Why CVs Are Going The Way Of The Dinosaurs

October 12, 2016

CVs are a primary way of assessing talent, but how useful are they at painting an accurate picture of a candidate? We look at the age old CV, why it's no longer an effective means of assessing talent.

How many CVs have you received, read, filtered and processed? How many of those can you actually remember? A few? A couple? None?

I would bet my last dollar that of the ones that have struck a chord, you couldn’t safely say whether it was definitely their resume that stood out but rather the person themselves.

The aim of the CV is to give the hiring manager a good impression of their candidates’ experience and capability. A means by which to screen candidates efficiently and from which to create an effective shortlist for great interviews.

But this is no longer the case. The simple fact is they don’t work. Or, at the very least are no longer fit for purpose. Like the Nokia 3210 bowing out to the smartphone, it’s time to say goodbye to the traditional resume. The hiring world is changing and in turn these fossils are just not relevant anymore. Allow me to explain.

Tyrannosaurus wrecks

They are not a definite source of accurate information.

Tech recruitment can be a minefield of exaggerated CVs and embellished experiences. Especially when you’re hiring above your level of knowledge. You want to hire skills that aren’t currently offered in the team to strengthen it so it’s not always obvious if 10 years’ experience means exactly that, or whether it actually means 10 one year experiences.

A 1/3rd of all job seekers embellish their skills on their CV and with this rising to 57% in IT candidates, using a CV as an effective screening tool doesn’t seem like the best option anymore.

Add to this the fact that only 15% of tech professionals say they’re actively looking for work, and you’d not be alone in thinking that finding an up-to-date, accurate resume is hard to come by.

You don’t have to be a blind dinosaur to see where this is going.


They are not the best filtering tools.

As far as useful filtering tools go, CVs have had their day.

Corporate hiring managers are inundated with 100s of CVs for each job opening and where do you find the time to go through each one with a fine toothcomb? Research shows that we only spend a max of 7 seconds on a CV before making a decision.

Couple that with seeing the same buzzwords circling around each CV and we start becoming immune to the lure of “innovative” “self-starting” “disciplined” individuals; if not fully cynical of them.

What’s the point in interviewing a candidate with an A in creative writing if they can’t string a line of code together?

You’ve also got to contend with subconscious bias. It’s a very real thing and CV analysis is right in the firing line.

We’re only human, we are effected by our emotions and as much as we don’t want them to follow us professionally, if we’ve had a bad day, it is entirely possible that our decision making is affected.

You didn’t get a good night’s sleep and without realising it, you’ve just let your best candidate go. Why, oh why could they not just have clicked ABC ü but are you looking for a spelling bee contestant?

You can see the giant crater that’s being left here.

Jurrastic Times

Call for jurrastic measures.

They are no longer reflective of how we work.

We, as humans, have changed. We talk about millennials being digital natives but we all are now. There’s no escape from it, technology is part of our lives and it’s making it easier too.

The referral network is becoming ever bigger and is proving to be an effective way to source tech candidates. Like a restaurant review from a friend, reputation and work evidence from former and present colleagues carry far more weight than a few lines of text.

The CV is from another era. One from which we’ve moved on. We live faster, more impatient lives now. Today human beings are scanners. Instead of reading, we skim over pages looking for relevant information and familiar words. If we don’t spot them immediately, we assume they aren’t there. We form strong opinions based on snippets of information and rush to make decisions in the small amount of time we have for each task. This is not a criticism; it is just how things work now. It’s time the way we select candidates caught up with the 21st Century too.


Evolution works its magic

The great news is that there are already things you can do to move away from the comforting hug of tech resumes, whilst at the same time speeding up your recruitment processes, both accurately and effectively.

The most effective way is through IT skills testing. Not only does it reduce the time you spend sifting through 100s of CVs but it also significantly reduces the time you spend screening candidates, automatically filtering the strongest from the weakest in accordance to the requirements of the role. So you don’t have to.

Sending the same test to all applicants before you connect with them gives you an equal level from which to assess their tech skills AND highlights which candidates are worth spending your time on.

Testing candidates in real-life scenarios gives you the opportunity to see how IT professionals approach problem solving. Allowing you to truly understand their knowledge and ability.

Code challenges are perfect for developers. It gives them a chance to show off their creative and IT skills. Providing you with an engaging tool to attract both passive and active candidates from and laying down a challenge gauntlet where coders can show off their capability.

Further to this, not only are they remote so there’s no need for proctoring but you can also assess how good a programmer’s code actually is through private unit testing and following each keystroke, compile state and copy paste to understand their thought process.

This way you know what they can do before you speak to them. Giving you stronger confidence in your hiring decisions and making IT resumes fairly redundant.

Here at ShowTech, our tech assessment platform offers flexible questions types allowing you to test for role compatibility and team fit. The data you gain from these IT tests can then be used to benchmark candidates against each other or your current team. Equipping tech hiring managers with the information to build efficient interviews and well-informed hiring decisions.

Why would you even ask to see a CV before you’ve seen if they can do the job you need them to do?


Let the archaeologists brush the dust of CVs if they want to, there’s no room for them in this post meteor JS world.

Excuse the pterrible puns.

If you’d like to hear more about ShowTech and how we can strengthen your tech recruitment, contact us and we’ll be happy to support you.

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