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Who needs a CV? The digital future of recruitment
12 May 2015
It’s an interesting time in recruitment, to say the least. Social media is changing the way we do business – in a good way. Take LinkedIn for example: the professional networking platform has become a valuable business tool for recruitment teams, giving them faster access to the best professionals. And at Michael Page, we now utilise LinkedIn in our online applications by allowing applicants to enter information via their already established online profile.
On the job skills
In the IT space, demonstrating your on-the-job skills can land you a job without ever having to submit a CV. For example, Google now hires its developers via Code Jams. And in certain fields, such as digital marketing, having an active Twitter profile and making the right connections can lead to job offers.
That’s just the start of it. In creative fields, applicants are increasingly thinking outside the box to get potential employers’ attention by integrating their skills into their CV: there’s the designer who printed his resume on a custom-brewed beer and used a QR code to direct prospective employers to his online portfolio and the copywriter who bought ads via Google AdWords that showed a personal message from him when top NYC creatives Googled themselves.
Although these are brilliant examples, they certainly don’t represent the norm. Not everybody has the skills to put together a creative application – nor should they. On the other side of the equation, not every hiring manager is impressed by these out-of-the-box job applications.
Not everybody has the skills to put together a creative application and not every hiring manager is impressed by these out-of-the-box job applications.
A CV is still important
The traditional CV and cover letter remains the best way to apply for the majority of roles for a number of reasons: a) because it allows a prospective employee to get an idea of who you are, your skills and background in a digestible manner, and b) because it’s tangible. The last thing you want is to design a fancy resume only for the hiring manager to misplace it.
Also, you need to understand the audience of your CV. You may be a finance professional, for example, looking at a role within a digital agency. Just because the agency is funky, doesn’t mean the finance manager reviewing your application will be impressed by your creative resume. Unless you’re sure, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
What can we learn from these creative application examples?
– Having a strong online presence is vital if you want to get noticed. You don’t need to set up a website or use QR codes, but you do need to maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn profile that demonstrates your skills in a tangible way. But do bear in mind that future employers will look at your Twitter and Facebook profiles to build a wider picture of who you are. Use privacy settings on Facebook and consider the information you post on Twitter. Do you really want a hiring manager to know about your weekend antics?
– Tailor your CV to the role for which you are applying. Use your job application to show that you are genuinely interested in the company with which you are applying. This means you will have done your research on the business and you’ll be able to tap into that knowledge and create a compelling application.
In short, the answer is: yes – you do need a CV in the digital age. In the majority of cases, the best way to get noticed by a prospective employer is to submit a short (no more than two pages) and accurate CV that outlines your career achievements and backs them up with facts and figures.
Today there are numerous other means of applying for jobs beyond the traditional resume, and many jobseekers are using innovative approaches to attract the attention of hiring managers that don't involve a resume or cover letter at all.
If you're going to use a creative approach to job applications, remember to:
- have a strong online presence, an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and check your privacy settings on other social media
- Tailor your application specifically to the role you're applying for
- Have your CV up-to-date in case it is requested