Much rubbish is being spoken about how the CV (or resume to our American readers) is now dead. You know, that static, slightly dull thing that lists all the stuff you’ve done for work. I read recently on a blog that in a resume you’re just a piece of paper but in a profile you’re a human being. What? Has someone swallowed a dictionary full off management cliches? Someone get me a bucket.
It seems to be the trend that we in recruitment always feel the need to pronounce something that is dead. You remember how job boards were dead a few years ago……well they’re still here. You remember how dead staffing agencies were………well they’re still here and now the doomsayers are turning their sights on the poor old humble resume.
A cv in some form will always exist. Whenever you apply for a job there will have to be a mechanism for the potential recruiter to assess whether your background means it’s likely that you will have the skill set required to do the job. The only likely exception to this will be very low skilled jobs where previous experience of any kind is not required beyond possibly basic physical coordination.
A much more sensible argument is that the cv will always exist but that it is likely to change somewhat and quite possibly be presented to the employer in a different way. So here’s our list of things we’d like to see on every cv. These are pretty unlikely but in an ideal world the perfect cv would include:
- The basics you get now with details on employment etc.
- A video presentation from the candidate outlining why they think they are suitable for the job including specific examples of how their previous experience could help the potential employer.
- Details of your education and grades supplied directly by the schools/colleges you attended
- Your score in a standard intelligence test which everyone on the planet must sit
- A copy of all your past appraisals
- Comments from your current/past colleagues who’ve worked above, below and alongside you, giving their input into your likely suitability for the role
- Your precise current or last salary
- References from other companies that you have come into contact with: clients,partners, suppliers which is interactive allowing the potential recruiting company to ask these people questions
Points 3 - 8 could not be edited by the candidate in any way and the information would be electronically sucked into the candidate’s resume into a predetermined set of fields that can only be viewed by someone that candidate authorises.
Which brings me nicely onto the delivery of the cv.
The future cv (ideally) would be a web based piece of work. Not a word document or pdf but a page or pages which the candidate can update point 1 above. The video section could be created a dozen different times and tweaked to suit the specific job applied for in essence creating multiple version of the same cv….except the video content would differ from application to application. Points 3 - 8 could then be inserted into the candidate’s cv and there would be no hiding place from the results. Which means of course that every employer and educational establishment would have to sign up to use some great big central repository of candidate information on appraisals, a gold standard intelligence test, and partners/clients could login when prompted and update the information on the candidate if they had come into contact with them.
The problem with the cv is that it’s written by the candidate. Most are full of half truths, lies, damned lies and statistics (job at Yahoo anyone?). So imagine an interactive profile where at least 80% of the information is provided by others and the candidate can’t control what is said.
Now that would be interesting ! Think of all those duff hires you’ve made, you know….. the bluffers who’ve either misled you by massaging the truth on their resume or just talked a phenomenally good game during the interview. Come on, admit it, we’ve all hired at least one shocker. But with an online cv like this, it just wouldn’t happen. The bluffers would be exposed before they even got to interview and if they chose not to submit this new 360 degree profile, instead opting for the self penned traditional cv…….well you’d know they’be trying to hide something. In fact when you think about it, the entire cv (with the exception of the personal stuff like contact details) could theoretically be inserted by different organisations and sets of people…….and not by the applicant themselves. What we would need is some king of gargantuan online life database where your life could be gradually listed. Get a degree……the University updates your file. Get an accounting qualification, your employer updates your file. Got a pay rise, good/bad appraisal, new job etc etc….your employer updates your online profile. A kind of Facebook timeline for employment…..but written by others.
So is the cv dead? No, of course it isn’t but it will likely adapt as sites like Linkedin become the de facto storage facility for everyone’s career history. Already you can boost your credibility with references from people you’ve worked alongside and one wonders how long it will be before they allow users to post video profiles as well. Will it ever contain the other stuff outlined above………….watch this space.