This month I’ve spoken to some specialists to find out what alternatives exist to the CV and what job seekers might need to keep in mind.
The economy and jobs market are at an interesting juncture. We all know COVID-19 has led to huge numbers of redundancies, but with the vaccine roll out going well there are reasons to be hopeful and positive signs the economy will soon grow again.
If you are one of those people who lost their job or are thinking now might be the time to seek a new challenge, you need to be aware of how the recruitment process has changed over recent years. The good old curriculum vitae or CV used to be the standard tool for all job seekers. To stand out these days, you may need to do something a bit different.
Let’s take a look at what the experts said.
The Hardcore CV Dodger
Charlotte Nichols is the managing director of PR and Marketing agency Harvey and Hugo. Wanting potential recruits to get creative and demonstrate their skills and talents, she started a campaign called #HarveySaysNoCVs. While few recruiters go to quite these lengths, it shows that recruiters are taking a different approach to the old “sift and interview” way of doing things. Nichols said her favourite CV alternatives were:
Automated Tracking Systems (ATS)
Have you ever applied for a job online? Odds are the recruiter has used an ATS system. Essentially, this part of the recruitment system is automated. According to Matthew Hunter, Industrial Director at MET Recruitment, an ATS can be set up to look for certain key words, employer names, years of service in particular roles and educational background.
Do you feel uncomfortable reading that? You aren’t alone. As Hunter says: “ATS Application Forms take the personal touch of out of recruitment.”
There are also common pitfalls people make, such as assuming details about education aren’t important. Hunter advises that if the application involves an application via ATS, you should: “Read up on the role read up on the role thoroughly and almost write your application with one eye on ensuring all answers are pointing towards what the system is looking for.”
Don’t Forget Social Media
A further suggestion put forward by Hunter is to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and dynamic. A lot of recruiters spend time on LinkedIn looking for candidates so keep this in mind when posting to the platform. Think about how you present yourself to the world. A surprising number of people use profile pictures that wouldn’t look out of place on a dating website (…and that’s never a good look).
LinkedIn may be quite an obvious choice of social media platform, but how about Clubhouse? The audio-only social media platform is looking to recruit a senior executive and is using a novel approach to recruit them.
Applicants have to send an email to People and Culture Director Jenny Battenhall, explaining why they’re correct for the role. If applicants make it through to the next round, they will undertake an interview with Clubhouse’s Chief Executive Officer Drew Benvie in a closed room on the platform.
Interviews on Clubhouse are unlikely to be mainstream any time soon. Even so, Battenhall pointed out that COVID-19 has made video interviews very popular. She said candidates should be prepared for this and ensure all the necessary tech works properly.
Hardcore CV dodger Charlotte Nichols wasn’t the only person I spoke to who mentioned personal websites as being important. It seems this is becoming a much more common way to get your name out there.
Deepak Shukla is founder of Resumé Cats. Interestingly this is a CV design service, but Shukla has had to move with the times.
He said: “Personal landing pages are an excellent way of showcasing your work portfolio, previous employer or client testimonials and writing proficiency. They should be designed with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind, enabling potential employers to find you organically through Google searches.”
What of the CV?
As you can see, the CV isn’t quite as central to the recruitment process as it once was. Nonetheless, some feel it still has a place.
Employment Solutions recruits candidates in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Chris Taylor, Technical Team Leader, had the following advice for anyone putting a CV together:
“Remember that a CV should just be a snapshot of your experience to date. Before we send a candidate’s CV for a potential role, we tend to remove a lot of the personal information that has been supplied. Keep it simple, all you need is your name, contact details and overview of relevant experience.”Chris Taylor, Technical Team Leader
Creativity is Key
As you can see, there are many alternatives to the CV. It seems a good place to start is to create a personal website and to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and fresh.
Whatever else you do, be it a video, an animation, an ATS application or even if you have to apply for a role using a CV, creativity will be key. Employers need people to demonstrate their relevant experience clearly and in a way that’s original.
To finish off, why don’t you tell DaddyJobs.co.uk if you think the traditional CV is dead? Its parent company Find Your Flex is asking people for their opinions and to explore the role of unconscious bias and alternative CV’s in recruiting. It’s a really simply survey and you can take part by following this link and have your voice heard.
Want to take a look at what Flexible Working might look like for 2021? Click through to read some interesting predications.