We’ve all heard the term “Big yourself up” in relation to CV creation. Give them what they want to hear i.e “I’m a hard worker who has worked in a team, but I’m also well able to work off my own initiative” (Guilty!!). In this piece, I wish to talk about some of the current frustration that I have in relation to recruitment and the whole CV writing process in general. I think there needs to be a transition to a more modern ways of recruitment and CV creation. Or at least the use of different platforms to show your true skill-set.
Sometimes, I compare Paper CVs (PCV) to Instagram filters. You are able to hide behind the reality of a beautifying tool. However, that is just a necessary reaction to the current environment. Everything has to seem that bit better to be noticed and given true appreciation. Let’s be honest, Instagrammed pictures of food can look delicious and exceptional, but they might actually taste horrendous. I, for one, am no more than an average cook, but even I can look like Gordon Ramsey with a few little tweaks on a decent filter.
Similarly, PCVs can seem impressive and a perfect fit. On the flip, they can really leave a potential applicant down as they might not be able to get across their true potential for the role. Many of us learn best through doing, not saying. Is there a potential to do more and write less when it comes to the CV process? After all, that should give the employer a better reflection of the candidate that is on offer. There are definitely flaws and cover-ups in the system at the moment and it can be a frustrating process for many people involved in it.
I am not saying that there isn’t a place for the traditional PCV, but we live in an evolving digital world. I think a PCV should be included as part of the process, but not the be all and end all. After all, a CV that is full of your qualifications and achievements prove that you are able knuckle down and get through a degree. There is value in that alone. There should be more challenges to the norm, however. Innovation should be a constant process in all aspects of life. You wouldn’t bring your girlfriend for dinner to the same restaurant every week (God help you if you do). You wouldn’t even do dinner every week. Mix it up. Furthermore, the addition of a Video CV (VCV) to their traditional PCV may allow them to elevate their appeal to the next level. I’d be very interested to see a study where employers ditch the conventional and try something different in their recruitment process. Could a business offer trial periods for applicants to see what they have to offer in the real world instead of judging them on their PCV and interview? Many PCVs are generic and spit out the same formula. Even those that attempt to stand out can fall by the wayside. If I was an employer, I would be looking for something different, some proof that I could rely on you as an innovative thinker. I’d consider giving you a chance for a short period of time to see how things progress. Not an internship, but not a million miles from it either. I’d set applicants a mini work task that has close relevance to what they will be asked to do. If they really want the job and put the work into a great project, I’d be more inclined to see them as potential candidate. Many employers don’t think outside the box. However, that is just me.
Average cooks with exceptional filters. I can’t help but get this feeling when it comes to many things in this day and age. It’s hard to see past the glossy facade sometimes, but that is the environment that we live in. People don’t want to see or hear the imperfections. The reality. PCV’s can be misleading and that is the truth of the matter. From an employer point of view, personally I’d want to see different ways that people can demonstrate their skills and attributes. From an applicant point of view, I’d like to see more opportunity for creative approaches that portray my skills more accurately. More importantly, that these approaches are recognised and accepted by companies.
“Think. Create. Do.”