How do we get to know the real you? Not the person on a CV, not the person who even turns up at an interview, but the real you. What books you like, what drinks you like, how you like your workspace, the things you feel are your blind-spots. This is the real you.

We think we have the answer. It’s time for you to design your own ‘user manual.’

Do you know what a user manual is? Do you know how much it could help you? Let us tell you.

Picture the scene:

Client A wants to hire a Scrum Master, Digital 51 were retained to deliver the project, Adrienne Howlett is on hand to guide client A through the process, and secure the best person for them.

Adrienne then meets Omar who is interested in the Scrum role, she speaks to him, qualifies him and goes through his CV and submits him to the hiring manager. Standard stuff right? You are regretting clicking through right?

Then the magic happens – Yep stick with us now:

Omar has a ‘user-manual,’ a user-manual which is all about him. Imagine a mood board, but not for a room, a colour scheme, a product, or an idea, but for a person. At this point Adrienne knows Omar is the man for this role and she now submits Omar’s user manual to the hiring manager. BINGO!

So what is a user manual?

Watch this video where Omar himself (he actually is a real person) talks to Adrienne about why he decided to use this idea and where it originated from:



To summarise, why you should have a user manual:

  • You can use it to show off more than your professional background.
  • You can show off your personal interests.
  • You can show potential employers how you like to be managed.
  • Show potential employers what you like in the workplace.
  • You can also visualise your turn-offs which might be more challenging to normally raise through the traditional CV approach.


So it’s all positive, no negatives, doesn’t sound very ‘real?’

Not at all. Omar talks about including the negatives on his ‘user-manual’. It’s actually extremely powerful, it shows confidence. If you come across as a person with no flaws, nobody is going to think you’re real, or even believe you. It’s important to show the potential employer what you know you aren’t very good at, it shows good self-awareness. At the end of the day- no employer is expecting you to be completely perfect, are they?

Is all this a bit too much?

Yes, you could say it’s information overload, but we don’t think so. What you are doing is giving all this information someone needs to make a more rounded, informed decision.

At Digital 51 we think the answer to recruitment is getting away from traditional CVs and interviews and shaking the process up. We have been through so much change in the past 18 months, we must not go backwards. We must use the opportunity of change to our advantage. A user manual to support your professional skills and qualifications is a great place to start.

The hiring manager from this example referred to Omar’s user manual, the details within it and the fact he took that approach as one of the key reasons they hired him to the business. So it really does work.

What would be on your user manual? What would you love to share in a visual way to a potential future employer?

This article was written by Chloe Brown Marketing Intern at Digital 51 in conjunction with Adrienne Howlett, Co-Founder of Digital 51. To find out how Adrienne can help secure you your next role, your next hire or provide advice on a user manual hiring process. Contact