CV’s now passé. It’s future-speak that employers are demanding

In a world of rapid change mapping out a path for a life of work and income generation is about as easy as predicting the weather. (Lots of stats with which to work, but as many imponderables as there are days in the year.)

And this is why when planning for a future in the world of work, instead of working with a carefully constructed Curriculum vitae (the story of my past life and how it may be applied to some future occupation ) people should be thinking more of a Curriculum in posterium (the story of my future life) that will be flexible enough to adapt to changing employment landscapes.

But putting Latin text prompts aside the message is clear – when thinking about one’s plans for the future – THINK IN THE FUTURE and not in the past. In other words what should people be doing now that will project them into future work.

This is what I have learned from a friend trying his luck in Australia. All of his applications for employment in a range of occupations were largely ignored. He only found out WHY when he sat down in the pub to drown his sorrows. For there he met a fellow South African who was well on the way in new-found employment. His secret ? Not to load an application with your past achievements (yes – to be mentioned, but strictly as evidence for who you are) but rather to give your vision for what your employment could do that would add to the upward momentum of the organisation you would like to be joining.

Using “future speak” when applying for a job shows the organisation that you have researched who they are and what they do, and that you have applied your mind to future scenarios which might benefit the organisation and that you would be interested in joining the team to put oomph into their growth path!

And, importantly, NOT to produce a wordy document that takes time to read, but one that can be quickly read and the contents easily absorbed.

I don’t know much about the world of work in South Africa, but the little that I do know suggests that we are also moving along this path. Which suggests that all those sets of instructions on “How to write a good CV” that you can get off the Internet or from your Guidance Teacher should be confined to the dust-bin, or at least given new life with radical change of name and of presentation.

The beauty of the “future speak” approach is that it emphasises the strengths that each and every job-seeker has, so that the application becomes an affirmation of one’s self as much as a job application. In doing so it has the potential to marry the minds of the applicant and the organisation so that the application becomes a dialogue between the two – and thereby increasing the potential for a happy outcome for both !

A subtle shift in thinking – but an important one.