Best Practices For CV Websites – How To Get Them Right?
Resume, or CV websites are all the rage off-late, and whether you’re a fresh college grad, a seasoned executive, or a freelancer, nothing showcases ownership, initiative, and professionalism like a well appointed website, with your own name as a top-level domain.
With a compelling biography, portfolio, and blog showcasing your subject-matter expertise, this is personal branding at its very best.
Given the relative ease with which websites can be set up, along with themes, templates, and frameworks fit for the purpose, there are few excuses for not having one.
However, even with a fully fledged website doing your bidding, there are a few tried and tested best practices to stand out and create memorable experiences for clients, recruiters, and managers alike.
1) A Landing Page
Far from just the purview of marketers, a landing page is essentially any page where a visitor initially lands, and its goal is to capture attention while conveying the unique value proposition as clearly and accurately as possible.
Compared to traditional resumes, you need not stuff all information on the same page, the initial impression can be hard hitting, and memorable to compel visitors to dig deeper.
The content you post above-the-fold, as soon as the page loads is prime real estate, and you should make the most of it.
For example, Domino’s Pizza posts the statement “Piping hot pizzas at your home within 30 minutes, or it’s free.” A headline that clarifies its value proposition right away, and a hard-hitting one at that, making a robust imprint on the visitor, that is likely to remain for hours.
2) Brief & Elegant Biography
The primary objective of a CV page is to effectively convey your background, qualities, experience, and skills. Writing an effective biography, or cover letter is an art, something that most technical professionals fail at.
Ideally, you can work with an expert in this regard, or you can just wing it, considering that most recruiters don’t necessarily expect a linguistically elegant prose while vetting developers, or designers.
3) Professional Profile Picture
There are 100s of CV websites that fail to include a profile picture, often because their creators aren’t comfortable with their photographs out there on the web, or simply because they didn’t think it was worth the effort.
A number of other CVs make use of cartoon avatars, or cartoonized pictures with the hopes of projecting their whimsical sides, all of which are fallacies that constitute unprofessionalism.
An ideal profile picture should be placed above-the-fold, perfectly highlighting the person behind the page, and should project a sense of respectfulness, and rectitude.
If you already have a photograph, make sure to edit it further, to make it more presentable, for which a simple online photo editor can be used, with a number of presets, templates, and settings helping bring about the desired effect.
4) Show, Don’t Tell
More than what you describe about yourself, recruiters and employers are impressed if you can showcase your skills and abilities.
The best section to complement your biography, work experience, and educational background is the portfolio, where you can include samples of your past work, with descriptions being as brief, or as comprehensive as you’d like.
Most CV templates don’t feature an option to include real testimonials from past employers, or customers. They only allow you to list your past work experiences, and this is where a custom CV website can add substantially more value.
Include the words of praise you have received from bosses, managers, and customers, along with their names, and the organization. This often makes for a much more compelling case, truly helping your CV stand out from other applicants.
Even though it still remains at nascent stages, CV websites are coming for the masses, but until then they represent a great way to have your application stand out.
Paying heed to the best practices and standards mentioned above is a great way to crank it up a notch, while also funneling your creative energies in the right direction.