Employer brand • 3 min reading

Is the traditional resume still relevant?

Today’s job market is candidate-driven. As such, it’s essential to maximize their experience. Does the traditional CV compromise talent attraction? Is it still relevant in 2022, in the midst of a labour shortage?

During the last Live Discussions I hosted, a few participants mentioned that they no longer used resumes in their recruitment. So, I organized a discussion on this theme and various elements were revealed. Here’s an article summarizing the fruits of my research and the insight I was able to collect during our exchanges.

How is a traditional CV used?

Usually, resumes come into play as the first step in the talent acquisition process. Their objective is to help in filtering the candidates before undertaking any other step.

However, if not analyzed by software or artificial intelligence, the CV will only be studied for about 6 to 7 seconds by recruiters. This fast screening often looks like a search for a stereotype, a predetermined pathway and specific prerequisites. While the usefulness of this process is clear in a market where the demand for employment is greater than the supply, it may not be so when talent is scarce.

A few reasons for moving away from traditional resumes

Of course, CVs can still be useful in many fields and at different stages of the hiring process. But several reasons could lead companies to question their relevance.

One of the first reasons to re-evaluate the relevance of resumes is the omnipresence of social networks. LinkedIn is a valuable resource for candidate information. In addition to listing the past jobs and training courses of candidates, it allows you to view the person’s professional network and sometimes even to read recommendations written about them. You can also gain insight on people’s interests and how they interact with others.

Shifting away from traditional resumes means opening up to candidate diversification. Rather than focusing on a checklist, you can gain a better view of the person as a whole. It could be easier to identify the soft skills, motivations and levels of proficiency of the new talent from the start.

Atypical paths can sometimes lead to the acquisition of know-how that proves to be invaluable. Via the traditional CV pathway, some candidates could be filtered out without regard for their specific strengths that could, in fact, be assets. By focusing more on the personality of candidates as well as their non-professional experiences (or, what some call mad skills), the talent pool expands. From there, exceptional talent can be unearthed. Of course, some candidates will have taken the time to highlight these elements in their CV, but this is becoming less and less the case. This is all the more true as the recruitment process is constantly accelerating.

Finally, a study pointed out that 65 % of resumes had incorrect information. But it is harder to post dishonest information about work experience on an online platform, as its public nature makes people more accountable.

What can replace the CV and when can it be useful?

As a recruiter, you can focus your research on social networks, but this isn’t your only option.

Some companies implement psychometric or technical tests in order to find talent. These tests then represent predictors that can provide information on the abilities of candidates, well beyond what a CV can offer. This can be even more useful when there are significant differences between managers about the type of profiles sought.

Another option mentioned by the Live Discussion participants is the creation of career days for recruitment. At these events, candidates don’t have to provide a resume. All they have to do is show up and take part in a short on-site or virtual interview. Obviously, this type of event is better suited for certain types of positions.

The video CV can also be used as a cover letter. This approach may be more appreciated by Gen Z; keep in mind that it’s not suitable for all profiles. If not used wisely, requiring it for the wrong type of position could have the opposite effect of what you’re after. But it’s still an avenue to consider with the growing popularity of videos on social media.

Finally, it’s true that some candidates don’t always know how to optimally present their skills on LinkedIn and other such networks. Depending on the type of talent you’re looking for, this could prove to be more or less true. Thus, while new and innovate approaches are encouraged in the talent acquisition process, the fact remains that plain old CVs are still relevant in most cases. It can be a valuable tool, whether used in a more traditional way or as a complement to your other processes.


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