From CV to 3Di

The connectinghr unconference (#chru) has a lot to answer for. In a good way of course.

Struggling with understanding and defining who we are – and wanting to be taken seriously for who we are and not what we do – seems to have a logical next step in the thought process.

How do we actually represent who we are in this complex-adaptive world? And what do we call this representation?

The traditional means of representation has been the CV. It has somehow and quite incredibly survived for decades – despite being possibly the singularly most dispiriting document we are required by convention to create.

It has maintained its general structure and groupings (personal details, education, career experience and personal interests/hobbies) since the days when we used to have to pay someone a fiver to type it for us. Attempts to jazz it up have often constituted heresy – one CV after all should be as bland as the next, the great levelling thereby allowing the reader to draw out the important content. Just in case the owner paid a designer to make it look good – and we might be seduced by its charms and not what it says. Like we would, really.

When you are required to dwell over a batch of CV’s in the vain hope of finding a spark amid the dank drfiftwood sogging in your lap, in which talent and inspiration has been forced by protocol to conceal itself, do you wonder just why?

Yet what can a two-dimensional CV say about a three-dimensional self? How can two flat pages (please, don’t let it be more) convey influence, contribution to the development of thought and practice, energy created from online and social activity, meaningful and productive connections created as a social node, innovation, creativity, and the wit and insight that inspire and amuse others – within and outside a profession, and in the grey areas in between?

Searching for a term for this representation, and not content with “personal brand” (too commoditised) or “reputation capital” (just too fish-soup) I landed on “3Di” – your three dimensional identity. That’s you, in the full and in the round, viewed from all sides, leaving footprints and casting shadows.

But then how to create the representation? Like the search for alternatives to PowerPoint, ideas pursued to date appear to ape the original. If triangles had invented god they would have made him three sided, as I believe Montesquieu said. From LinkedIn to video CV’s, they try to do just what the old form did. But like Twitter, the metaphor needs to be re-cast as something new entirely. The 3Di deserves a game-changing approach.

Suffice to say I haven’t found the solution yet but am hopeful of some debate around ideas. As much as I don’t want to be a “human resource” (albeit it makes for a song) or be defined by my job title, I don’t want to have to distil everything I do into two sides of black and white word processed convention.

There is also the matter of convincing those who rely upon the CV that its passing has occurred. For all of the eulogising about what we now reflect in our 3Di and questions of how, you just know that next time you apply for a job you are going to get asked for your CV….

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