Get wise to how the recruitment sector operates so you can make it work for you

The recruitment process can seem like a dizzying array of ever-shifting rules and regulations nowadays. In the olden days – before the internet, before social media, before job boards – obtaining a new position was relatively simple. You spotted an advert in the local paper, handed in your CV, hopefully got called in for an interview, and landed the job – all within a matter of days or weeks.

It doesn't always work like that now. Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for innovative ways of attracting new blood. Mobile recruiting is a fairly new phenomenon, whereby mobile technology is implemented to attract, engage, and recruit candidates. And then there are those trying to “disrupt” the traditional CV process by pushing non-conventional alternatives. Couple that with the expansion of social media and you could be forgiven for thinking that CVs are a thing of the past.

Do I still need a CV?

The question many job seekers want answered is, “Do I still need a CV?”. Is it worth your time and effort to craft a beautifully presented document that details your skills, career, and worth, while highlighting the benefit you would bring to a new company, to then be faced with an application form or a LinkedIn link?

The CV has been the traditional way of applying for roles for decades – it's simple, you know what you're getting as a hiring manager and a strong candidate can be spotted fairly quickly and easily without too much stress.

According to CV stats from Financesonline, 56% of professionals consider a good CV to be more important now than they did in 2019, so the market seems to be moving towards CVs rather than away from them.

Is the CV dead? No. CVs are still seen as an integral part of the recruitment process, no matter how much technology moves forward. It's because they're a great way of presenting skills, career history, and other details in a document that's precise and succinct. No other method works quite as well.

Do employers still read CVs?

The simple answer here is a resounding “yes”. You only have between six and 10 seconds to make an impression with your CV, but they're still the go-to method of sorting out the wheat from the chaff in the most efficient and effective way.

Ensure you've got a great layout to give that positive first impression to potential employers, then build your CV from there. It's probably best to steer clear of creative CV designs as they might make you stand out in the wrong way.

The benefits of a CV

There are many benefits of having a well-written CV:

  • They're concise: CVs present your skills and achievements in an easily accessible way

  • You can customise your CV each time you apply for a role

  • They reduce the job search time – the average job search takes up to five months but, according to TopResume findings, having a CV written by a professional can reduce this to under three months

  • If you know what you're doing, a CV laden with keywords and key phrases helps you to whizz through the ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to reach an actual person

  • A CV gives you new confidence to move forward in your job search – if you read well on paper, that translates into how you feel about yourself

What are the alternatives to the traditional CV?

Quite a lot of potential jobs require filling in a lengthy application form. It can actually help if you have a CV already, as you can lift appropriate information from there and insert it into the relevant box…as long as the application doesn't require a CV as well. For example, there's bound to be a section on previous jobs. Use the content from your CV to fill this part in, working your way through each box until completed.

Another alternative is the video CV. These are slowly gaining traction, though they're still seen as a niche product in many respects, despite advances in technology. One huge disadvantage of video CVs is discrimination and unconscious bias, where how you talk or even what you're wearing can be counted against you. 

Anonymous applications or anonymous CVs, where any information that could potentially lead to discrimination against the candidate is removed, are starting to become more popular. They're seen as a fairer way of levelling the playing field and reduce, or even completely do away with, any bias at the first stage of the recruitment process.

And then there are things like CVs in the form of creative websites, animations, and apps, produced as one-offs by individuals. Great if you have copious amounts of time to create these, but not so great for the vast recruitment sector. Realistically, who has the time, energy, and funds to spend on these? A well-crafted CV can do the job in a fifth of the time and is recognised throughout the sector. Not to mention it's much easier to store on an HR system and take into an interview for reference!

Next steps

Having a presentable CV, and a LinkedIn page that complements this, is vital to surviving and working the recruitment process, no matter how disrupted it is at the moment.

CVs are here to stay, certainly for the near future. Give yours a fresh, new look by treating yourself to a professionally written document. Follow the link to find out about our free CV review.

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