Is This a Good Addition to a CV? I Think So.

Y’know how when you visit a blog, for example, often in one of the sidebars (to the left or right of the main section) there’s a block. And in that block are a bunch of words. Sometimes they’re of varying sizes. It’s called a ‘word cloud’.

What’s the idea with it? It contains not just any words. But the keywords of the site. It’s a quick overview of what the website or blog is about. And each word is also a link to content related to that word.

So for example if the blog is about rugby, the word cloud may contain words such as:

super 14 – rugby world cup 2011 – pieter van der westhuizen – percy montgomery’s hairstylist – french rugby – rugby union rules – rugby league – aussie rules – rugby fixtures 2010 – brumbies – western province – the bulls – the sharks

So the ‘word cloud’ serves 2 purposes:

  1. It gives a quick overview of what the site contains; and
  2. It gives quick links to the information you’re looking for.

How can it be applied in a CV?

A CV is about creating the right impression. It seldom gets read word for word – unless serious interest is first established. Things a reader wants to know right up front are:

  • Is this person what I need?
  • Are they qualified and do they have the experience I need?
  • How they done a great job?
  • Who have they done the job for?

So a word cloud in a CV can help – how? for point #2 above. If you choose your keywords carefully – aligning them with the job ads you’re applying for and the keywords used in them – you have the opportunity to give a quick overview of the skills, knowledge and expertise you have.

These are very keywords the employer is using in their ad. So it creates an immediate ‘connection’ ‘synergy’ ‘familiarity’ with the mind of the reader / employer / recruiter. It says:

“Hey, I’ve got the right stuff here, read on, read on”.

If you’re in marketing and sales it may read something like this:

Marketing and Sales Strategy – Marketing Tactics – Branding – Advertising and Promotion – Sales Management – Managing Teams, Targets and Performance – Building Strategic Relationships – Customer Service

You can probably do a better job of yours, but there you are.

This isn’t ‘heavy weight’ information in the CV – recruiters prefer to see where the expertise has been applied, as part of a job (there are of course smart ways of doing that, in my CV writing for clients I’ve developed some cool ways). But it can work to just give the strong suggestion that you have the ‘goods’ and encourage the reader to continue.

I think it’s a good idea.