Enough! The old CV is out. And the classic Europass format? Forget it. Times have changed and a CV is no longer enough to give an employer a complete and, above all, dynamic impression. Because the world of work is moving fast. You need to show you are ready and flexible, and that includes in how you present yourself. In fact, recruitment is following routes different to the ones it used to. Getting a picture of an applicant’s concrete experiences and personality is now more important than understanding their education and qualifications.
This is also because the number of applicants for each position has gone up and HR tends to have less and less time to spend on each one. The time permitted for each interview is progressively diminishing and that is precisely why it is important to make an immediate impression. It even seems that so-called “speed interviews” – lasting just 10 seconds – could be embraced in future. One such example is the tests McDonald’s ran in Australia, where they used Snapchat to recruit young people. This goes so far that there is talk of a possible “tinderisation” (after the popular social network for finding a partner) of selection processes. Perhaps this all seems a bit much. Well, for now it is difficult to imagine such a system established itself across the entire job market. However, these are certainly trends worth keeping an eye on.
Because it is true that social networks are increasingly being used by HR teams as channels for finding candidates – and this does not just entail a need to “clean out” your profiles of anything you might not want a potential employer to see. Maintaining your presence on social media in order to craft a profile that stands out to recruiters is useful, but the “CV of the future” has a format that does away with the old-fashioned list of educational and working experiences and instead gives an all-round and complete impression of the applicant. On one social network, LinkedIn, you can already upload links to work and personal projects, for example. In the same way, the CV of the future will have to give concrete examples of your past experiences, backed up with social feeds and video presentations.
The prerogative of tomorrow’s CV, then, will be to contain information from a variety of sources and combine them in a way that is captivating and thorough. For an idea of how this process (still a long way from being in use across the board, but in any case a work in progress) works, we can look to the various examples of “modern” CVs already in use. Indeed, for some time, the paper CV has been abandoning the old templates to make way for more original, colourful and creative formulae. The idea is based around the US-style CV which, unlike the European one, is no longer than a page. It does not sound like much and it is not easy to capture a person's quality, skills, achievements and aspirations in just a sheet of A4. But it is important to remember that the ability to summarise is vital. In a more conversational style than the prosaic European one, the US-style CV highlights the experiences, hobbies and skills that truly set an individual apart beyond their personal data. And, above all, it contains only the experiences relevant to the position for which the application is being made (although that does mean having to “rejig” the CV to measure for each application).
The time permitted for each interview is progressively diminishing and that is precisely why it is important to make an immediate impression.
Another example of a “futuristic” CV is the infographic, interesting in that it is succinct yet able to capture recruiters’ attention. But the career portfolio, another American import, could be the winning formula, especially for any one looking for their first job or who has had various jobs in different fields and needs to shine a spotlight on their transferable skills. It is designed to emphasise the qualities of the individual – the ability to work in a team and solve problems, flexibility and being able to listen and relate to others. Career portfolios do for people what windows do for shops, created to show the value of every aspect of their working history.
And while CVs are changing, it is important to remember that selection processes are under going a transformation, too. But this is not new either. Precisely because simply looking at someone’s qualifications on paper is no longer sufficient to understand whether they are the right person, certain methods for choosing a candidate are becoming increasingly common: group interviews, business cases, so-called “talent games” (a very serious way to study a candidate through the use of games). Even videogames have been used in some cases.
Last but not least, artificial intelligence will play an increasingly common role in the processes for hiring new staff. Already many HR teams – rather than sifting through the thousands of CVs they receive – are entrusting bots to look for the best applicants, by using keywords. AI could be useful in recruitment, because it can process and analyse more complex data – from social media posts to work experience, from training to personality. In this way, it can perform a preliminary but thorough assessment of a candidate.
The future is the future, but it always seems to be closer than we think. The bottom line is that it does not take much to begin experimenting with a new format for your CV, with the aim of presenting yourself more convincingly. There is no need to go over the top, but if you want to show those looking that your application is fuelled by initiative, creativity and flexibility, it is certainly a start.