Is the CV dead?

March 14, 2014    |    Posted by    |    Candidate Hub

Applying for a job can be a long process, and part of that process involves creating a storyline of your life, otherwise known as the CV. Creating and updating our CV is one of the first things we do before applying for a job; it’s the place where we show off our skills in a bid to win over prospective employers. But since the social media boom, recruiters and employers are looking for new ways for people to present themselves.


With the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn playing a big part in the social media circle, some have started to consider whether social media sites can offer a CV alternative. Users of LinkedIn, for example, can upload all their personal information and work history, make connections with previous employers, and show off their references.  Some have studied whether LinkedIn would be a suitable alternative to the CV, and those such as Robert Walters found that 64% of recruiters are giving it a place in their job seeker search.  Our own Head of Senior Appointments, James Beck, prefers an up-to-date LinkedIn profile with a web of external connections over a CV.  James points out that people could be less likely to lie about their work history on LinkedIn, since previous employers would be able to see. However, LinkedIn is just one CV alternative; other members of the BlueGlue research team had different ideas…

James Osgathorpe, one of our senior technical recruiters specialising in LAMP, has noticed that the CV is becoming less of a requirement and more of an add-on (sorry, CV).  Job seekers are starting to send links to sites such as Github and Stack Overflow, adding a creative edge to the recruitment lifecycle. On these sites, job seekers can display their technical abilities and share their tech knowledge with the tech community (it’s all very technical), which James says employers love to see.  What’s more, Jamie Carruthers, who focuses on Web Design Recruitment, says that for him receiving a powerful portfolio is more important than a CV! He says that nowadays many designers are sending across digital portfolios that include all of the CV necessities, using sites such as Dribble and Behance to replace the CV altogether.


However, online profiles are not an all-round solution for many reasons. They cannot live up to the CV when it comes to some roles, such as marketing, customer service and sales. For these roles, the humble CV can still be the most important recruiting device. Becky Wanostrocht, one of our customer service and support recruiters, says she looks for a well presented CV, one that is free of spelling and grammar mistakes and is well laid-out. For Becky, attention to detail is the key to success and the CV is, at least for now, the best way to show off this skill.

One of our marketing recruiters, Helen Grant, agreed that the CV is important, but for content writing roles, a link to a personal blog is a well-loved bonus in the marketing world. BlueGlue’s Managing Director, Bill Ingram, concludes that the CV has not yet died; he says sites such as LinkedIn which try to replace the CV, are really only offering more of a digital take on it, not a replacement.

Long live the CV

So, although there may be other ways of presenting yourself to employers, there doesn’t yet appear to be a replacement of the CV that is suited to all jobs. It seems likely that employers are now integrating the CV with social media sites when recruiting, but as it stands this is not an either/or relationship . That said, perhaps as we all get taken in by the power of social media and digital portfolio sites, we will all want to use them to show off our skills, forcing the CV to eventually fizzle out. After all, video did kill the radio star.

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