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Is the CV Dead?

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Is The Cv Dead

Is the CV dead?

A frequently asked question, especially in the life of a headhunter, is to be asked if the CV is dead? Specialising in identifying passive talent tends to mean that when speaking to candidates, its highly likely that they haven’t got a current or even recent CVs and for some candidates that fact can be seen as a barrier to progressing with a process. I thought it might be worthwhile to weigh up the pros and cons of having a CV.


Against using a CV

The principal argument against a CV is how it works in a hiring process. In age in which personalisation is a part of most daily experiences from your Spotify playlist to your Amazon recommendations, a CV is strangely impersonal. Written as it is to cover more than one opportunity and backwards looking on your career, it is unlikely to make a decision maker feel like you’re an instant match with the organisation. Ultimately that is because there has been a shift in how organisations seek to assess hires, we have moved from a culture of hiring based on what people used to do or appear to do and have moved forward to a culture of predicting performance and asking what someone will do.


How does the above impact the CV? Simply put, in a world in which you have a well maintained LinkedIn profile to explain yourself, the rest of the hiring process will focus on cultural fit via interviews and psychometrics and around skill sets via testing or referencing. The CV has become an unnecessary step in this process.


In Defence of CVs

However, millions of job applications every year rely on the humble CV as the workhorse of the hiring process. It is possible to say that reports of the CVs death are overstated!


When thinking about the role of the CV in the modern hiring process, it is important to remember that it is often paired with its client side opposite, the Job Description. It can be easy to dismiss job descriptions as being a bureaucratic element of the hiring process, but this is unfair. Job descriptions are often the front line of a company’s attempt to deliver its values and mission as well as ensure it achieves its diversity, equality, and inclusion goals. Many HRDs and HRMs will match and shortlist candidates by benchmarking their CV against the job description.


Its also an important demonstration of who the candidate is. From whether it provides a hint to the personality of the writer, to their ability to articulate why their past work mattered and how they measured their impact. However, what really matters is that it shows an effort has been made, it’s a small hint that you are committed to the role.


Closing Thoughts

I think the most important factor in the discussion is largely how you feel about your hiring process. For some candidates, having the CV as their advocate in a hiring process is indispensable. For others it is a burden. The best advice is to be mindful about what your prospective employer may feel and always focus on proving what you will do if you work for them.