Society

Dust Off That Resume! Even With The Internet, Nothing Beats A Good Ol' CV

Good old A4 resume
Good old A4 resume
LAURANCE N'KAOUA

One million CVs. That is how many resumes L'Oréal receives, year in, year out, in the 130 countries where the cosmetic giant has offices.

From "job dating" on social networks to the avatars on Second Life, there have been various attempts to kill off the CV, but it keeps on being reinvented. Trends have come and gone: video CVs, anonymous CVs, the 2.0 CV. French employment agency for managers and executives, Apec, even tried "no-CV recruitment," where each candidate had to answer a questionnaire.

Each of the new methods was supposed to revolutionize recruiting. Yet "the CV is as alive as ever," says Jean-Claude Le Grand, Human Resources Director at L'Oréal.

A few months ago, the director of an IT company, whose Internet profile was completely up to date, got an unexpected surprise: "I was headhunted, and I couldn’t believe it -- the first thing they asked me was for my CV."

In the recruitment world, the medium is not the message. "A video CV doesn't interest me. It's too long, and often quite tedious! As for an anonymous CV, that goes against the very essence of a resume, and does not give a complete picture of the person. Only a traditional CV makes it possible to judge someone's career in 30 seconds. It is what makes you want to see a candidate for an interview, or not," says François Humblot, who runs Syntec, a recruiting consultancy.

Brigitte Schifano, head of HR at a French auto broker and distributor is even more categorical. "We would never make a job offer without seeing a CV first. The resume is the candidate's ID.”

Of course, few candidates still send off their CV in a stamped envelope. Recruiters also have had to deal with flourishing social networks: In France, for example, Viadeo has six million profiles, and LinkedIn four million. They can help employers uncover hard to find specialists, like mobile developers or technical sales people.

"Before, consultants had to search through the alumni books of top tier universities. Now, sourcing is faster and more interactive," says Johann Van Nieuwenhuyse, senior director at Michael Page recruitment agency.

Lying on a CV

Resumes, though, are not perfect: it’s easier to lie on a CV than on an online profile viewed by thousands of people. Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo!, was fired for lying about an engineering diploma on his CV. In France, according to recruitment agency Robert Half, 46% of candidates "embellish" their resumes, especially concerning the duties of their previous job (53%), their managerial responsibility (45%), and their linguistic competence (42%).

Still, there is still nothing better than the CV. "We’re used to dealing with CVs, and they’re better for sharing in-house," says Laurent Brouat, associate director of Link Humans, a human resources strategy consultancy. Link Humans created a contest this spring when it wanted to hire an intern. Student candidates had to write a post on a dedicated website. "No CVs!" the rules insisted. "1,633 people viewed our video-advert, but only two students wrote a post. The rest sent in their CVs," says Brouat.

For recruiters, who are more afraid than ever of recruiting the wrong person – a sometimes costly mistake - traditional methods endure.

In Germany, CVs can be up to 12 pages long, but in France they should not be more than one or two pages. "It's not an absolute rule! When people have 20 years of professional experience, they have a right to several pages," says Emmanuelle Capiez, director of human resources for Assystem, an engineering and consultancy company that receives more than 10,000 CVs a year. But a CV that is several pages long for just a few years of experience can demonstrate an inability to summarize.

A CV can say a lot. "Even if young graduates' CVs are more standard, no CV is just like another one, either in format or in details," says Capiez. CVs also contain information that cannot be found elsewhere. "On a social network, to preserve confidentiality of the business where they are working, as well as to avoid their employers' notice, a candidate cannot mention numbers, sensitive data, or current projects," says Van Nieuwenhuyse.

Achievements

In this sense, resumes have evolved. "A few years ago, candidates would just describe their position. Now, a recruiter expects to see projects, practical applications, and achievements. We need to see facts and figures."

François Humblot agrees. "A CV must show off skills through achievements: a sales person who shows his results proves he knows how to sell."

Brief, targeted, stuffed with numbers; the CV must reveal a candidate's capacities, ability to fit into the employer's culture, career trajectory, and personality. Each little detail can reveal a person's strong points... and weaknesses. "In three minutes, a recruiter must be able to grasp the essentials," says Capiez.

But where does personalization stop? Syntec argues for a "Civil CV," asking its candidates to detail their work in community service. "A candidate should definitely emphasize all skills, including those acquired in volunteer work. For instanace, an IT specialist could have learned public speaking through community activism," says Humblot.

It is still true, however, that for candidates, the right balance is not always easy to find. "If you knew how many different kinds of CVs I have been asked to do! Some people want a resume organized by skills, others insist that I write a literary one, some don't care about a cover letter, others prefer a chronological CV," says a manager who is looking for work.

Considering the inevitable role of the CV, Van Nieuwenhuyse says, "It's best to use the model you feel most comfortable with."

Advice for a good CV

• Repeat "key words" found in the job advert, as site search engines often track these.

• Make sure that everything hangs together. The CV should show a developing career.

• Do not leave "holes." It is better to explain any blank spots, without lying.

• Pay attention to presentation and be sure it suits the job being advertised. A director's CV should not be on neon-colored paper!

• Illustrate each skill with an achievement.

•Take care with details and presentation. Watch out for CVs that are too long.

• Have the same up-to-date content on paper and in digital form.

• Do not show your CV more than once to the same recruiter.

• Try not to be too original or too boring. It is not useful to list your hobbies as "sport, reading and travel"!

