CV'S & Resumes - What will the future hold?

Consider these definitions:

1. Curriculum Vitae: a brief account of a person's education, qualifications, and previous occupations, typically sent with a job application.

2. Resume: A one to two page formal document that lists a job applicant's work experience, education and skills

Arguably the documents serve the same purpose - it's just that different countries around the world have a preference for one name or the other and there are varying schools of thought as to layout format, length and detail to be included within the document.

I know that for years gone by, and maybe for years to come, these documents are a fundamental part of any hiring process - a "valuable" screening tool to ensure that any hiring manager is talking only to the most relevant people for the job being hired for.

However I regard these documents as necessary evils.  Necessary yes, because they are indeed a fast way to screen through mass applications.   And certainly a useful guide as to the quality of a person's written language skills and attention to detail.  But evil, because I think they contribute to lazy hiring practices.

I know there are a large number of people who charge ahead with interviewing people with the best CV/Resume......rather than consider documents that require more thought and understanding of a professional and the applicability of transferable skills.  It's easier and arguably faster to sift through the best looking candidates on paper, rather than have every applicant go through high quality and robust interviews and assessments to find the best talent.  It means that companies ultimately make their hiring choices from people with the best CV's.....rather than from those in the "too hard" basket who actually might be the best people for the job.  Unfortunately, using the CV alone as a key input for hiring decisions, has resulted time and again in a poor hiring match.

Anyone can build a professional looking CV/Resume, full of impressive jargon and achievements.   Heck, with a little research, anyone could make their CV/Resume look exactly like the "profile" of the person your hiring manager wants to hire immediately.  Certainly for HR professionals, what I see on paper, does not reflect the calibre of the candidate I meet and talk with.  Ironically, it's actually the HR profession who often have the worst CV's - missing valuable data and context that I can only learn about by taking the time to pick up the phone to chat and understand their experience in greater detail.

I personally view over fifty unsolicited CVs/Resumes a day from international HR leaders - which given our niche hiring expertise area, is tiny compared to my industry peers who could easily view several hundred daily.  I'll confess now, that I don't read the fine details, simply because I know more often than not that the documents don't represent the real person nor the reality of their experience.

But I do have hiring managers, who comb line by line through CV's, and regardless of the results of extensive pre screening and assessment and interviews by others before them - if the CV/Resume "aint right", then the applicant never gets selected to meet the hiring manager.  

Extreme laziness in hiring though, comes from a sole reliance on the e-recruit systems, that scan the masses of applications for "key" words to find "long lists" (and sometimes the final shortlist!) for the recruitment team. A tip then for any job seeker: if your documents don't include the magic words, chances are your application gets lost forever in a black hole.

It will be interesting to see whether the developments in technology and hiring practices relegate the traditional CV/Resume to the same fate as the fax machine and the cheque book.