Your CV matters and not just to you.

It might seem like an old-fashioned document but it is uniquely liberating, a passport to new opportunities and a record of past achievement.

2020 was probably the ideal moment for ebooks. Millions of people locked in their homes with nothing much to do: and no shops open to buy physical books.

And so it’s unsurprising that after 6 straight years of declining ebook sales in the UK, 2020 saw a jump. Sales grew 13% to £144M for the first half of the year.

Seems straightforward, doesn’t it? But it’s not that simple.

Why had sales been declining for 6 years? And how do we account for the fact that in a period where physical shops were closed for half the time, paper book sales – at over £650M – were over four times greater than ebook sales?

When kindles first came out, they were heralded as the death of the paper book. But that simply has not happened. All that has happened is that, with audio books also growing in popularity, people have more choice. The new is not necessarily the death knell for the old. In fact, books sales in general have grown. (There’s some interesting commentary here, if you’re keen!)

Which brings me to LinkedIn, and video, and the much discussed death of the CV.

You don’t need a CV, goes the argument – you have a LinkedIn profile. You can make a video CV. You need something that can be read by AI systems.

And yet, stubbornly, the CV refuses to die.

A CV is uniquely your document. Unlike your LinkedIn profile, you control the format. Unlike video, the reader/watcher can dip in and out. You decide on layout, on length, on priority and on appearance. Everything in that document speaks of the decision you’ve made. And written documents are universally accessible.

What’s more, you can easily adapt it. You can highlight experience for a particular role. You can tell the story as you wish without having to start again from scratch.

It’s easily stored and shared, and it’s simple for hiring companies to annotate.

And as someone who’s read a lot (as in tens of thousands) of CVs, there is a great deal between the lines that helps show your personality, capability and experience.

For thousands of years, humans have communicated with humans by writing. Video is an excellent addition. LinkedIn is a very useful tool. But neither is a replacement for the CV – because CVs are stubbornly effective and simple.

The new can be good. I have a kindle, it saves me carrying a ton of books on holiday. LinkedIn is great. I make videos. But in this instance, the new reinforces, rather than replaces, the old.

The CV has many years left to live.

Watch our top tips video for advice on how to present your CV and send your CV to Vocative here.

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