Gordon Kaye: Paper CVs remain important in digital world

The paper CV remains a vital tool of recruitment. Picture: TSPL
The paper CV remains a vital tool of recruitment. Picture: TSPL
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The traditional CV remains a vital tool in the recruitment world despite the rise of services such as LinkedIn, writes Gordon Kaye

We have all written up a CV at some point in our lives. It’s been the most common way of applying for a job for years, and whilst it has moved from the typewriter to Microsoft Word, its format has largely remained the same.

As recruiters, we are seeing more companies embrace the introduction of modern technologies to help find the right person for the right role. We live in an increasingly digital world, so it’s only natural that advances in technology should begin to impact the way we recruit.

But will modern technologies ever truly challenge the status quo of the traditional CV?

In short, we are unlikely to be waving goodbye to the curriculum vitae any time soon. To do so would require a change that needs to be accepted internationally.

However, technology has introduced some challengers to the paper CV and whilst these don’t necessarily threaten its immediate future, they have helped modernise the recruitment process.

The most significant, and perhaps most obvious, is LinkedIn, which now has over 467 million members worldwide. The professional networking site gives candidates much more visibility, meaning they can reach a much wider audience more quickly and on an international scale, presenting an endless list of exciting possibilities for jobseekers.

As for employers, LinkedIn is a valuable resource in which to search for and approach potential candidates that could be a good fit for their company.

But there are pitfalls. Not everyone keeps a LinkedIn profile up to date and those who are guilty of this could be worse off for it, potentially missing out on a golden opportunity even though they have the skills and experience needed.

A strong online presence can boost your employability and it’s a great way to increase employer confidence. Working in IT recruitment, we place a lot of software developers and many of them have impressive online portfolios. Site builders like GitHub are popular among the developer community as they are a chance to demonstrate your skills in action – something that can be difficult to do on a CV.

Some companies are innovating with the use of video and games though they are very much in the minority for now. Firms including Deloitte have introduced online games as a way of identifying key skills such as problem solving. New apps like ‘Vob-Job Search’ allow candidates to let their personality shine through by submitting a video of themselves to employers.

Though these approaches have potential to supplement the traditional CV it will be a long time before something comes along to replace it altogether. Many companies will struggle to embrace concepts such as gaming due to demands on time and budget whereas the CV is a flexible and universally understood format.

As the world continues to evolve, employers and jobseekers alike could do well to embrace new technologies that aid the recruitment process and steal a march on the competition. But for now, employers still need that potted history of a candidate so don’t throw away your CV just yet.

Gordon Kaye is a managing director of Cathcart Associates