CV Alternatives: Let Them Learn Your Name

CV-alternativesThe Curriculum Vitae, and its lesser cousin the resume, are often responsible for getting the attention of potential employers. Sometimes it can even become the first step in landing a business deal or position on a Board. The CV is a powerful tool; a document that summarises relevant professional experience for potential business partners, employers, and more. Those always looking for a new business relationship should always keep an updated one on hand.

However, it needs to grow. The CV is just one way of getting a possible employer’s attention. The problem with it is that it is inherently limited and linear. It can only be fashioned for a specific purpose, limiting its appeal to people targeted by the information within. This can inadvertently limit the amount of business a person gets at any given time, which is unfortunate. Modern workers often take on more than one job at any given time.

There are a number of CV alternatives out there; things that can supplement that document. Depending on a person’s lifestyle and profession, they can select one or more of the following options to get their name out there in the world.

The Video CV

Videos are getting easier to make from home, making this a viable option for anyone who has the skills to present themselves well on film. Anyone endeavouring to utilise this method should make sure that the final product sends the proper message about the subject’s professional life. Video CVs are often used to supplement already existing alternatives, strengthening their online presence.

Diversifying the method by which people can discover a person’s skill-set and abilities can drastically increase the odds of being discovered. Due to the margin of error in making videos, this is often best left to people whose professions already involve videos in one way or another. For those who still want to pursue this option, it may be wise to avail of the services of a professional filmmaker to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Depending on the job sector you are in, and the job you are applying for, you could consider adding a video clip: certainly this is an option which recruitment agencies are certain will grow over the next ten years. Already companies are offering online platforms for video CVs: there are a number of websites that make it possible for candidates to plan, film and post video CVs and for employers to view them. I invested in One Way Resourcing, an online recruitment business for the construction industry that harnesses the power of video clips. But until it becomes commonplace, the video clip still has the great advantage of novelty. You will certainly be ahead of the masses”.
– James Caan, ‘Get The Job You Really Want’

Personal Landing Pages

Landing pages are websites filled with information about the user. These can range from simple blogs to online portfolios filled with previous work. Even complete amateurs can build a functional website from scratch, allowing just about anyone to use it as a fine supplement to an existing CV. Artists, for example, can refer people to their online portfolio to see other work they may enjoy.

It is important to note that the website does not need to be in-depth. It should not even have more than a few pages. All relevant material should be readily accessible within a single click, if not immediately upon loading the page. Too much information can be overwhelming for a potential client and should be avoided.

Social Networking

Usage of social networking sites as an alternative or supplement to a CV is rapidly gaining prominence. It is often an incredible tool for people whose professions and interests are best explained or shown rather than referred to in a list of previous experience. Use of a social networking profile made specifically for work experience can be a powerful weapon.

Since it can record the entire processes, a social network can serve as a way for employers and businesses partners to view how their employee or partner works. This essentially gives them a window into the present, which fills in the hole that all CVs have – that they can only cover the past.

Using social networking as an online CV can tell potential clients or partners that there is more to them than their current job. This gives the impression of greater depth, which can open up opportunities that would have otherwise been overlooked. For more information on this subject, read our article on the dangers of social networking on your job search.


A great way to offer people greater perspective into a person’s work life is by using a LinkedIn URL or profile. This can allow potential clients and employers to see where a person has been and who they are involved with in terms of business. Depending on the nature of a person’s work, it may even be better to use it as their primary CV instead of using it as a supplement. For example, those involved in advertising may be able to use it to more clearly present which successful campaigns are their work. This can also work in favour of business owners looking for investors, as it can show them that the enterprise is in good company and with reputable connections.

No matter the reason for the CV, it is important to remember that there are far more options than a simple piece of paper. While it can work as a quick window into a person’s skills, using these alternative methods can give others a much better idea of just what an individual is capable of doing.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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