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Google Docs Can Reveal Changes To Your CV

Published: Monday 22nd June 2015

A male constructing his CV using his laptop


If you’re busy applying for jobs you’ll most probably have updated your CV. You could have improved it in some way, altered that spelling mistake you made or even, shall we say, embellished it a little?

You will probably take your original CV and alter it to appeal more specifically to individual companies.

In fact, a survey revealed recently that a whopping 90% of job hunters admitted to copying other people’s CVs.

But it’s worth noting that if you are asked to submit your CV via Google Documents (Docs), Google’s version of Microsoft Word, a new tool means that every embarrassing edit can be seen by a potential employer.

The new function, Draftback, plays back the editing history of the document in the Chrome browser. It’s been made possible because, since 2010, every document written in Google Docs has a revision history which tracks every change by every user made to the piece.

The creator of Draftback, programmer James Somers, says he invented it to ‘shed light on the art of writing’ not to expose fibs on candidates’ CVs.

He said: “I have written a piece of software that can find, decode and rebuild the history for any given document. Imagine what a high school English teacher could do with that.”

He likens the software to ‘travelling through time to look over your own shoulder as you write’.

However, you can prevent someone from looking at your revisions by changing the permissions on your document or by copying your document’s contents and pasting it into a brand new file.

Google as a company knows a thing or two about CVs. The company’s senior vice president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, wrote on LinkedIn that he has personally reviewed more than 20,000 resumes and Google itself receives around 50,000 A WEEK.

If you’re applying for jobs, you need to make sure you stand out. Employers will be utilising anything they can to sort out the best CVs so sending them a version they can’t check the history of is one way to stay ahead of the job seeking pack.

If you are looking for a new job, you could download the Zoek app to let your new job find you. The app can be downloaded on iOS or Android.

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