In today’s world, CVs have become more of a formality than an actual requirement for getting a job. Sadly, though majority of job-seekers still set a lot of store by knowledge of how to write a CV and as a result are missing out on the job opportunities they would otherwise have access to. Picture a scenario whereby two people apply for a job at a growing company. Candidate A sends his application alongside a well-crafted CV. He’s confident that the awards, accolades and achievements he was able to bring up, right from his high school days will be enough to impress the company and get him an interview later on. He was the captain of a school team, had good grades in the university, and even had a master’s degree abroad – in short, he looks good on paper…very good.
Candidate B however, sends in an application that’s different from all the others. It contains a resume, of course, but it’s more restrained than the rest. It contains just enough to let the company know about him, but doesn’t distract from the value he proposes to add to the company. The time leading to the interview is spent researching about the company’s business, its successes and failures and the ways he can improve on their already existing methods. During the interview, he doesn’t hesitate to tell them “if you bring me on board, this is what I would do for you.” he outlines some issues facing the firm and tells them of a few ways which he would solve these problems. His entire application and interview is more about them than it is about him. Who do you think got the job?
The truth is today, how to write a CV doesn’t mean as much as it used to. Most other people have similar, if not the same skills, credentials and achievements as you. Here are 3 reasons why how to write a CV is no longer as required as it used to be.
- Cvs aren’t always accurate: And employers know this. They know that it’s difficult to get a sense of a candidate’s true personality through a cv alone. If they make a selection for a shortlist based on cvs alone, they would miss out on a lot of other people who could be a better fit for the job. Cvs are also not verified, which allows for exaggeration, and sometimes outright lies. Without checking out a candidate in person, the best cv might not belong to the best candidate.
- Times are changing: today, the new CV is on Linkedin and it partially addresses the issue of verification by allowing references on profiles of users. Some companies are as a result allowing applicants to submit Linkedin profiles in place of a CV. But there is a legal aspect to consider with social media. While LinkedIn profiles can convey a better idea of the candidate’s personality and the type of work environment they are suited to, making a hiring decision based on someone’s social media accounts could lead to greater discrimination.Online job applications are also popular – especially among large companies. These often involve online tests, which allow employers to test the skills needed. The downside is that these applications can be time-consuming and may put applicants off applying.
- The shift is towards the skills-based: over the last decade, recruitment has been transformed by technology. While the CV is no longer the only way to apply for jobs, it is still usually necessary for the first stage of applicants. The majority of job websites request candidates upload a CV and cover letter as standard, and this seems unlikely to change anytime soon. CVs are not outdated yet, but are evolving to become a part of a broader and more rigorous recruitment process. Taking on a new starter is expensive, meaning companies are investing in more resources to ensure they make the right decision.
In order to move with these times, as a job seeker, instead of focusing on learning how to write a CV, the following steps are advised so you don’t get left behind:
- Create a Linkedin profile: if you don’t have one already, now is the time to start. These days, Linkedin is where your online CV starts, and shows all the basic information an employer would need. You can also connect with people, get recommendations from them and share content that interests you about your field.
- Facebook: this says a lot about who you are and is an easy way companies follow up on anyone who is a prospective employee.
- Twitter: Twitter is a great social networking channel to help showcase your knowledge, ability, and awareness about your industry. It’s a 140 character note showcasing personality by talking about your quirks, brainwork and understanding of your role in your industry. Remember though, Twitter is very much like Facebook, a little bit of humour won’t be scrutinized, but keep it light and professional.
If you have any other reasons why knowing how to write a CV is no longer needed, leave a comment below.