Get rich with a new CV

We've all seen some dodgy CVs in our time. But imagine the potential for disaster with multimedia involved...

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

With so much of our daily lives moving online, it’s no surprise to learn that people are starting to reject the old-fashioned paper CV in favour of online CVs – allowing them to include links to documents, online profiles and other ‘rich media’ amid their dubious claims about captaining the university tiddlywinks team. So it’s a good time to be in the virtual CV business – particularly if you’ve been savvy enough to snap up a good website.

Which brings us nicely to VisualCV, a US company backed by VC Valhalla Partners and search firm Heidrick & Struggles, which claims to have ‘reinvented the resume’ for ‘today’s Web 2.0 environment’. What this means in practice, judging from the website, is a lot of dentally-impeccable Americans with swanky interactive CVs that include links to their previous employers, examples of past work and even short video clips of them talking about how great they are.

The advantages for ambitious execs are obvious – now that there’s so much information about lurking all over the internet, it’s never been more important to control the way we appear online. In fact, a recent survey by web hosting company Fasthosts found that over two-thirds of British business owners are worried that their online image could have a negative effect on their business – and if you’ve ever Googled a prospective example only to find embarrassing comments on Facebook or compromising photos on Flickr, you’ll know exactly what they're talking about.

It could also make networking easier. VisualCV has just signed a big white-label deal with the online community China Business Network (which brings together English-speakers who do business in or with China) – it’s providing the software (under licence) that will allow members to create interactive branded CVs, which they can then use to network with each other. CBN’s Christine Lu described her new service as ‘open and social enough to be appealing, yet professional enough for members used to traditional networking - without it being too cutesy or boring’. It's certainly all very Web 2.0 - even down to the fact that Lu found about VisualCV via Twitter...

Naturally the more information employers have about their future staff, the better. But we can't help feeling a bit nervous about all this. Call us old-fashioned, but even putting a photo on a CV has sufficient potential for embarrassment - imagine some of the disasters that could ensue if people start including video clips too...

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