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Is the CV still valid?

Fri 27th July, 2012
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Dare I ask? Is the CV an accurate barometer of an applicants suitability? Why would I challenge such a accepted and engrained practice. The increase in financial uncertainty coupled with increased competition of job applicants has resulted in a sharp rise in CV fraud.

High profile cases such as Scott Thomson, former CEO of Yahoo when it was discovered he mis-represented a computer science degree in his resume. In the UK, the Charted Institute of Personnel Development conducted an survey that found that 25% of job offers was rescinded due to CV fraud.

The "little white lie", "Tweaking" or a "massage" here or there on a CV is an accepted practice when job seekers apply for vacancies. Graduate Prospects who provide employment advice surveyed 1,306 graduates in May 2012 said "43% indicated that the rise in tuition fees would make the lie or even purchase a false qualification".

I shall pose a challenge to recruiters; whether they have recently experienced the disparity from the information provided on the CV and it's stated areas of expertise and when conducting technical questions in a face to face interview the validity of such knowledge is called into question. The anti-climax feeling creeps in and a strong desire to wrap up the interview as quickly as you can but you are only 5 minutes in.

However, it is not also the exaggeration or creative licence that hinders the recruiter. Job seekers with degrees feel more pressured to retract or diminish their achievements in order to obtain an interview. The Citzen Advice Scotland (CAS) surveyed 1,000 graduates on how education establishments prepare and support their graduates when entering the world of work. The survey has suggested a widespread advice from job centres that the removal of degrees should be removed from their CV to help them into "low paid" or "survival jobs".

I can understand why the advice is provided as the job centre's focus is to ensure that they fill vacancies whether the candidate is an accurate match or not. 23% of the survey were recorded as unemployed and 1 in10 took 18 months to secure employment.

The length of delay to employment could be done to the high and unrealistic expectations from the graduate when applying for posts (thus indicating lack of preparation made by the Universities), graduates were unsuccessful during the CV shortlisting stage (quality and content deficiencies) or at interview stage (possible content knowledge discrepancies by over exaggerated CV)

Employers have over recent years have at their disposal increased availability of skills assessment software, background checks services and psychometric analysis to help reduce CV fraud. However, despite the increase usage of such services the CV is still the main method of shortlisting candidates.

To challenge those recruiters who look blinding trust the content on the CV I would encourage three practical and cost efficient steps to help reduce the finance impact on retraction of job offers or wasted interviews with shortlisted candidates.

  1. Check social media websites i.e LinkedIn to help verify dates of employment and job titles.
  2. Confirm degrees are valid by utilising The Higher Education Degree Data Check provided by Graduate Prospects. With their service you can verify the accuracy of the qualification and grade obtained.
  3. Engage in skills testing software to test the content knowledge and situational response analysis.

A recent launch of a content knowledge skills and response software that encourages recruiters to creating text and media based questions to ascertain the heart of the applicants suitability. nuts and bolts it is a system that enables the recruiter to create short video scenarios whether filming actual job tasks or presenting with uploaded images to-provoke responses.

This system enables the recruiter to create acceptable responses and enable the system to automatically filter the candidates based on the comparison of responses. This system can be in a pay as you go or subscription options and cost $65 for the top 10 candidates.

So, in conclusion the CV is still valid and will be the most popular form of suitability assessment but would encourage a move away from sole reliance and focus on the content of the individual rather than on keyword identification. Lets integrate a process that qualifies the candidate before you cast your eyes on their CV.