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How to create a CV for the digital world

Updated on 10 June 2020

CV writing is already something of an art form, but digital disruption has created more potential pitfalls than ever. Buzzwords, acronyms and complex tech-lingo are making the curriculum vitae increasingly difficult to decipher. Those looking for a job in the digital world need to start talking a new (or should that be old?) language.

How to create a CV for the digital world

So, when applying for a role in the digital, media or e-commerce agency world, how can you make your CV shine?

What did you actually do?

Be specific about the work you produced. Did you create the media plan? Good, include that. Did you build the strategy? Great, put that down. Was it you that stood up at the client's quarterly business review and delivered the results? That's important, include it.

Then explain why you did those things. What were you responsible for delivering? In other words, what was the purpose of your duties? Was it to hit brand awareness targets? Increase site conversion rate? Drive conversions with a focus on ROI?

And finally, did you succeed? Candidates often list their duties but fail to add how effective their performance was.

Use your verbs wisely

Verbs are incredibly informative about how important you were to the projects you were part of.

For instance, let's say you were part of a team that delivered great results in a VOD campaign. Did you lead it, manage it, design it, oversee it, support it or (and this is a deathly verb) were you just involved with it?

The choice of verb is important to recruiters as they tell us what you will bring to the table and what you'll be capable of independently delivering and teaching to others.

Beware of buzzwords

Suffocating your CV in acronyms and buzzwords can make it unreadable. Use them if they're appropriate for the roles you're applying for. But don't use them to appear impressive or knowledgeable – we don't want to Google every third word.

Hands on experience often trumps seniority

Being senior on a project doesn't necessarily mean you're valuable. Do not underestimate the importance of hands-on experience. For example, there are many people that can tell you about what a good display campaign should do, but can they walk you through how they approach a campaign from brief to launch to reconciliation?

Be specific, not detailed

This is particularly important for when you use lists. For example, “social media” is not a skill. Explaining that you're a master at a Twitter campaign is one thing, but you don't need to write an essay on the inner workings of Hootsuite.

Generic promises are unimportant

Punctual? Capable of working independently or in a group? These sorts of promises are so commonplace they have become redundant.

Don't forget the basics

A clear layout, perfect grammar and standard formatting are still essential components of any memorable CV. And don't forget the cover letter.

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