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It’s an age old question really, should I try and make my CV stand out from the crowd or not? Back in the day before the rise of the internet and all these shiny new social media platforms it was a case of using a comical font, or if you want to get real old school, posting in a CV on coloured paper. To be honest there were hundreds of things job seekers did to try and make their resume stand out. Occasionally we got to see something that made us smile, but generally it quickened the document on its way to the shredder or deleted folder.

In all reality it often still does today. Un-readable layouts that don’t make sense and what can only be described as offensive on the eye fonts are still a huge no go in my opinion. Do you need a photo? Let’s be honest for a moment and put all political correctness aside, people judge a book by its cover and if you are not quite the super model type then this will do you more harm than good. I know it is something you might not want to hear, but take the advice. Seriously. When I see a photo on a resume, I remove it before sending onto a client.

Now let’s forget about all the old techniques and fast forward to 2012 and the brave new digital world the likes of twitter and Facebook have forged for us. Would I advise against something creative on the resume front nowadays? Well yes and no. It really depends I guess on what kind of an eye you have for design.

Got a profile on Facebook? I’m not really the gambling type but if I was I’d lay money that you do. Anyway, it’s up to you whether your profile is public or not but personally I’d set it to private at least while you look for a new job. Within digital I’d say around 99% of employers go take a peek now. Got something in your personal life to hide? Then hide it. But that’s not to say that Facebook can’t be your friend.

With timeline being rolled out or forced upon us, depending on your point of view of course, why not go create a fan page for your CV. Now please remember, there are a lot of weirdo’s out there in internet land so please, do not put any personal contact information such as a home address or phone numbers on the fan page. Keep it simple, they can message you via Facebook or add in a throw away email address just for job hunting. Hotmail or Gmail will do fine for this exercise.

If you happen to be an SEO type, then maybe do a bit of keyword research around your job title and pick a page name that might be capable of ranking easier if some goes looking for a person with your career history.

Also remember to set it so that no one can post a comment. Apart from the weirdo’s there are nasty little trolls and spam addicts around every corner, or should that be under every bridge?

Anyway, let’s take a look at what we can now do with our timeline page. Well we have the option to post milestones with dates. Perfect for education and work history. Find a cool photo or company logo and this update is instantly spruced up and laid out in a nice chronological order.

Think about your header image. Remember what I said about books and covers. Avoid a self photo and go with something more appealing to the general public. Google top 10 best timeline headers and you’ll probably get a few good ideas of what looks good, or more importantly what other people think looks good.

Add some information to the basic information under the manage tab. A brief profile with the usual work achievements and selling point. Add links to LinkedIn profiles, twitter and personal blogs if you feel they are new employer safe.

You could add in a few likes for pages in your industry to show you know your stuff and stay up to date with the latest news. Just set your fan page as the main Facebook user when you do this so it shows on the page. This will be shown in a prominent position on the page so I’d suggest avoiding any political or religious sites you may be a fan of or have a personal belief in.

You only have four Facebook Tabs showing under the header image now and photo’s is a sticky that you can’t move. Add a few here if you think they would help but try and avoid those naked drunken handstand photos from the Xmas party. I’d suggest business related tabs here. Things like Slideshare so you can show any presentations you have made or if you have a YouTube account, maybe some cool videos on industry related topics. Maybe you speaking at an event if that’s something you happen to do.  The apps list is pretty extensive so think carefully about what you want to add.

Will the Facebook fan page resume make a standard CV a thing of the past? I seriously doubt it, but if done correctly this can be a great way to show you have a bit of creative flare and it is easy to update, amend and get in-front of prospective employers. It’s simply another weapon you can use in your job hunting arsenal.

I originally posted this over at ClickZ. Check it out as well as my other articles.