• The end of the line for CVs?

    by  • July 21, 2014 • Career Transition and Management, Outplacement • 0 Comments

    The voices that call to end the use of CVs are growing stronger. So what options do we have to recruit without CVs?

    The voices that call to end the use of CVs are growing stronger. So what options do we have to recruit without CVs?


    Every once in a while I come across a blog or an article that calls for the death of the CV. I completely get it. CVs have become a type of junk mail that just clutters our lives. It actually has come to be pure rubbish flyers through the door: I have had unsolicited CVs in my inbox from recruitment firms looking for my business.

    Even good CVs are somewhat of a difficult concept, one that this blog post explores in depth. They are non-verified pieces of self-marketing which, at best, are honest accounts and, at worst, a piles of polished half-truths conjured by the candidate to get an interview.

    All that said, I still cannot yet imagine what the recruitment will look like without CVs. There are some great ideas about how to do that.


    There is this great idea of auditions. This is a simple way of getting people to be tested in a real working environment, but rather this being fake work, it is actual real work. So simple, it must be useful. Yes, even so – you may wish to short list your auditionees based on some criteria. That sort of spins us back to some form of CV.

    Big Data CV

    There is also this great idea about the use of big and smart data from social networks to identify how likely it a candidate to fit into an organisation culturally and technically. As clever as it may be, it simply makes your online Social Media a CV that you can just as easily manipulate.

    A Plug-and-Play CV

    There is also an exciting prospect of using Tin Can API (“The Next Generation of SCORM”) to account for experiences and learning, which allows users to accumulate “badges” that are verified by employers and/or universities, colleges, etc. A huge downside here being that a universal framework has to be agreed and understood so that equivalences can be set. Put simply – if I completed a first line management course with my old employer, my new employer has to agree that the badge I got for it means something to them as well.


    So while I know the fallacies of CVs, I also know that as a recruiter and a job seeker, I can keep the integrity of using a CV as part of the recruitment process. As a recruiters, a well written job description will help reduce the amount of rubbish CVs I get; and as a job seeker, I know to tailor my CV to a job description.

    As big a fan as I am about technology and their use, I am not ready to declare the CV dead just yet, but would love to hear about more ways to recruit without CVs and test more CV-less recruitment ideas.

    Tips for jobseekers

    Be aware of your online presence: a lot has been said about your online reputation, but not is the time to up your understanding of privacy settings to make sure content (be it a success story from work on LinkedIn or some photos from the party last weekend) is seem by those who should see them.

    Never stop researching: if you apply for a job, learn about the company. You would have done if you tailored your CV, and you should do more to know what auditions they are likely to throw at you.

    Be honest: don’t oversell or undersell yourself, neither in CV, application, interview stage; or whatever methods the hiring company uses. The use of multiple methods, like Big Data and auditions makes it much easier to be caught out.

    Tips for recruiters

    Understand social media: it’s fantastic to be swept up by buzzwords and by sleek, sexy agencies that promise you the moon and stars. There is nothing like actually understanding what Social Media will give you and how the searches are structures. This isn’t rocket science, believe me. This will keep you from getting wool pulled over your eyes, by agencies and applicants alike.

    Nothing beats a good job description: like they say – garbage in, garbage out. If your job description is written badly, is ambiguous or too vague, you are likely to get a pool of people who are nowhere near the mark. Be specific, be demanding. If you can’t get anyone, slowly loosen your criteria.

    Well rounded recruitment for well rounded hires: use more than one method to guarantee the right match for the job. True, time and money have a lot to do with it, but there are long term cost implications for getting the wrong person who will leave quickly or will make a mess rather than improve.


    What do you think? Is the CV dead? Would you like to stop using it? Have you already? Tell us more! Comment below.

    You can also contact us directly, we’d love to hear from you. Please say hello.


    Photo credit to ortonesque via sxc.hu.

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