Archives For CV

Sample CVArticle by Rupert Sellers

How useful is a CV today for hiring purposes?

Most recruiters are at breaking point as to how to handle CVs effectively, and quantity over quality is the constant issue.

To process the volume of applications generated from online job sites, many HR teams rely on automated keyword filters to sift CVs.

That might seem smart, but candidates who don’t include certain words that match the criteria set by the employer will immediately be discarded. Pity those highly suitable candidates that didn’t make the cut, simply because they chose to use alternative descriptive words in their CV.

It means that a lot of great talent is condemned to the reject file, without even being considered.

Candidates have a tougher application process than ever before and they are having to rely on the right keywords in order to make the initial selection. Unfortunately many keywords that appear in CVs do not reflect the actual candidate. Any candidate, good or bad, can add the keywords an employer is looking for – regardless of whether they actually have that skill.

The same applies to LinkedIn profiles: Users are renowned for overstating their skills, so how can a recruiter/employer find the right candidates based on a keyword search?

Advising candidates to copy keywords from a job description to their CV ridicules the recruitment screening process

Candidates will of course welcome advice and tips on how they can stand out and have their job application considered, but so-called ‘career coaches’ and ‘expert resume writers’ who constantly tweet the lines below are a nuisance for employers:

“#Jobseekers. Review the job ad & company website & mirror keywords in your resume that the employer uses.”

“#Resumetips: Beat the filters. Use keywords in your resume drawn from job descriptions or ads.”

These tips may help applicants in the selection process, initially at least, but this advice completely skews the keyword sift that so many employers rely on. Screening a text CV based on matching keywords to select talent is flawed. Employers and candidates deserve a fairer, more robust recruitment process.

See also: The diminishing value of a CV

 

 

Article by Rupert Sellers

ReTraditional CVs - 8.8 seconds to reviewcruiters need better solution to screen talent than outdated text CV

A Curriculum Vitae, Latin for a “course of one’s life”, used to be a rare document and employers to whom it was sent would take their time to review every detail. This all worked pretty well when there wasn’t much movement in the jobs market. A few decades ago, jobs would become available to graduates and apprentices when employees after 30 or 40 years of service retired. A ‘job for life’ was quite normal.

Today, that approach to employment is unimaginable. Average job tenure is now 4.4 years, and most millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. Thanks to the internet, employers post thousands of jobs every day via job boards, aggregators and social media, and in return they receive millions of CVs – unfortunately many of which are completely unsuitable.

With so many CVs to review, recruiters are spending less than 10 seconds on each one to decide whether or not to keep a candidate in the recruitment process. Inevitably, some hidden gems get rejected as words ‘on paper’ provide only limited insight on the candidate.

CV writer specialists are not the answer

Given the precious window of opportunity (the 10 second glance of a CV), it’s not surprising that there are hundreds of companies and ‘specialists’ offering advice on ‘how to write a CV’ – and some even charge for the service. Content in a CV has become so critical due to the sheer volume that recruiters and employers have to process, and every word written has to be considered a potential keyword a recruiter is looking for (often searched for via an applicant tracking system). But does a CV stuffed with keywords that mirror the job description mean it represents a good candidate?

Ironically, the most desirable candidates tend not to have the best CVs in terms of layout and details provided. The active job seeker who might not be remarkable is far more likely to have a CV with all the necessary content to advance to the next stage of the process.

Too much emphasis on CV for candidate selection

Organisations will of course conduct interviews for candidates that make the selection, and possibly use psychometric tests, but there is too much emphasis placed on the CV – and many good candidates could be wrongly eliminated without the chance to prove themselves in interviews and tests that would follow the CV assessment stage.

In the many years I have been a recruiter for the luxury hospitality sector I have seen some fantastic looking CVs that simply don’t match up to the person. I have also come across great candidates with underwhelming CVs. Work experience can be deceiving. If a candidate has worked for some top brands they tend to be much more attractive to an employer than a candidate who has experience with unknown company names. We assume that the brands speak for themselves and therefore associated candidates must be good. But I have come across many mediocre candidates with seemingly glowing CVs who have somehow managed to hide below the radar and progress in their career from one good brand to the next.

