By Elena Agaragimova
No, says University of Manchester's alumni relations boss. "Most recruiters rely on their network to fill roles rather than rummage through piles of resumes"
CVs are outdated. I’m sure it’s shocking to read, but frankly, the only time anyone should use a CV is as a fresh graduate looking to highlight their academics, skills, achievements, extracurricular activities.
This is because the higher you climb up the career ladder, the less the academics, IQ, and technical skills matter. Instead, when looking for senior roles to fill, companies will look for people who can lead, inspire, manage, grow revenue, decrease costs, and hire the right talent.
More often than not, the people who secure those jobs are the ones known in the market, who took time to build and maintain a network and remained agile throughout their careers.
The last point is very important. If a candidate does not know where or what they want to shift to doing, any resume they come up with will be unable to provide a reader with accurate information of which role they would be a fit for. If you do not understand what you have to offer and what you are looking for, your resume can potentially lead to a conversation with the wrong person at a wrong company.
This is a complication borne out of another one: Resumes usually don’t reflect a person’s personality or achievements very well. In fact, the higher a candidate is in terms of their career the harder it becomes to fit all their experiences onto two pages. And anything longer than two pages is unlikely to even be read.
It’s why most recruiters prefer to reach out to their network or people they have come in contact with before they even begin to rummage through piles of CVs. In markets such as Dubai, a single job posting can lead to thousands of submissions, and the majority of resumes don’t fare too well when passing through an AI-based scanning system that ranks resumes.
It can’t be stressed enough then that if no one knows who you are or what you do, it is unlikely your CV will make a difference. And even a top notch CV won’t get you beyond the first interview if you can’t sell yourself. This is especially pertinent when considering that most senior leadership level positions are either not advertised, filled by an internal referral or recommendation, or created on the spot when a company deems a person carries skills that would be an asset to have.
Don’t approach your career with tunnel vision. Be open to new areas of work and take time to find out what drives you and get you out of bed in the morning. Word of warning, however: If you can’t shake the habit of having a resume do the talking, don’t resort to paying someone who has never met you to create a better one for you. Only you know yourself best.