THINK: Include your digital literacy skills in your CV

You've seen that a positive digital identity could influence a potential employer or university admissions tutor when they are deciding whether you are suitable for a job or place on a course. You've also started to assess your own digital literacy skills and should now start to think about how you can include those skills in your CV or e-portfolio.

Remember the advice in Topic 1 to 'think dots' when planning your career. This activity is all about TRANSITION. Use your creative skills to 'market' yourself, this could be by creating a well-designed word-processed CV or a well thought out online blog or website. Just make sure you demonstrate your digital literacy skills.

What digital skills do employers want?

  • Digital skills are becoming an important requirement when employing people;
  • Email skills are essential for communication;
  • Word processing and the use of spreadsheets feature in a number of administrative and management roles;
  • Responsible use of social media is expected.

The most important section of your CV at this stage will be you your educational background. There will be an educational requirement for the job you want, in most cases a minimum qualification on GCSE English and Maths. After you have summarised these formal qualifications, start to think about other areas of experience and expertise that you have and provide a short paragraph about your digital literacy skills.

Designing a CV

An increasing amount of job hunting is now done online, which means you need to understand the strategies for presenting, emailing and posting your CV on the Internet. The way you design your CV for clarity and readability can be important. Here are a few techniques you can follow:

  • Use white space and bullet points to help emphasise what you want the reader to know about you.
    If the reader is scanning to see if you meet the requirements but can't easily spot the information, you may get overllooked.

  • Use bold and italics to emphasise key words or skills but be careful to not overuse this technique. If there are too many things in bold or italics, the emphasis is lost.

  • Use a larger point font for the headings and subheadings. This can help direct attention to certain areas of your CV and also demonstrates a strong level of organisation.

  • Use a font, like Arial, or Tahoma. If the font is difficult to read, your CV may not get past the first look.

  • Include adequate white space. This can be done around your headings, blocks of text, and with margins.

  • Spell check, spell check, spell check!  Don't rely on your spell-checking software alone. You should knot rely on spell-checking software…it can vary often miss a error in you’re spelling or grammar!!

  • Don’t use more than two fonts. More than two fonts can make a document difficult to read. The reader's eye needs familiar and easy-to-read fonts, like Ariel or Tahoma.

  • Don’t use clip art in your CV unless you are applying for a job in a creative industry, when showcasing your design abilities may be appropriate.

  • Don’t include photos. Unless it is required for the position, your photo is not necessary.

Linking to an e-portfolio

If you have an e-portfolio in the form of a personal blog, a webpage or social media account such as a Twitter or LinkedIn, you may want a potential employer to go onlline and find out more about you. You need to consider this option carefully at this stage as there are drawbacks to putting these links on your CV, especially if your webpage or profile is not perfectly polished and professional. Get teachers, friends and family to help you assess your online CV and help you identify anything that might need improving. Here's some suggestions:

  • Webpage portfolios are great for showcasing your work, especially if you want to go into a technical or creative industry. They can be especially beneficial if you haven't had the work experience to prove your abilities.

  • Blogs are another way to highlight your personality and expertise. Keep in mind though that blogs are often opinion-oriented and can open you up to negative comments or feedback that potential employers can read.

  • Online professional profiles, such as LinkedIn, offer advantages which you'll find more about in Topic 5: Social media literacy.

  • Online social media sites, such as Twitter or Facebook, should only be linked if you use them for college work and not for personal social interaction with friends.

  • Maintain an updated, professional, and polished site. Make sure all content is grammatically correct. Create design and formatting that is professional and appealing. Remove all content that may be considered personal and/or inappropriate in nature.

Good luck with job hunting or finding a place on a higher education course. We hope this advice has been useful.

Last modified: Thursday, 9 April 2015, 2:53 PM