Contractors' Questions: Should my CV link to LinkedIn?

Freelancer’s Question: I am a freelance contractor with an outdated CV. My understanding of an effective CV is the traditional dos and don’ts, such as not letting it run for more than two pages of A4. Anyway, a potential client has asked to see my CV. Before I send it, I can’t work out if the updated version should state my company’s website address and other hyperlinks relating to me. In other words, has it yet become ‘the norm’ to include links to pages like your Linked In account on your Curriculum Vitae?

Expert’s Answer: A good well-presented CV, on two pages, is an essential for all freelance professionals. It needs to have structure, be concise and clear. There are many models, but amongst the best is Profile/Career Expertise/Qualifications/Career History, and you are correct: the golden rule is that it should not be longer than two pages.

A 2010 survey run by Microsoft showed that the majority of agents and employers 'Google' the majority of candidates before meeting them. Those odd items of you on Facebook, that unflattering picture of you on a friend's blog, your incomplete profile on LinkedIn - these potentially negative snippets of you can and do appear. These discoveries often adversely affect the decision an agent makes about meeting a candidate.

So should an offline, paper-based CV in 2011 have hyperlinks to the online world? My answer is yes. The most necessary link should be to your career website, which as an extension of your CV does two things.

1. It continues to promote you as a professional, and then

2. It manages and counterbalances the results of a Google search

In a Google search of your name, your career website comes up and supports what you have stated in your CV. The website should be small, and contain details about you as a professional; examples of successful projects delivered, costs saved, achievements, etc. Use all the material which you could not include on your two-page resume.

Career websites are becoming more popular and are spreading beyond the origins of politicians, the media, and actors to professionals who see the need to manage their career and generate opportunity. In response, there are businesses, including Accendo CV, who offer career website templates and hosting. In my experience, these represent good value when compared with the lost opportunities caused by odd or unflattering results that a Google search might throw up.

Remember, your own website is, in part, the core of the message about you. Like it or not, we all build a web presence and we all have to manage it; if it’s fragmentary across multiple sites the results will not be career-enhancing.

ContractorUK has partnered with the UK's leading authority on Contractor CVs to provide a FREE review of your CV and LinkedIn profile. Contact The CV & Interview Advisors and one of their team will get back to you to discuss if your CV and LinkedIn profile matches up with industry best practice.

Editor’s Note: Further Reading –

How to frame your CV…

CUK’s IT contractor CV Template

Thursday 17th Mar 2011