Digital CV makeover? You are savvier than you think

Written by Amanda Conway, Careers Consultant at The Careers Service

It makes sense that our working world will operate online. It’s where we create and store information, how we make sense of things and where we communicate with customers and clients. From big commercial organisations to the health service, local schools or government bodies, employers will be interested to know what you can do and be able to see this clearly on your job applications.

Not sure what you have to offer? 

Yes, you have a good few social media accounts and your Whatsapp speed could win medals, but will this cut it when competing for jobs? Many of us are just not sure what digital capabilities we are meant to have.

Your digital makeover

You probably won’t have all the skills you need yet, that is to be expected, but if you can highlight what you do have, use the right terminology and be clear about your level of expertise this can demonstrate the enthusiasm that counts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Digital communication & collaboration

Put simply this refers to being comfortable with communicating online. Many of you will be proficient with email and social media, but you could also talk about your ability to write blog posts, use video conferencing software, participate in online forums, deliver webinars or use online tools for working in groups and project management (such as Trello).

Sample CV entries: Digital communication

-Used blog posting and personal stories to engage 20% more students than in 2018.

-Proficient use of WordPress and Medium blogging software including tag clouds and polls to build a user community.”

2. Digital marketing

What about your ability to get your message out and tailor your message to reach different audiences? If you have created and used social media to get something out, this is all relevant, whether for a student society, as a peer mentor or a volunteer for a charity. You may have made Facebook pages, blog posts, run a Twitter account or something different.

Tip: focus on the impact you had and how you did it! How many people did you reach? What did you achieve? What techniques did you use to attract readers or subscribers? Did you use search engine optimisation (SEO) to get your message out, or analytics to track your success?

Sample CV entries: Digital marketing

– Used event pages successfully on social media platforms to effectively market the Christmas Ball and generated a 50% increase in attendance. Used effective tagging and SEO to reach a 20% wider audience.

-Developed webpages for the society using Tumblr and Udemy and developed a successful content strategy and calendar.

3. Digital Creation

Maybe you have created your own digital materials. Have you written web pages, made a podcast, a video or even an infographic? Talk about how you adapted it for the audience, too.

Tip: Want to stand out? Talk about your experience with editing. What editing packages are you able to use?

Sample CV entries: Digital Creation

— Produced and edited 5 videos to share stories with clients. Used YouTube Editor effectively to combine and produce engaging footage for maximum impact”.

4. Data Analysis & Research

Can you solve problems or gather data using digital evidence? For example, can you design and administer online surveys, access online data sets, or use online digital tools or techniques such as SPSS to interpret findings? Are you competent running queries, doing statistical tests and generating reports with digital data?

Tip: Your degree can demonstrate your analysis skills – Talk about quantitative and qualitative research, surveys, focus groups and any tools you used.

Sample CV entries: Research & Data Analysis

– Experienced with a range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques including online surveys (Lime Surveys, SurveyMonkey), focus groups (using audio recording) and informational interviewing.

-Extensive use of Excel and SPSS for analysis including creating formula and ensuring data quality assessment.

5. IT Proficiency

You will already be competent using a range of digital systems like new devices, or apps. Some of you may even understand some of the basic concepts in coding or software and app development.

Sample CV entries: IT skills

– Competent using a range of digital systems and technologies including Windows, Mac

– Currently learning basic coding languages Python and Html through Coding Academy.

-Maintained the company’s content management system at Halteck

Where to put all this on your CV?

I would recommend a combined approach. Your “Skills” section of your CV is a good place to start, and you could use some of the terms above as sub-headers, like Digital Marketing, Data Analysis, and Research. If you want to talk about these skills under a specific experience, like a job or your degree studies, that is also fine, but again, a sub-header in there could help it get noticed.

The priority, however, is always what the employer says they are looking for. If the vacancy doesn’t mention any digital skills, it is worth still adding them in, but not at the expense of demonstrating the employer’s priority skills first.

One more to explore for that extra polish!

Last one to consider — your digital professionalism. Is your online profile suitable for the work you want to go into and will it do you justice if your prospective employer has a look? It is always worth giving your digital reputation a once-over — what will a google search of your name bring up?

Want to find out more:

Digital media skills that employers value.

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