Are CVs Outdated?

So he chose them based on class? I appreciate that might seem like a gross assumption, but I imagine that someone who comes from a less affluent background is less likely to use a crab fork.

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I think a CV is an abstract of your professional life and as such very important (as abstract generally are). I find CV to be a perfect opportunity for a good/bad first impression.

My CV thoughts:

  • anything over 2 pages is useless, ideally 1 page
  • for every position, you should revise your CV
  • you not having previous experiences working in IT doesn’t mean you cannot speak about things you like to do and have done. If you are 18+ and you have not done anything in your life to demonstrate at least some skill, it is hardly the fault of the CV format.
  • provide links if you have any, I will gladly look over them if the CV made me interested
  • check your CV twice before you send it
  • if you put down a technology be at least able to know what it does

90% of a time you are looking for capable people, not a perfect fit. If CV tells you “ok, this guys can work” then you send him some kind of a small HW (Codility for example) and if the results seem good, you invite him for an interview.

For homework, I personally love open-ended questions with more than one correct answer.

Saša, I agree with most of what you’ve said. In particular, I’m very much in favour of drawing out transferrable skills from non-IT experience. My CV relied on that very much to attract attention. Once you’ve done that and got the recruiter reading, then you can talk about your skills and experience and make your sales pitch.

The one thing I’d disagree with is your comment about length. By the time you get round to having a career like mine of nearly 40 years’ span, that’s hardly going to fit onto two pages, let alone one! (My last CV ran to three pages, and only then by carefully choosing font and size, and being very selective over content was I able to bring it down to that length.)

Under those circumstances, the thing to do is to put the best bit first. I started my CV with my personal statement, which included a bulleted list of my best achievements, both IT and non-IT. In my last job search, that format got me sixteen face-to-face interviews and about two or three approaches per week from agencies over a period of just under six months.

I get this (about the length part) a lot. Why I think it is a good idea:

  • you only focus on the necessary and don’t put things there you are not so sure about
    • my rant about being sure you can talk about it. People do this a lot. They just add stuff.
  • recruiters and people in the company won’t read the whole thing, “no one has the time”
  • a full history can be found on LinkedIn, which you should add a link to (or other). That’s why I call it abstract.

And a piece of my personal statistics. Every time I receive a CV longer than 3 pages, the interview goes badly. Be it young or old person.

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