A life's work on CD-rom

Tom Loosemore heralds a new concept in CVs
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Indy Lifestyle Online
When I left college, my careers adviser stressed that a curriculum vitae should be "distinctive, but not too distinctive". Matt Cumming, though, is not one to be shackled by convention. The 32-year-old advertising art director has come up with a new concept in self-promotion: the Interactive CV-rom.

Cumming collaborated with a friendly programmer to produce a CD-rom disk containing not only his entire portfolio of radio, press and television advertisements, but also video references from two previous employers. In addition, there is a roll-call of the various awards that Cumming amassed during seven years working in his native Sydney for the likes of Saatchi & Saatchi.

While working in Australia, Cumming wrote several advertisements set in European locations. None came to fruition, so he decided to combine a spot of backpacking with an attempt to break into European advertising. But how to lug his extensive portfolio around with him proved a headache."Carrying my portfolio around Europe in a backpack would have been an absolute joke. Plus I wanted something a little out of the ordinary to grab people's attention. Putting the whole thing on to CD-rom takes care of both considerations."

Given that it takes 20 minutes to view the complete CV-rom, slick presentation was essential to retain employers' attention. "We had to make the CV-rom a form of entertainment in itself. We also tried to make the production as professional as possible, to reassure sceptical advertising types that this was more than just a gimmick."

Prospective employers can browse through the CV-rom at their own pace, provided they have the requisite hardware (a RAM-packed Power Macintosh with CD-rom drive). Such potent graphics-oriented systems are not uncommon in the advertising industry, but most non-media businesses do not have access to this specialised kit.

No doubt a few more years will pass before the rest of us can rip up our paper CVs and sell ourselves digitally. By the way, at the time of writing Matt Cumming was still seeking a suitable employment opportunity ...