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CV 2.0 — The ‘Socialium Vitae’

The internet has granted us the ability to express our inner narcisist. We build platforms or slap our credentials onto existing ones, broadcasting our achievements – even if no one is listening.

The increase of global unemployment rates is directly proportional to the number of gurus, rockstars, ninjas, and Jedi Masters popping up in a variety of disciplines — from finance, to advertising — and for a very good reason. Graduates and even experienced hires need to make an impression on their desired employers.

Some applicants are content with producing the traditonal cover letter and CV combination, while others are producing ‘employment campaigns’ of such a high calibre that they not only highlight their strengths, but have the secret sauce to attract the attention of the general public. The result: their SV goes viral.

Alice Lee captured the attention of the Instagram execs with her interactive, infographic style site.

dear instagram site

There’s nothing better than stroking a potential employers ego, especially with a demonstrable use of their own platform, like Jeanne Hwang did to entice some ‘pinterest’ in her.

It is important to remember that the internet is not only a place of success stories, it is also a haven for parody. Aleksey Vayner, Wall Street wannabee submitted this video CV to UBS

Which was subsequently spoofed by Hollywood funny man Michael Cera. Needless to say, Aleksey went viral for all the wrong reasons and the internet collective laughed at him, but unfortunately didn’t hire him.

Most recently, Kirsty Sharman, aka @KirstyCarrot felt so connected with one company that she decided to create the #WeWantKirsty campaign to highlight her talents.

She walked the talk, her South African Twitter followers aided in the dissemination of her messaging and #WeWantKirsty went global — gathering tweets from South Africa, the UK and even America. Her microsite received 2 500 views in less than three days and trended on Twitter in SA for three days.

US resume site — Resume Bear — even picked it up and the 59 comments associated with the post added clout to her application. But it was the printing and wearing of her branded #WeWantKirsty shirt that finally landed her the job at her first interview.

There is much debate online about whether or not online CVs will eventually take over from its distant paper cousin.

Although most of the examples that can be seen online focus on the digital industry, there is great potential for ‘viral’ job applications to make yourself noticed for an opportunity in any industry.

Have you seen any viral job applications you’d like to highlight? Please share links in the comments section below.

Author | Mike Sharman

Mike Sharman
Mike Sharman is a co-founder of Retroviral, an award winning digital communications agency that creates online word of mouth spread for brands using bespoke strategy, social media, and web tactics. He is also co-founder of Webfluential – a new platform that establishes relationships between consumers and brands through influencers.... More
  • Hi Mike, nice article! I think there is definitely place for CV’s like this in the creative space; but I am pretty sure I am not going to hire a SAP / ERP implementation team based on an interactive CV.I think certain industries lend themselves more to allowing and encouraging this out the box thinking and creativity which will be useful in demonstrating their abilities to perform the jobs for which they are applying.

  • Rich

    “Most recently, Kirsty Sharman, aka @KirstyCarrot felt so connected with one company that she decided to create the #WeWantKirsty campaign to highlight her talents”
    OMG, stroke your ego a little bit why don’t you.

  • Hi Rich; as far as I know there is no relation between Mike and Kirsty

  • Mike

    Thanks John,

    Ya – no relation between Kirsty and I, bizarrely. It’s interesting to note the processes that some investment banks go through to hire the most talented individuals. I’ve heard stories of people spending tens of thousands of Rands to enhance their CVs – sure the CV allows you the foot in the door, but it’s what you do when you’re through the door that will make or break the employment.

    I look forward to a world where even SAP / ERP folks bring out their inner creative ;)

  • SVs are good for marketing/advertising positions definitely. But uploading a video of yourself, and then telling your story, interview style, will be much more useful to the employer as a virtual one on one.  

  • Very Interesting Article :)

  • Agree again – the foot in the door is only 1/10th of the battle – the rest of the way to getting the job is once you are there – time to impress!

    The inner creative of SAP / ERP folks…….. I just got shivers..!

  • Jinja1967

    As an HR Poppie/Recruiter/Talent attraction Ex-spurt… I would love more creative CV’s.   Obviously the format has to be tailored to the organization (speak to your audience, communications 101), but the message to be underlined, TWICE, in RED, is to MAKE YOURSELF STAND OUT.  

    KirstyCarrot-Sharman is awesome.   She deserves the job… Bugger it, she deserves two jobs – true story

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