· 2 min read · Features

Is the traditional CV the best recruitment tool in a digital society?

Published:

News of employees coming under fire for falsely stating qualifications on their CVs has sparked my thinking about how candidates use the traditional paper CV as a tool for recruitment in a digital society.

In so many other situations, the use of the written word is being overtaken by technologies such as video and applications - so I would suggest the broader question to be discussed is: what needs to be done to ensure the CV is working as hard as it can for candidates, in a time when information is key?

From advertisers alone, people living in cities are exposed to over 5,000 messages a day - combine this with what they choose to digest and a proliferation of Internet usage and it becomes clear that the modern person is accustomed to a larger volume and far greater stimulation from the information they consume. In some cases, it's hard to see how a verbatim list of roles and qualifications on a CV is inline with this new way of consuming information.

So perhaps instead, candidates should ensure the information they provide on their CV is more specific, relevant and engaging. They should try to showcase the specific projects they've worked on - providing supporting materials and links to adequately demonstrate the impact and commercial successes their work has garnered for their employer. This need for an enhanced demonstration of a candidate's skills is only heightened for jobseekers seeking employment in the IT industry. Being able to communicate technical skills in a list of qualifications is not simple, or in some cases beneficial, for highlighting the candidate's suitability for a role.

Last year, we saw the first ever augmented reality (AR) CV. The idea was driven in large part by an understanding of how IT professionals find the recruitment process. In a survey carried out before the CV launched, 46% of IT jobseekers admitted that they don't feel they represent themselves well on traditional paper CVs. To combat this, the augmented reality CV would allow the jobseeker to communicate visually with the recruiter - using moving images and graphics to demonstrate their achievements and experience - while the utilisation of the channel itself showcased their skills.

Augmented reality CVs, while innovative, do require some time investment and a very specific set of skills - perhaps not a feasible option for all jobseekers, but recruiters should be pushing for IT candidates to demonstrate the skills they do have, either within the CV or by pointing to relevant projects. While listing relevant achievements, accolades and experience is desirable and certainly impressive - IT roles in particular also demand an ability for candidates to put teachings into practice. In fact, whilst speaking to recruiters in the run up to launching the AR CV, a survey of recruiters identified that a lack of clear demonstration of technical skills (64%) was a core issue with CVs from IT professionals.

IT professionals are arguably the most likely to have an online presence, creating their own blogs, websites and tools online. Recruiters should be mindful of this and encourage IT professionals to showcase their skills through these channels, in addition to submitting a paper CV. This will allow the candidate to provide concrete evidence for why they are suitable for the role. After all, if the candidate can demonstrate that they can perform as required in the job description - perhaps not having the degree stated on a piece of paper isn't such a bad thing.

Richard Nott, website director, CWJobs.co.uk