Curriculum Vitae – The story behind the story…

15/03/2016 | Eclectic |

As a hiring manager you get thousands of CVs on your desk during your business life. Dependent on region and industry, form as well as design and content can differ tremendously. Some applicants just list their employers, titles and responsibilities, others focus on the content of projects they have been working on. In some cases a kind of self-marketing is required, others prefer the clean and fact-based description of their career paths. In most industries the typical old-school CV is still the way to go, but design and innovation industry are used to receive project portfolios in order to see the work of a candidate rather than only read about career steps. And of course completely new forms of CVs are developed continuously, such as comic strip or infographic design CVs. It’s all about standing out from the crowd…

 

But what do we really learn from a CV?

“The importance of a CV is dependent
on the seniority of a candidate
and the attitude of a hiring manager.”

Writing a CV can be a difficult task, especially at the beginning of a career. There seems to be the need to follow specific rules and to use a standard format. Reasonable content needs to be created even if there is not a lot of work experience yet. And then the letter of motivation! People spend hours in desperation only to create the “right” text. If only they knew that most of them are never even read…

Experienced hiring managers are looking for the story behind the story in a CV. Something that catches their attention or interest. Times in which we only checked, if a candidate had the right education and worked with the right companies seem to be over finally. Especially when we are looking at more experienced candidates the education becomes less important. The main thing is that a candidate has a a kind of certificate of a kind of educational institute in order to proof being able to learn theoretically and having enough power of endurance to finish the training successfully. So basically a piece of paper with a stamp on it is enough…

“Many great candidates
have accomplished some studies that
have nothing to do with what they are doing today.”

This is quite usual as a lot of people simply don’t know what kind of studies to choose at an age of not even twenty. We can’t blame them. The more interesting part is how they came to what they are doing today. Many will tell about a chain of lucky coincidences, but others have quite an amazing story of how they got where they are. And others again are still searching…

So a job interview should not be a walk through a CV bit by bit, but a chance to get to know the person behind the story on paper. A special skill or talent, the fit with the team and the right attitude are a lot more important than to find a candidate that has experience in everything that is needed to be done in the job to be filled. Why should it be interesting for a candidate to apply for something that he/she already did for years? And why would you always want to hire the same kind of candidate? Diversity rules!

So we get to the conclusion that a CV is actually only the starting point of a recruitment/application process. In the end it doesn’t matter how it looks like and what kind of details it contains. The only purpose of a CV is to catch the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager.

 

It’s only a piece of paper… ideally with a stamp on it…