21st Century job hunting – the bad news and the good (Spoiler: there's more good!)
I read recently that CVs have changed radically in just the last 5 years and honestly, from our perspective within the CV writing sector, I couldn’t agree more!
Perhaps it’s the explosion of the internet in that time frame – and to be fair the web was growing pretty exponentially before then – but with everyone from anywhere now being able to apply for almost any role advertised online, the number of applications has become so inflated that it’s undeniably made standing out much harder than it ever was, and as a result CVs have become even more critical. (Whether CVs remain the key to an interview or become replaced by online profiles, portfolios or podcasts, is a different matter but for now, if there’s no application form provided, then most employers the world over still request a CV.)
That’s the bad news.
But while the numbers job hunters are up against seem scary, most employers, recruiters and hiring managers will tell you, while the sheer volume has most certainly negatively impacted their candidate search, equally – I’m sorry to say, in a way – a huge swathe can be cut down as chaff in an instant. And by chaff I mean those who right from the get-go – regardless of how attractive their CV is, or how well presented they are as an ‘X’ - if they’re applying for a job as a ‘Y’, then the recipient / Applicant Tracking System can immediately hone in on that fundamental fact and out they go.
That’s the good news.
And you know we’re not just saying this to make you feel better: look at the number of LinkedInners over there who slap ‘view my profile’ on every post, thereby either revealing a lack of literacy in the poster’s language or downright professional suicidal tendencies! These are the people who may well be incredibly successful ‘Xs’ but are totally inappropriate candidates for positions of ‘Y’ (or at least haven’t been able to explain why being an ‘X’ is going to make them a great ‘Y’!), yet they can and do - for a myriad of probably very laudable reasons - apply for any and every vacancy going!
But I’m certain that this capacity has - if not primarily caused, then certainly precipitated - the acceleration in CV development and refinement over the past few years. Compounded further by the rising number of applicants with excellent soft skills and probably - I should also acknowledge - the rise in professional CV services on offer: nothing like market competition to raise everyone’s game!
However, as with all things, the internet brings with it a benefit in the other hand, and aside from enabling job hunters to access professional writers, it also provides applicants with a plethora of free tools too.
That’s a bit more good news – see, there’s more good than bad, and that’s even better!
As we’ve said before, there is a mine of advice out there – yes it can be a minefield to navigate, as often one piece contradicts the other, but it’s there and it’s freely available! So while the hunt has indisputably got harder, the weapons have also got better.
So don’t despair job hunters! Try not to rail against the proliferation of competition – so much is likely to be bogus - and try to accept that in the 21st Century, job-hunting requires a bit of effort but that help is at hand, whether it’s free, affordable or frankly out of reach of the average budget! In reality, the mountainous pile of CVs yours is amongst may not actually be that high after all and you can still stand out in the 21st Century job search if you use the 21st Century’s resources. Professional or free, you can do it!
And lastly, just in case, here’s a sprinkle of luck: