MORE HARM THAN GOOD?
CVs are an indispensable tool for job seekingâ€”and theyâ€™re totally flawed 📄💼 ⛈
Print it out. Use the Europass format. Keep it brief. Add a photo. Write it in two different languages. Make sure you get it all on one page.
Striving to write the perfect CV can be a stressful process!
It needs to be concise while also thoroughly outlining your skills (both soft and hard).
It needs to offer a pleasant reading experience for humans while also being IT friendly, so that it can be screened by computers searching for keywords associated with the vacancy.
It needs to be creative but not too free-spirited or you may give the impression of being flippant.
After going to great effort to write your CV, all thatâ€™s left to do is contemplate its limitations: a traditional CV is no longer â€“ and perhaps never was â€“ considered an exhaustive overview of a personâ€™s professional credentials. In addition to the fact that CVs are not always comprehensive, sometimes they are too long, sometimes they leave out important details, and they provide no opportunity to learn about peopleâ€™s personalities.
So do they do more harm than good? ☠
It would seem so.
Therefore, it is no surprise that in many working environments the CV as we know it is changing shape, in a transformation process driven by technological progress.
What does the future hold?🔮
Blockchain-certified curricula to prevent false claims and documents drawn up in accordance with software-friendly guidelines with the capacity to provide detailed information and give extremely comprehensive professional profiles. This will all turn current recruiting procedures upside-down: rather than job hunters having to plough through countless applications on all sorts of websites, employers will seek out the perfect candidate by systematically scrutinizing digital CVs in the search for highly specific criteria.
How about job interviews?👔🎓
Be prepared for anything: from meetings with robots to interviews on Ferris wheels.
So thereâ€™s a glimpse of the futureâ€¦ and it isnâ€™t too far away.
2012: Chris Spurlock, an aspiring data journalist, designs his resume as an infographic. After it goes viral, heâ€™s offered a job at the Huffington Post.
2013: Philippe Dubost, a French web product manager, builds an online resume in the style of an Amazon product page. It helps get him a job at Birchbox.
Candidates can have no secrets from smart robots 🤖
If a candidate is nervous, sheâ€™ll know it in an instant. Vera is as meticulous as the toughest recruiters in the business, but sheâ€™s no regular HR team member â€“ sheâ€™s a robot! Or, more specifically, sheâ€™s an artificial intelligence programme created by Russian start-up Stafory. This technological gem is capable of seeking out the best CV in the pile, setting up a meeting with the chosen candidate and â€“ finally â€“ conducting a telephone or video interview and evaluating what the person on the other side of the screen says and how they come across.
When people become â€śmachinesâ€ť…
The founders of the start-up, which was launched in 2016 and now turns over $1 million every year, are Vladimir Sveshnikov and Alexander Uraksin â€“ two under-30s who hail from a background not in IT, but in HR. The two entrepreneurs were well aware of the difficulties associated with the profession â€“ they had first-hand experience of drowning in CVs, wasting time looking for the actually relevant ones and spending hours and hours phoning up candidates (sometimes hundreds at a time). â€śWe felt like robots ourselves,â€ť explains Uraksin. â€śSo, we decided that it would be better to make the whole process automatic.â€ť
â€¦ and software becomes more human
Though not much thought went into the name of this â€śdigital recruiterâ€ť (Vera is the name of Sveshnikovâ€™s mother), it took a huge amount of effort to set up and develop the project. Vera combines the voice-recognition technology of Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Russian company Yandex and is also equipped with linguistic capacities which allow it to hold a conversation. The AI algorithm was trained using 13 billion fragments of phrases taken from Wikipedia, TV programmes and job vacancies. Last but not least, Vera was given the appearance of a pretty, young woman â€“ who knew? â€“ who appears on the screen during video interviews, thus making the whole experience more realistic.
Quicker, more efficient recruitment processes
But what becomes of those famous first impressions, which often make all the difference when it comes to selecting a new employee? First and foremost, itâ€™s worth making the point that this software takes responsibility for the most repetitive, preliminary part of the recruitment process. It undertakes an initial run through the CVs, calls candidates to set up a meeting and answer their questions and then finally conducts the interviews (sometimes with more than one candidate at the same time). In this way, it can speed the process of contacting the best candidates up by as much as ten times (the best-suited 10% of candidates). At that point, Vera passes the baton on to her real-life colleagues, who of course still have the final say.
This innovative programme promises to revolutionise the world of recruiting and has already caught the eye of a number of big companies. So, be prepared â€“ if you ever go for a job at di Ikea, PepsiCo, Lâ€™Oreal or another of the start-upâ€™s 300 or so clients, Vera could be the one running the rule over your application!
A TAILORED CHALLENGE FOR EACH CANDIDATE
From a homeless shelter to a job with a multinational ✈
Would you be prepared to sleep in a homeless shelter to get the job of your dreams?
This isnâ€™t a joke: it really happened.
The Scandinavian telecommunications giant Ericsson was behind the incredible story.
A candidate who we shall call â€śLucasâ€ť was contacted the day before a key interview and asked to do something quite remarkable: get to North Carolina â€“ on the other side of the planet â€“ for something that was simply described as a test.
The company organized the challenge because it wanted high-profile applicants for equally high-profile positions to really put themselves on the line. The figures in question need to be able to offer â€śsomething extraâ€ť and they must always be ready to roll up their sleeves and handle unforeseen circumstances successfully.
A tailored challenge for each candidate 🤵
The original plan was to send the candidates to Puerto Rico to help volunteers from NGOs with the post-hurricane reconstruction work, but it was rejected due to logistical difficulties. Instead, the telecommunications giant chose Charlotte: a city in North Carolina with a vibrant business scene. Then it sent the unconventional invitation to Lucas. â€śI had no idea where I was going,â€ť said the candidate. â€śI didnâ€™t know whether I should bring sandals or a suit.â€ť
Waiting at his destination were two other candidates. One of them was used to working for huge, solid companies, so he was thrust into a start-up to show that he was capable of working in unfamiliar settings. The other was asked to develop a new business model to revive a flagging dance school. Some would say that Lucas was given the trickiest task when he was asked to spend 24 hours in a shelter for homeless people and recovering drug addicts.
Being forced out of your comfort zone 🖼
After spending a day talking to the local people and the staff at the shelter, Lucas had got a good overall picture of the situation, so he proposed ways for the organization to improve its support service for those in need with no additional costs by taking advantage of its alumni network. It proved to be an inspiring and stimulating experience for Lucas, who showed an enterprising spirit and the capacity to operate outside his comfort zone, which ultimately won him the job.
Put yourselves on the line 🏆
So should we rip up our CVs and consign traditional interviews to the history books? Probably not, at least not straight away and not completely. Nonetheless, you should be ready to take on practical challenges, although they may not be as extreme as the examples above.
For instance, the consulting firm McKinsey is fond of simulations in which candidates are given a set amount of time to solve real problems. Other companies take a more simple approach â€“ while still applying the same principle â€“ by putting candidates through trial periods before giving them full-time offers so that they can look beyond the words in their CVs and tangibly test their skills.
Are you ready to put yourselves to the test?