Do you need a CV to get a job?

Jun 05, 2019
hackajob Staff

Are traditional CV’s obsolete?

When typing in ‘do you need a CV to get a job?’ on Google, over 1 billion results come up. Did you know that more than half of millennials have some form of digital CV, yet only one in ten provided one during their last job interview? What’s more, a staggering 87% of 'traditional' recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates during the hiring process. It’s clear that CV’s are becoming less and less useful, and we’re not all that surprised. After all, recruiters require up-to-date, relevant information from a candidate; not random buzzwords and a list of summer jobs whilst at uni.

We’re currently seeing a trend where CV’s are used more as an introduction to a candidate, rather than a calculated deep dive. Let’s face it, when it comes to getting a job, CV’s are ‘out’. Below, we’ve outlined 3 reasons why traditional CV’s should be ditched:

1. Bias towards candidates

Imagine you’re looking through a pile of CVs. A particular candidate catches your eye, and you see that they went to the same university as you and even did the same course. Ask yourself, would you be more likely to choose them for the job? Rationally, it’s out of the question, yet as we’ve spoken about previously, unconscious bias is very real and it can (and does) appear in unintended circumstances.

As humans, it’s in our nature to try and remain as unbiased as we can, yet this isn’t always possible. Imagine you’re sifting through a pile of CV’s and you come across someone who is from the same area as you or did similar subjects at school. You’ll naturally have some kind of rapport with them compared to someone who doesn’t seem to have anything in common with you, which ultimately leads to an unfair advantage.

Instead of focusing on traditional CV’s, we should be looking to technology to help us impartially assess candidates for job roles. As an example, we should be concentrating on what’s most important: skills, not CV’s. Using hackajob as an example, we help companies find the right people for the right jobs and based entirely on their skill set. Our algorithm matches candidates based on quality alone, meaning that hires made via our platform are fair, fast and unbiased.

Whilst CV’s may have started out as a positive way to introduce potential candidates to employers, the tables have turned and they are now the focus of much scrutiny. Recruiters end up focusing too much on grades, reputation and work experience when in actual fact, what companies really value is skill set.

2. The proof is in the pudding

The tech world is constantly changing, with new relevant skills being introduced, modified and streamlined. Take the TIOBE Index as an example. The most popular coding languages change on a monthly basis, depending on what is being discussed (and therefore searched for) in the media.

Developers are aware of the constant changes within their ever-growing job roles and are able to quickly adapt, yet traditional CV’s aren’t quite reflecting this change. Think about it. With a CV, it’s much harder to demonstrate your skill set when you have to cram all of the relevant information into a document that’s likely to already be filled to the brim with further information about yourself.

Instead, we should be concentrating on practical skills, something which can be easily achieved via the following methods:

Asking for a portfolio

A good technical candidate should have some kind of portfolio, whether it’s a GitHub, GitLab or something else entirely. Essentially, you want to be able to see some examples of their previous work. From there, you can talk through certain projects, ask why candidates made certain decisions and see if they possess the skills that you require them to have in order to do the job.

Technical Testing

Technical testing is a sure-fire way to assess an applicant’s skills. Need a senior java developer? Ask them to complete a technical test of your choosing so that you can assess their strengths, as well as their ability to learn new concepts and complete tasks within a fair time limit.

The two examples above are modern examples of applicant assessment which are easy to implement within your existing recruitment strategy. We recommend concentrating on these instead of looking at a CV for things like where they went to school and did their work experience.

3. Lack of flexibility

The format of a CV can also cause problems, specifically the action of having to present jobs in chronological order. Whilst this may seem like a pro as it makes it easy for employers to spot gaps in a candidate’s timeline, we consider it to be a con as it can lead to potential discrimination or bias. There can be a multitude of reasons as to why a person has gaps in their timeline, such as people taking maternity/paternity leave, going travelling or even choosing to start their careers a little later than others.

Applicants deserve the right to be judged based on their skill set and nothing else. By removing the need for CV’s (and therefore a rigid timeline), employers can focus on what’s most important: practical skills.

Outdated and arguably not as useful in today’s working culture, CV’s don’t reflect the needs of the tech industry where skills and demands are constantly changing. Instead, CV’s cause bias, are unable to showcase skills properly and use an archaic chronological system. In fact, we believe that you shouldn’t need any kind of CV in order to get a job. Wondering what does work? We recommend scrapping CV’s and looking at a candidate’s skillset alone. After all, any other factors simply shouldn’t matter.