Looking beyond the CV with video

Recruiters have a big job to process high volumes of candidates but racing through CVs is not the solution, particularly when you are hiring for customer service positions. A quick glance at qualifications and work experience doesn’t tell you much about the person. How do you know what their ‘soft skills’ are like? Of course it is not practical to meet all your applicants in person, and conducting phone interviews could also be a lengthy process. But before you eliminate your ‘maybe’ candidates (those that you are not sure about, but you haven’t the time to include them), consider inviting your candidate selection to record a personalised pre-set video interview. You will gather much more insight and you are likely to make a better judgment on whether or not to keep a candidate in the early stage of your recruitment process.

With backingSample CV music track of ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, watch this great 2 minute video that shows how technology is changing and largely improving our lives.

Many purists argue that technology rips out the soul from some of our treasured traditions, such as the classic vinyl LP replaced by iTune downloads or the cherished paperback steadily being replaced by Tablets such as Kindle and the iPad.

And these purists have a point. There is something special about listening to music on vinyl; the vocals and instruments seem more real and vibrant. Fortunately, three years on from when this video clip was published on YouTube, vinyl is having a great resurgence. And so is the wrist watch, albeit as Apple Watch (not the clockwork type)!

What about the traditional CV?

Preserving some traditions makes sense. But when it comes to identifying talented candidates, there is nothing to cherish about the traditional Curriculum Vitae. Yes, it documents a candidate’s track record of employment and qualifications which is important, but it tells you nothing about personality and attitude, the hugely important ‘soft skills’ required for customer facing employees in hospitality.

Thanks to technology, assessing candidates is now much easier and employers can view video interviews from each applicant at the click of a button, and have much richer insight on a candidate than a text CV alone.

So should you carry on screening candidates with the traditional text CV …or embrace Video where you can see and hear a candidate answer questions you would ask in an interview?

Technology has clearly paved the way for more effective talent selection in the early stages of the recruitment process.

This 2 minute video shows how technology is impacting our lives. The evolution of CV to video is not included in this piece but it would have been another good illustration.

Perhaps Video will kill …the CV!

 

 

Article by Rupert Sellers

Profile photos - smallIt’s a long standing debate about whether or not a candidate’s photo should appear in a CV.

More often than not, published articles advise candidates not to include their photo as it could lead to discrimination – and some quote that there is an “88% job rejection rate if candidates have a photo of themselves on their CV”. Really?? It’s worth noting that this ‘statistic’ was compiled by a company called ‘Be Hiring’ over two years ago (Try finding them on the internet; I don’t think they exist anymore).

It’s time to be more realistic in today’s visual, multimedia age about how a CV / resume should be presented. And employers should stop overly worrying about discrimination implications due to a photo.

Think about LinkedIn and how powerful this social network has become as a recruiting source. LinkedIn’s Nicole Williams makes the case that “You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have (a photo). Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong.”

In Susan Joyce’s piece in the Huffington Post, she feels if you can be visually judged when you meet someone in person then why is a photo any different: “If someone doesn’t want to hire me because of my age (shown by my gray hair), they won’t hire me whether they see my gray hair in my LinkedIn photo or in person. So, I feel that I’m saving my valuable time and energy by making it clear who I am.”

We have all become far more visual in our communications, so why should a CV be any different? The photo personalises the CV and helps the individual to be more identifiable rather than just another applicant.

Video interviewing takes visual a step further (before any face-to-face interviews), giving candidates the opportunity to showcase themselves by answering questions on video that have been pre-set by the employer. Compact Interview provides this straightforward service as part of a growing number of employers’ recruitment process, and the visual and audio insight is proving invaluable.

It’s true that age, sex, race and possibly religion can be determined from a photo or a video, and of course when a candidate meets an employer in person. But instead of worrying about discrimination employers and recruiters should focus on best practice recruitment: Treat applications professionally and don’t be influenced by a candidate’s appearance other than grooming standards and dress sense (which are important factors for customer service industries such as hospitality).

Photos and video undoubtedly enrich a text CV, so let’s stop putting off candidates from including their photo and embrace the visual, multimedia age we all live in.