New Google Docs tool Draftback could signal the end of the ‘creative’ CV

A Chrome web browser extension which lets you see the edit history of any Google Docs text file has been released. Google’s answer to Microsoft Word allows people to write and share documents online, but a simple tweak to the Chrome browser shows the full edit trail on any document. Given that companies increasingly ask for CVs and covering letters in a Google Docs format, it means that potential employers can see the array of tweaks, polishes and half-truths that people often add to their pitch for a job - including how much they really get paid.

Draftback is aware of this history, and assigns each character a persistent unique ID, which makes it possible to do stuff that I don’t think folks have really done to a piece of writing before.

James Somers

The tool is called Draftback, and was built by writer and programmer James Somers. Once installed, a button appears within the Chrome browser when a Google Document is loaded. It shows how many revisions have been made in a document, and when clicked brings up a blank page where the document takes shape from scratch - one word at a time.