“Breaking News: CV found dead-on-arrival”

by Daniel Batten on January 26, 2010

Curriculum Vitae, which meant “Course of Life”, was reported dead on 2 February 2010.

Mr Vitae (CV as he was affectionately known) lived for over 100 years. He was praised by close friends Resume (also gravely ill) and “Job application form” (disabled, but still alive) as having dutifully served the need for employee-employer connections prior to the Internet. An inside source revealed to us that the coroners report attributes the Internet and our increasing appetite for the real-picture to CVs death.

CV began a slow decline when Email, Linkedin, Facebook, online video and blogs provided fast, effective, point-and-click  real information on a candidate. But insiders say the death-nell was a groundswell in the job market against information that painted safe & shiny pictures while leaving employers with no sense of the “the real person”, and no basis to reliably filter and select people for a job interview.

One trusted source said “In an age where social media started providing easy access to the “real story”, CV stuck to a format which was neither real, nor story.”

In a surprise twist, CV is understood to have dedicated his body to science. Doctors at IGI (International Getajob Institute) are upbeat at the prospect that CV’s body-parts will still prove useful to the science of job-seeking.

CV’s formal obituary in the Guardian Times announced “CV showed one was eligible, not exceptional; he showed who one was, not one is. He told of what one did, not how one thought.”

However, Steve Jobless – former V.P Business Development at Walmart – after having fruitlessly submitted 456 CVs in 13 months was less restrained. “CV will not be missed. Unless you were applying for a position at a fast-food restaurant, or you were a software geek who only needed to speak to humans during online roleplay games, CV communicated absolutely squat about the real “you”. Kind of a major omission isn’t it?”

OK – so here’s the practical suggestion part

Is this tongue-in-cheek?… well yes. However, there is a key message here that can help you get more employable at a higher market rate today.

So here is what you do instead of using a CV in its current sad state…

I once used the RS (Real Story) format to gain 3 job interviews from 3 RS submissions. In each case, I had no direct experience for any of those jobs. Yes, I did during a recession; no I didn’t lie; yes these were senior executive roles. In fact, RS is more honest than you can imagine. And that gave me an unfair advantage. When you use the RS, you will gain an unfair advantage too. Its like using nuclear weapons when everyone else is using fisticuffs.

So what is the “RS”

1. a 2-paragraph email cover letter that contains phrases that make people itch with curiosity to find out more, plus
2.   a one-page story that contains

–                   a one-liner that expresses something you believe (in my case “your feet can’t move while your heart stands still”)

–                   a story about what you have done that includes something great, something where you stuffed-up (and what you learnt) and how it lead you to where you are now.

–                   Your core values (what gets you out of bed each day)

–                   3 lines with 3 Links to online resources on you that show your true colours (including possibly linked-in, facebook, an online video of you, your blog).

What is an example of this?

–                   to get someone to read your RS right now, in your cover email you might say something like “Firstly, when you read it you will notice an unusual declaration about myself.”

–                   to show someone that you are being “real”, rather than say “After just one year I was promoted” say   “after one year I’d crashed 2 customer databases and my boss decided to promote me out of danger and into management”. I actually wrote this in one CV. That CV was a true-RS. It got shown to 3 prospective employers and landed me 3 interviews. These 3 interviews landed 4 job offers. So being real works.

Go try it. Fortune favors “the fun”.

Click here to find out why the real story takes you from cut-out to stand-out

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wayne January 28, 2010 at 1:53 am

good points there Dan – it has been the more authentic or idiosyncratic entries in some of my CV’s (like serving 6 months at a buddhist meditation centre etc) that have got me interviews.

Although it (a CV) is still the first thing employers ask for when recruiting, your suggested innovations are actually essential to update this somewhat archaic document in order to jump out of the pile, and to more clearly own and state who you are and what you believe in (saves wasting everyones time!)…Wayne

danielbatten January 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Nice anecdote – and I’m sure others have had the same experience.

Isn’t it interesting. These are the things that take us from “cutout” to “standout”.

…they get us over the “nick kershaw” problem (everyone likes, no-one buys).

…and not only does it save time (for everyone) to add these details to your cv (making it into an RS) – it means you are more likely to spend 2000 hours every year somewhere you like.

Not a bad payoff!

Leave a Comment