The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Guide to job hunting:The Lingering Death of the CV Part 2

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Last week, I dipped my toe into the dangerous world of personal branding, based on my true belief that soon, the traditional method of applying for jobs with a CV will be something of the past.

Change is one established fact of life that will remain constant. And haven’t we come a long way in the world of recruitment?

Back then, we still sent out applications and searched for jobs in the newspaper and on jobs boards, so we needed a marketing document about ourselves that would grab the reader’s attention and make us stand out from the crowd. I even remember a training course that suggested using pastel coloured, heavy gauged paper so that your CV was visible in the pile!heavygauge

Of course, back in those days we actually used the newspapers to advertise our jobs, and the jobs boards too. There were limits to how exposed certain roles were to the market, and how many people had access to them. It was all a matter of budget and how much the potential employer could afford to spend, to get his job the best possible exposure and therefore, the best possible pool of potential candidates. All these candidates would, mostly, have sent their CV to us to apply for the job. Or they would have applied for other jobs previously, to get their CV on the agency’s database. That’s when agency databases still had value, and having X-thousand candidate records was in fact a selling point, if you worked in recruitment.

Nowadays, one job is advertised a zillion times on the web. It is Tweeted, shared, posted, retweeted, and sent around the globe several times. Candidates come from all kinds of sources. This is mainly because information is very cheap in the current age. We all have access to free communication through channels that constantly develop and give us even more opportunities to communicate.

Nowadays, if you want to be a candidate in this noisy market, you have to know what you are about because there is a real risk of getting lost in the noise.

Because there has been a subtle recent shift in the market: Now, it is not the jobs that are hard to come by. Believe it or not: High numbers of unemployment does not mean that there are lots of people available for work. It means that the people available for work in the market, do not have the necessary skills to fulfill the jobs that are on offer.

So now, the pressure for Recruiters is no longer on finding the job opportunities. The pressure is on finding the candidates. And that means, invariably, going out to the market proactively to build relationships with candidates who are probably not even actively looking for new jobs.

This complicates affairs for active candidates and job seekers, because you are not just competing with others in your same situation. You are competing against the huge unknown quantity of non-active job seekers too.

If you want to find a new job in this type of environment, it is imperative that you position yourself in the places that Recruiters (in-house AND agency) will expect to find inactive candidates: Invariably, all searches start on The Internet. This means establishing an online presence for yourself, being active on social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, making sure that people know what you do and what you are about. So eventually, you probably won’t need a CV at all. What you will need, is to be resourceful, engaged and present online.

After all, they have to find you first. And then, they will still ask you to send your CV. Or they can just use your profile, thank you very much!

But sooner or later, I think the CV in its current form is going to be a thing of the past. Only time will tell!

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Written by Cathy Richardson

February 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Recruitment

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