Survey finds CVs fail to create right impression

Job applications: Why the CV doesn't present you in the best light.

Job applications: Why the CV doesn't present you in the best light.

The CV is dead. But its demise is not due to the word 'resumé' sounding classier - it is because potential employees are complaining that the document does not do them justice when they need to show their skill set, writes Antony Savvas.

Online IT recruitment company TheSkillsMarket conducted a survey of 7,000 IT professionals, and found that 90% of the 1,000 people who replied did not like the idea of being judged on their CV.

They said it takes too long to write and is not an accurate reflection of their experience and aspirations. Only 7% said their CV had never been misinterpreted.

In addition, 70% of respondents said they preferred to use a recruitment Web site that is specific to IT, instead of a general one.

Daniel Elkins, chief executive officer of TheSkillsMarket, says, "The research proves what most IT professionals have known for some time; the CV is an out-of-date way of exchanging information in this fast-moving age."

The Institute for Employment Studies echoes Elkins' concerns about over-reliance on submitted CVs. An institute spokesman says, "I'm not surprised by the findings. This has been raised as an issue in wider research done by the institute."

The alternative to the CV offered by TheSkillsMarket and other online IT recruitment companies is for job-seekers to post and modify their personal details on their Web sites. And TheSkillsMarket claims to provide added value by re-writing applicants' CVs.

Those interested will still have to submit a CV, but the agency will tailor it to specific employers and make sure the skill definitions used by the candidate are objective and not subjective.

Elkins explains, "The problem with a CV is that individuals are able to say things like 'I worked within a team of 10 that managed a £100m project and implemented PeopleSoft across the world'.

"This may be true, but it does not provide the recruiter with the information about what the individual actually did or is able to do. We define the skills and competencies to reduce the subjectivity."

When the details have been agreed by agency and the candidate, the candidate has the opportunity of changing them on an ongoing basis. They can also track which employers are viewing their details, and put a block on their existing employer gaining access to them.

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