight into your personal and professional life to enhance your chances of grabbing your dream job.

Most importantly, remember that your resume should not overwhelm the reader with too much information (you could save that for the interview). Make sure you limit you digital portfolio to your best and proudest work.

And just like that, your spruced up digital resume will ensure that you stand out from the usual candidates and create your own brand that’s as unique as you are.

- By Arunima Sharma – Account Manager, MindShift Interactive

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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