Is the Traditional CV Dying?

The traditional CV may be losing its value proposition against far richer media

The traditional CV may be losing its value proposition against far richer media
As I review the feedback from HR, Hiring Managers, and Candidates on recent articles I’ve written, I’m wondering if the traditional CV has had its day. And, why are we clinging to a process and document that has been around for decades?

Using an ATS is No Reason to Limit Applicants to Just CV’s

If your business requires an ATS, there are at least 8 ATS solutions that are capable of integrating LinkedIn profiles as candidate job application collateral. 1 million+ LinkedIn members in NZ. 4 million+ in AU, over 300 million globally. So whilst not everyone has a LinkedIn profile by any stretch of the imagination, there are a significant number who do.

So, given most large recruitment companies and corporate career centres run a reasonably sophisticated ATS, and there are ATS solutions that incorporate LinkedIn, why do recruitment companies and corporate career centres continue to ask for only CV’s in their job ads? Should they be providing a choice of CV or LinkedIn URL with cover letter?

Candidates Need to Lift Their Game

Probably one of the reasons that LinkedIn is lagging as a default CV is that most job candidates LinkedIn profiles are sadly lacking. Whilst there are some profiles that really hit the mark, most – in my view, fall well below the standard that will drive activity, views, and opportunities. Let alone be useful as a replacement to a traditional ‘CV’. Whilst a profile may be at LinkedIn’s ‘All star’ level, candidates generally don’t use LinkedIn functionality that will really set their profile apart from other profiles. Few profiles are even optimised to be found ahead of their competitor candidates.

One survey of recruiters and hiring managers found that the reason 62% of candidates were screened out was because of information (or lack of) in their LinkedIn profile. While 63% that were screened in, were screened in because of information in their LinkedIn profile. i.e. The candidate stood out or reaffirmed suitability.

Has LinkedIn Changed the Game?

Where does your LinkedIn profile score on these levels?

Where does your LinkedIn profile score on these levels?

So, has LinkedIn created a transformational shift in the way organisations recruit? I say that if it hasn’t already, it’s certainly well on the way. Whilst HR recruiters and hiring managers say they use CV’s to develop an initial ‘objective’ view of a persons capability (they generally don’t like a photo on a CV) – the reality is that a significant majority (>90%) of recruiters go online to screen candidates LinkedIn profiles along with other social media (Twitter, FaceBook etc).

Assuming the LinkedIn member has completed and utilized most of the functionality of LinkedIn’s profile capability (including graphics), LinkedIn provides the opportunity for a much richer look at a persons background such as capability (objective ‘recommendations’), experience (referenced ‘projects’), environment (organisations, Groups, company background), knowledge/SME (articles, commentary).

So, if HR won’t, do candidates need to take control and force change?

Current State

At the moment the job application process goes something like this (simplified):

[ CV + Cover Letter ] > [ ATS (Screen) ] > [ Recruiter Review (Screen) ] > [ LinkedIn Profile Review (Screen) ] > [ Interviews + LinkedIn (screen) ] > [ (other processes such as reference/compliance checks) ] > [ Selection ]

Even if the candidate has done plenty of research, identified, communicated and addressed the hot buttons of the prospective hiring manager, CV’s often lack in communicating a compelling value proposition targeted to the role – failing to address the pain points/hot buttons of the prospective employer as well as a fully optimised and completed LinkedIn profile can. I wonder if it’s time to say “lets shake things up”? Are CV’s on their way out? Or are we going to cling to a decades old piece of collateral because we naturally struggle to embrace transformational change?

Future State

Could the process of tomorrow go something like this?

“Please attach an executive summary (what is today called a Cover Letter) detailing your fit for the role along with your LinkedIn URL”

This would require LinkedIn profiles to be at least at LinkedIn’s ‘All Star’ level for a candidate to progress. The ATS is capable of taking a snap shot in time of a profile – so from a compliance perspective that problem may be solved too.

Can we achieve richer content and focus than a CV through a LinkedIn profile?

Can we achieve richer content and focus than a CV through a LinkedIn profile?

The ‘Executive Summary’ (or Cover Letter) may include a one page résumé which customizes the skills and achievements to focus on the role at hand.

How far away is the CV from its ‘use by date’? Or is the use by date here already, but we just haven’t acknowledged it?

For more information on Cover Letters and Résumé that meet the above criteria see the following articles:

For the article that covers a Cover Letter that may fit this criteria click here

For the article that covers a CV that may fit this criteria click here

Is your organization ready to state:

“Please attach an executive summary detailing your fit for the role along with your LinkedIn URL”

Visit for more helpful tips on winning interviews

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Contact: Phone: +64 21 666 807, +64 9 5222802 e-mail: Craig McAlpine's Linked In profile: MISSION Working with Job Search Candidates to build their go-to-market strategy, develop powerful marketing collateral such as their CV, LinkedIn profile and social media presence, and ultimately to secure a new role that is not only rewarding but also assists them on their career journey. EXPERTISE Career Coaching - LinkedIn Training - LinkedIn Optimisation - Personal Branding - Job Hunt: Go to Market Strategy and Collateral - CV design and preparation - Interview skills INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE - Professional Services - Information Technology - Banking and Finance - Recruitment

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Posted in Applying For a Role, Curriculum Vitae, CV

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