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Why CV Templates and Free CV Samples Are Obsolete

Aug 28, 2008
These days, employers are far more likely to read a CV from a recruiter, re-formatted on their screens, than to receive an exact copy of the original by post. Here are some great tips on designing the perfect online CV for the modern jobs market.

How NOT to create a CV:

When Jonathan graduated, he knew exactly what he wanted his new CV to do: get him a job designing web sites in London. So he studied all those free CV examples and templates on the web and then went to work creating an eye-popping CV he was sure would snag the job of his dreams. He sent it off to recruitment agencies, job boards and a few targeted companies. Then he waited. And waited.

Once upon a time, this might have been a good strategy. Job seekers were encouraged to select a CV template from dozens of examples. Then, they'd spend hours if not days fitting their data into the template to create a CV with equal parts impact and information. Even today, the web is full of free samples and examples that illustrate the old way of doing things... a way that pretty much ensures your CV will not produce the results you want.

CV Templates: The Dinosaurs of Job Search

It is not common knowledge yet that spending time on beautifully designed CVs is not the best use of a your time! These days, when a CV is sent to major recruitment agencies, the initial eye appeal no longer matters because the document is processed before anyone in a decision-making role even sees it.

The key information contained in the CV is extracted, reformatted and placed in a database where it can more easily be searched and accessed by recruiters and hirers. So everything but the raw information is discarded: the CV template you so carefully selected, the headings, subheadings and formatting, the design layout... everything but text is removed during extraction and reformatting.

Jonathon, being a recent grad, had never done a CV before so he didn't realize his CV would end up this way. He contacted a friend in the recruitment industry who told him most of the UK job market is converting to online CV templates.

What you SHOULD do instead:

Here are a few tips to help you get ready to build your online CV:

If you don't have a CV yet, concentrate your efforts on compiling key information about your skills, experience and training. You'll need specifics like:

1. dates of jobs and schooling,
2. names of companies,
3. your job titles and responsibilities for each job,
4. achievements and accomplishments at each job,
5. transferable skills you have acquired,
6. professional associations you belong to,
7. published works,
8. any security clearances you've obtained,
9. complete, current contact information.

If you concentrate of having great content like this in your CV and don't waste too much energy on fancy design, you'll get far better results in the new market of online CVs. Good luck!
About the Author
Peter Whitehead is commissioned to write articles on behalf of iProfile, the preferred CV template iProfile brings the Online CV into the 21st Century.
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