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Is the importance of CVs overrated?

The vast majority of my day-to-day job is spent speaking to our amazing network of candidates - both new and old - and most conversations will inevitably feature some discussion about their CV.

While it’s always been known to be best practice to have a full up-to-date CV available when looking to move roles, it is possible that come employers and hiring managers place too much emphasis and importance on that document than they should – and there’s a very simple reason for that.

In an industry as densely populated with talent as tech, it’s often the case that the best candidates for a role are already employed elsewhere – so are highly unlikely to have their CV ready to go and fully up-to-date, as they won’t actively be seeking new work. By being overly wedded to the idea of CVs, businesses can actually delay the hiring process and cut themselves off from the type of talent that could really boost their company.

That isn’t to say, of course, that CVs have no role to play anymore. For those either out of work or actively seeking new opportunities, few things state an intention better than a CV being submitted – however, they are now only one factor that can be considered, and definitely not the only documentation that is helpful or capable of underlining career achievements.

Often, supplementary work such as GitHub links, LinkedIn profiles, Medium posts, Slack communities and personal portfolio sites can hold as much water as a CV would, especially where examples of work or passion projects can be evidenced and highlighted in a meaningful sense. For backend developers, publishing examples of code gives potential employers an opportunity to see a practical example of your work in practice, while UX designers and front-end developers can ‘wow’ with their creativity and originality by marketing themselves with original work.

Most often, it is a blend of all of the above that lands the perfect candidate within their dream role, and marries ambitious businesses with their ideal hire. In this day and age, a CV alone just doesn’t cut it like it used to, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – candidates have much better ways to highlight their own talent, and employees have a greater depth of material through which to judge potential additions. The faster we accept and embrace that new reality, the smoother the recruitment experience in tech will become.

Are you a business looking to hire unicorn talent, or a candidate seeking a new opportunity but unsure of how to best position your experience? Get in touch today to discus how we can help.

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