CVs may be a thing of the past

Filed on July 1, 2018

Matthew Lewis

LinkedIn, which now has over 650 million members, gives companies and individuals alike the opportunity to search and apply for hundreds of jobs

LinkedIn may be your billboard in the future

The rise of online hiring arrived over 20 years ago when exploded on the scene. Since then there has been a major shift by companies to embrace the global mobility of talent and online hiring. LinkedIn, which now has over 650 million members, gives companies and individuals alike the opportunity to search and apply for hundreds of jobs, or sift thousands of applicants, without even a hint of human engagement, and this has created an inherent problem.

Most candidates that have ever applied online have become frustrated with the lack of contact and success when applying online, and this has created a major dilemma for companies. They have unlimited access to talent and welcome applications from around the world; if you allow software and AI to filter those applicants, the process may be more efficient and involve less administration, but without any human contact you are going to disappoint 99 per cent of the respondents to your advert. Previously that company was able to respond with maybe a polite email - "We thank you for your application, if you have not heard from us in two weeks you have been unsuccessful, and we will keep you details on file should other positions arise." Has anyone ever been called back about that elusive role? Do you know if your application was kept, or just deleted and put in the bin?

What will it now mean for applicants with the recent introduction of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

GDPR exists to protect the rights of EU citizens in the collection, storage and use of their personal data, hence why you may have had a flurry of emails from companies begging "PLEASE don't leave us!"

From the dozens of e-mails in people's inboxes, begging them to give their consent to be sent further messages, you could deduce that the senders of those emails are going to be the hardest hit by the European Union's tough new privacy law.

The main loser though may well be the job applicant looking for a new role. If you sit on a recruitment database somewhere, you should get an email asking you to "OPT IN" to remain there. If you do not respond within 30 days the company is obliged to delete your record if you are an EU citizen. That means that elusive call back will never come, and you may never know.

So, whereas your CV used to be your passport to a new job, the online world has decided that it will make the decision of hiring you determined by software, AI and EU regulations. This can be daunting, so if you want to stay in control of your data and your career, there are three things you need to consider: 

  1. Think of Linkedin as your online billboard. You are the only one in control of that data and you should edit and use that information strategically and tactically to market yourself to your chosen audience. Think of it as an online CV for all to see.
  1. Trust and personal relationships are still critical. There is still more than an 85 per cent chance that you will be hired by someone who knows you or has worked with you before. Therefore, ensure that in the increasingly personally 'unconnected' world, you continue to build your network and relationships.
  1. Finally, if you are intent on sending your CV to a company or recruiter, be aware that in this increasingly regulated world, you may never get a response, and your data may never be held on a database - great if you don't like spam email, but not so great if you are desperately seeking a new job.

- Matthew Lewis is a partner at Boyden Middle East in Dubai, as well as a talent expert and leadership coach, mentor and trusted advisor to CEO's and family groups in the region.


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