Who Even Uses CV’s Anymore?

Are you still being judged by just your CV?

Am I wrong in thinking that CV’s are starting to feel like an out-of-date concept? For a significant period of time I’ve thought that, despite how well you are able to write and how eloquently you can describe your previous experience, it never really gives an accurate representation of who you are.

If we are all honest with ourselves, how often have we been turned away or rejected someone from an opportunity based on structured information on a piece of paper? Probably at least once or twice, right? Do you buy a car from a crib sheet? Or, is it an emotive purchase/decision based on what that car does for you beyond its MPG and 0-60? I’d probably place money that on paper, a bright red, rear-wheel drive, mid-engine, two-seater would indicate to most, a Ferrari; in reality, this could be a 2007 Smart Car.

I totally agree that this may be a loose analogy to back up what I’m saying, but I don’t believe it’s a million miles away from what we see in the 1000’s of recruitment processes that we have worked on in the past.

There is nothing worse than employing highly talented and capable people on paper that are physically incapable of working together. Even the most eye-catching, honest and detailed CV never really gives an indication on personal characteristics, drive, ambition or culture fit. A significant proportion of organisations that we have worked with recognise the importance of finding a balance between culture and team fit; maximise your existing team with compatible new recruits.

Once a CV lands on a hiring manager’s desk, it’s reviewed and pre-conceptions of the job titles, businesses and duties are made based on biases that the individual already holds (like it or not, this is true). If we assume that 50-60% of all hires are based on factors outside of job duties, are businesses missing out on highly sought-after profiles that don’t make it through internal CV filters?

Often we are trapped in a transactional recruitment circle where, from a process perspective, things grind to a halt whilst stakeholders deliberate for days and sometimes weeks on whether candidates are ruled in or out based on a word document/pdf.

You’ll want to respond and say, “that’s all well and good but I’ve had 50-1000 people apply to every one of my 10 live vacancies”. To that, I’d like to say that it’s part and parcel of relying on a ‘stick an ad out and see what comes in’ mentality. For argument’s sake, I’m discussing mission-critical hires to tech businesses, not volume hiring activities for drivers or shop assistants. Why are we relying on internal talent teams and stakeholders to box tick CV profiles? When in reality we should be engaging our networks to speak to and meet our candidate community.


I’m not looking to rip up the rule book on this, I’m genuinely interested in the thoughts of my connections on what can and should be changed… “Will, this is your job” I hear you say –  don’t worry, I have a number of solutions/suggestions. Why not mix up your application process? Heard of an elevator pitch? Heard of video interviewing/screening? Heard of actually listening to your recruitment partner that you pay thousands to every year?

I’m wondering about the knock-on effect of this on the employer brand; those in glass houses (or glassdoors…) shouldn’t throw stones. This isn’t to say that we as recruiters are perfect by any stretch, however, a few recent interactions with our client base have reminded me of the following:


  • NO without follow up feedback based on a CV in 2020 is, in my humble opinion, just not good enough – yes, you may be busy, but are you too busy to care what those candidates may say to 5 of their friends who may also know of you?


  • The whole 15 step 2-month long interview process thing really needs freshening up; a quick and sharp game is always a good game, go out for a drink/coffee, step outside of what everyone else is doing and recruit by meaningful interactions not, by the number of stages. When is the last time you checked your cost and time to hire?


If you want a Ferrari and not a Smart Car then let’s arrange a time to talk and we can discuss how we can change the status quo.

Get in touch with us at Edge Tech to find out how we can help.

E: info@edgetechheadhunters.io

T: +44 20 3633 6203

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