Stop reformatting CVs and misrepresenting candidates
I’m not about to go into the good, the bad or the ugly of CVs. Nobody likes writing their CV.
It’s hard to sell yourself. It’s hard to reduce years of experience to just a few pages. What do you leave in? What do you take out?
After spending hours perfecting our CV, the last thing we want is someone changing the formatting and font before submission. Or worse, to find ourselves sitting across from the interviewer wondering whose CV they’re holding.
It irks me so I took my rant to Facebook and discovered I wasn’t alone.
“It’s one of my pet hates when applying for jobs and having been stung in the early days I always ask to see what they are submitting before I agree it goes anywhere. I’ve also, when I’ve been on the hiring side, presented interviewees with their CV from an agency and asked them to comment on the appalling spelling and obvious errors. Most are mortified but hopefully they learn to better protect their own best interests by asking to see the finished article in future.
But why should they have to ask for the finished article when they’ve already spent hours perfecting it?
5 reasons to leave CVs alone!
1. Your candidate isn’t a robot
They have their own style and their own manner, and that is reflected in their CV. By changing it to your recruitment agency’s (usually out-dated) format, you’re depersonalising the applicant.
If your candidate has taken the time to choose their font, the sizing, the spacing, their preferred choice of bullet and so on, who are you to take that away from them.
Do you tell them what accessories they may or may not wear to interview?
2. Your client isn’t a robot either
“ I recently saw a HR person on a train yawning her way through a dozen (yes, a dozen!) formatted CVs. All from the same agency for a Financial Director role. It made me wonder whether the recruitment company spent more man hours re-typing the dozen CVs than actually doing pre-selection.
Your client doesn’t really like reading CVs, so why make it harder? Take the time you’re wasting reformatting and screen better. A cover page with your summary, is enough. Stop there. Be kind to your clients and give them some variety.
(Of course, I don’t mind if you correct spelling errors!)
3. Times New Roman is extremely difficult to read!
Go look at some of your favourite websites, what font do they use?
Facebook and LinkedIn use Helvetica, Twitter uses Gotham, and Google uses Roboto (yep, made me laugh) and all of these are from the Arial family. Arial is what you’re reading now. They choose these fonts because they’re easy to read on a device or screen.
So unless you’re hand delivering printed CVs, please stop changing your candidate’s font to old fashioned Times New Roman.
4. You don’t have the candidate’s permission
“ Why do you think recruiters always insist you send your cv in ‘Word’ and not PDF? So they can b*gger about with it…
“ It’s surely not the way the candidate intended to be represented.
Job seekers don’t want you to mess around with their CVs. They don’t want you to remove their personality. They don’t want to risk you screwing up their chance to make a winning impression by reformatting it or adding in spelling errors.
Be respectful, and leave their CV alone. They could be a client one day.
5. You don’t have the client’s permission
I’m amazed at how many hiring managers have been convinced that this practice is the norm. Well it isn’t.
Have you actually asked your clients how they would like to see the CV?
I bet most would like to see the original, full of personality, because it will tell them so much more than the bland version you’re supplying.
What do you think of this practice?