The Modern Day CV

Recently I have been recruiting a very senior appointment and approaching key industry players about a specific role currently available with one of my best clients. Most of the people I am approaching come from industry referrals from those I trust within my network, the best possible source of finding people within recruitment.

However, with some strict criteria around the role, I obviously require far more information around those referred to me beyond a name and current company. Of course, my first port of call these days to obtain such information is LinkedIn. Those who are on LinkedIn at this level tend to have a considered and accurate profile, providing me with enough detail to deduce further suitability for the position and make the decision to then approach that person about the role or otherwise.

Most of those people I am approaching are generally at the pinnacle of their careers and after initial interest is piqued, the natural flow of conversation is to then ask for a CV. However, many of these professionals do not have an updated resume; indeed they may not have required one for a number of years having either climbed their way up internally or been personally recommended for senior level positions. 

This situation has raised the question, is a CV still an integral part of the recruitment process or an outdated concept all together? How much attention do employers or even recruiters actually pay to a CV versus other considerations, such as your LinkedIn profile, often the first impression made before a CV is perused. 

Indeed, many of my best clients today do not always require a physical CV for candidates I am representing to decide whether they want to interview them or not. Having a close working relationship with my clients means my judgement is trusted so occasionally, an interview can be arranged off the back of a discussion around the candidate's experience and background combined with my assurance that I deem that person to be professionally worth my client's time.

Many of the placements I make are, therefore, a result of having an established relationship with the successful candidate already; someone with whom I have been in touch in the past where a level of trust has already been established, providing advice at another stage of their career, etc. Often I have not even seen the CV of a candidate that may come to mind first and foremost when a new vacancy arises. 

So many of the successful placements I make are when I unite an off-the-market role with an off-the-market candidate. In these circumstances, I am persuading 'passive' candidates to consider new vacancies that I might not necessarily be actively advertising otherwise. In this situation, I am not relying on receiving 'applications' for a role we have overtly advertised. In which case, should we not already know each other, I might initially rely on your Linkedin profile to review suitability for a position. Internal recruiters representing companies directly often operate in the same way.

Like it or not, LinkedIn is a gateway for recruiters and candidates alike. Therefore, even if you are not actively job hunting, it is my advice that you still maintain an accurate and detailed LinkedIn profile so that you can be found by a recruiter, agency or otherwise, for what might be the perfect role you didn't even know you wanted! 

Keeping your Linkedin profile updated, relevant and professional means you are portraying the very best you that those you want to influence your career can see. If you have one, your online presence introduces you before you are even made aware of what might be an incredible career opportunity perfectly suited to your professional trajectory.

Of course, a CV is generally preferred before an interview actually takes place, if only to provide the interviewer with a framework in order to structure the discussion logically around the candidate's experience. However, as a means to securing an interview in the first place, it is everything else out there in the industry about you that is determining your career direction. Whether that be your LinkedIn profile or your past behaviour towards the recruiter who is now managing the role, or indeed it could be based on a formal (or more likely informal!) reference from past employers and peers.