From the Blog

What Happened to My CV?

How CVs Are Handled by Employers Today

The Curriculum Vitae continues be a tricky yet essential tool to master. If you have managed to chronologically list all your previous employments, siphoning out the key skills each role taught you then you are on a roll. If you have managed to objectively highlight your positive personal skill sets, as well as the desirable personality traits everyone is looking for in an employee, then you have done even better. And although this collection of data is essentially a rave review of yourself that may well have all your greatest attributes and none of your flaws, the real hurdle is getting future employers to view it and take notice.

The statistics say that those hiring spend and average of 20 seconds looking at a CV. You didn’t read that wrong. That tiny amount of time is all most human eyes spend browsing the ‘synopsis’ of the person they may prospectively recruit. Therefore, the job of overseeing applications no longer is reserved for the people who operate or manage these same places. In the digital age, people are connected more than ever, and this has both its benefits and its flaws – for those seeking to find new workers they see both immediately. Previously the task of handing in your CVs personally to the employer worked as a means for a first impression. You could be seen, heard, and had an opportunity to engage with whomever it was in conversation and enquire further about the job. This initial interaction is now virtually non-existent. Today places that may have picked from 50 applicants now have to sift through hundreds and thousands of applications. And with that of course comes an immeasurable number of CVs, which of course can no longer have the time and attention given to them that they once had.

This meant that employers had to change the way they viewed them, today larger companies have computers (or more accurately programs) look over their future employee’s CVs instead. Now the caring, lighthearted and fun qualities that may have made your personal profiles shine become somewhat redundant, the search program will not feel enamored it will just look for what it is told – this is the way that they work. Just like in a web search the keywords matter, and if they are absent there is no allowance. Even if you have all the correct emotional qualities that may be necessary for the opening, even if you have been working in a job role that operates parallel to the responsibilities required, even if you are a close friend or relative to a current company head – if you don’t have the keywords they are looking for, you aren’t getting in.

Some may say that this approach is fairer as those that meet the same criteria should qualify for the same role. It also eliminates the unfair favorability of people who simply know current employees. But what it certainly does is dehumanise the application process. Jobseekers should be aware that this shift is and will continue to happen, and therefore the way we market ourselves in our CVs is also in need of change.