Multimedia CVs

In today’s multimedia age, choosing the perfect format for your CV is no longer as simple as deciding between Helvetica or Palatino, double or single space type, or remembering to buy a stamp for the envelope.

Now the technology exists for you to create a full multimedia display – an extravaganza of sound and vision to impress future employers.

But will it really work? An all-singing, all-dancing resume, including photographs or a brief video in which you introduce yourself, sounds great in theory. But, in practice, is it really the 21st century equivalent of that 80s cliché, a CV sent on brightly coloured paper to “stand out from the crowd”, and often the quickest way to speed your name into the reject pile?

Job hunters would be wise to remember the old adage about quality not quantity. What counts is delivering the relevant information that stimulates employers to invite you to an interview.

Emailing a CV is undoubtedly a faster method of sending information than the post and generally solicits a quick response. Yet job applicants should bear in mind that less technically minded employers may not have the necessary software to view documents created in the latest multimedia format.

Furthermore adding heavy files containing images can rapidly increase the time it takes for employers to download your message.

Be brief and succinct – employers are looking for facts, clearly communicated, in a succinct way. Large photos files that take time to download rarely persuade employers to see someone.

In fact, unless you are applying for a job in an industry such as computer games or graphic design where a multimedia CV might showcase relevant skills, flashy add-ons are more likely to alienate than impress a potential employer.

One possible option is to design your own website and then direct people to look at it. However, this requires the employers to take time out to access the information.

Some tips on selling yourself online:

· Don’t send your resume as an attachment – paste it into the body of the email. Employers often ignore attachments because they worry about viruses and don’t want to waste time with files their computer can’t translate.

· Include a subject line, which may include the reference number of a specific job, or a description of your skills, if you’re submitting information to a database.

· Use nouns – online information is often scanned by computers to comb the text for words that indicate job titles, technical skills and levels of education or experience. Most of these words are nouns rather than verbs.

· Use buzzwords – they are the key to an online application. Computer screening systems often rank CVs by the number of buzzwords in them, so don’t forget to include them.


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