CVs are outdated, Portfolio is the future

Who made the CV for the first time in the world?Interestingly, it was the same person who conceptualized the flying machines. Leonardo de Vinci. He made a CV 600 years back to offer his services to the Duke of Milan. The famous painter highlighted his skills in building bridges, trenches, mines, weapons and sculpture in his CV. Then it became a trend. Artists used to prepare CVs to present to the lords of the countries they traveled to.

The Modern CV
In 1937 Napoleon Hill published steps of success in a book “Think and Grow Rich”. One of the key steps was to prepare a killer resume. That is how modern CVs were formalized. After the advent of computers, the format and structure of the CVs also got standardized to a large extent.

Before the liberalization of the Indian economy, people used to follow one career, one job model. Hence there was no need to prepare a CV more than once in a career. After the liberalization in the 1990s, people started changing jobs. The model changed to “one career, multiple jobs”. Each job change required an updated CV. Hence the importance of CV grew multifold. The entire recruitment business started running on CVs.

Making CV Effective
Apart from the candidate, recruiter and hiring manager are the primary consumers of CV. The shape and the form of CV needs to be adjusted for these two key stakeholders to be effective. Here are some of the pointers candidates must remember to make CV more effective.

Prepare CV like an Advertisement
Guess how many CVs come for a position? On an average, each job attracts 250 resumes. Out of these resumes, 88% of the resumes are irrelevant. These resumes are screened within 2 to 5 hours. Which means each resume gets less than 30 seconds on an average. Hence, CV must be prepared like a 30 second advertisement for the target audience.

Moderate the Length
When you search for something on google, how many times you go to the results beyond the first page. Research shows that the second page click through ratio is less than 1 per cent. That is why it is important to have all the key information of your CV in the first page itself.

Structure as pe eyeballs
Nielsen Norman Group figured out that when people look at the screen they read content in an F pattern. The most attention goes to the first line, then people move vertically down and read with lesser attention, making eye heat maps in the shape of an F. Knowing this, candidates should structure their CVs in such a manner that key highlights are covered under the F map.

Customized for a Job
When Leonardo de Vinci wrote his resume for the Duke of Milan, He mentioned only those things which were important for the Duke of Milan at that time. He mentioned what he could do for the Duke instead of quoting all his achievements and skills. Candidates must customize their resume for the job instead of dumping all that they know about themselves.

The need for PortfolioAs the world is going digital, some fundamentals are changing. These fundamental changes will pave the path for portfolios. Here are the two important drivers for portfolios.

Multiple Jobs, Multiple Careers
Society is moving away from the concept of one career. More so, with the advent of the Gig economy, people have realized that they have multiple talents which they can put to use for making money. TED started promoting this idea. TED asks you to write your skill or expertise in your introduction instead of designation. If you see LinkedIn or Twitter profiles, you see multiple talents like |Author| Speaker| Business Leader| Inventor| Social Media Expert| Dancer| Standup Artist|. Can you afford to have one resume for all the talents?

Support your claims
When CV templates are available, then people can copy content as well. Anyone can claim to have any skill. This has brought down the credibility of CVs. Hence recruiters need CVs backed by evidence. They prefer software developers to showcase their projects on platforms like Github, Designers to showcase their portfolios on platforms like dribble, Experts to showcase their knowledge on platforms like quora or passing certifications by clearing skill assessments on LinkedIn.

Easily Searchable

As the world is going digital, there are digital tools which are getting developed. Search is becoming more and more powerful. It is imperative for each job seeker to manage their own online presence with proper keywords and linkage to evidence of claims made on the front page (CV). One can make this happen by preparing their own website or web presence. These may include webpages, supporting projects, infographics and videos.

CVs in their current shape and form are going to be outdated. They will emerge as Portfolios. The first movers will have a definitive advantage as digital inventory in the digital space is limited. This is the time to wake up, if you do not want to appear on the second page of the google search.