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Spencer Tunick Nude Installation in Israel

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Salam!*

Welcome to Monday, where the UK pays homage to slain MP David Amess, Myanmar frees thousands of prisoners, and Facebook gets ready to build its "metaverse." Please fasten your seatbelts: Worldcrunch also takes stock of the long-lasting effects — good and bad — the pandemic has had on the air travel industry.

[*Azeri - Azerbaijan]

🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

Myanmar to free political prisoners: Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has announced the release of 5,636 prisoners who had been jailed for protesting the coup that ousted the civilian government in February 2021.

• Powerful Haiti gang behind the kidnapping of U.S. missionaries: The notorious 400 Mawozo gang is believed to be behind the kidnapping in Haiti of a group of Christian missionaries, including 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian. The brazen kidnapping on Saturday comes as crime is spiking since the killing of President Jovenel Moise in July.

• UK to pay tribute to David Amess: British lawmakers will pay homage in parliament to colleague David Amess, who was stabbed to death Friday in what was described by the police as a "terrorist incident." Officers arrested a 25-year-old suspect whose father, Harbi Ali Kullane, worked as a media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia.

• COVID update: Russia has registered more than 34,000 cases of new infections in the past 24 hours, a new record since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, police in the northeast Italian city of Trieste used water cannons to clear striking dockworkers protesting Italy's new requirements that all employees be vaccinated.

• At least 26 killed in floods in India: Torrential rain has triggered floods and landslides in India's southern coastal state of Kerala, killing at least 26 people.

• Facebook to hire 10,000 in EU to develop "metaverse": The U.S. social media giant plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to build a "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet that the company touts as the future.

Punishing parents for children's bad behavior: After limiting gaming hours for minors, China is now considering legislation to reprimand parents if their children exhibit "very bad behavior" or commit crimes.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Colombian daily El Espectador dedicates its front page to Alex Saab, "owner of the secrets" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The Colombian businessman, wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly laundering money on behalf of Venezuela's government, has been extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. where he is scheduled to appear in court today.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

4.9%

China's economy registered its slowest pace in a year as the country faces a looming energy crisis with power shortages and increasing pressure on its property sector. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period between July-September rose 4.9%, the weakest numbers since the third quarter of 2020 and significantly lower than forecasts. The world's second-largest economy faces a debt crisis linked to the China Evergrande Group debt crisis, while energy shortfalls have dropped factory output to its weakest since early 2020, when heavy COVID-19 curbs were in place.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

7 ways the pandemic may change the airline industry for good

Will flying be greener? More comfortable? Less frequent? As the world eyes a post-COVID reality, we look at ways the airline industry has been changing through a pandemic that has devastated air travel.

⛽ Cleaner aviation fuel: With air travel responsible for roughly 12% of all CO2 emissions from transport, and stricter international regulation on the horizon, the industry is increasingly seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based fuel. In Germany, state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that the world's first factory producing CO2-neutral kerosene recently started operations in the town of Wertle, in Lower Saxony. The plant, for which Lufthansa is set to become the pilot customer, will produce CO2-neutral kerosene through a circular production cycle incorporating sustainable and green energy sources and raw materials

.🛃 Smoother check-in: The pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards contactless traveling, with more airports harnessing the power of biometrics — such as facial recognition or fever screening — to reduce touchpoints and human contact. Similar technology can also be used to more efficiently scan physical objects, such as explosive detection. Ultimately, passengers will be able to "check-in" and go through a security screening anywhere at the airports, removing queues and bottlenecks.

✈️ The billion-dollar question: Will we fly less? At the end of the day, even with all these (mostly positive) changes that we've seen take shape over the past 18 months, the industry faces major uncertainty about whether air travel will ever return to the pre-COVID levels. Not only are people wary about being in crowded and closed airplanes, but the worth of long-distance business travel, in particular, is being questioned as many have seen that meetings can function remotely, via Zoom and other online apps.


➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

"The crimes committed that night are unforgivable for the Republic."

— Emmanuel Macron became the first French president to commemorate the killing of as many as 200 Algerian independence protesters by Parisian police in 1961. For 40 years, French officials ignored the massacre, which took place a year before Algeria gained its independence from France after an eight-year war. In 2012, French President François Hollande acknowledged the killings for the first time on a visit to Algeria, and Macron took it further by attending Sunday's commemoration at the site where the events happened in the French capital. Still, many had hoped the French President would go further and take responsibility for a "state massacre," for a crime many historians consider the most violent repression of a peaceful demonstration in post-War Europe.

📈💥  IN OTHER NEWS

​Low trust, high risk: The global rise of violence targeting politicians

The deadly stabbing of British Parliament Member David Amess confirms an ongoing study on trust and governance in democracies around the world: It's bad. In The Conversation, James Weinberg — the study's author and a lecturer in Political Behavior at the University of Sheffield — writes:

⏪ The assassination of Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency on Friday, is a tragic moment for democracy. What makes it even more devastating is that such a catastrophic failure is not without precedent or predictability. Labour MP Jo Cox was shot at her constituency surgery in 2016. Before her, another Labour MP, Stephen Timms, survived a stabbing in 2010. And Andrew Pennington, a Gloucestershire county councilor, died in a frenzied attack in 2001 while trying to protect local Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.

☝️ Beyond these critical junctures in the public debate about politicians' safety, elected representatives must live with an increasingly insidious level of popular cynicism that threatens violence on an almost daily basis.

🇬🇧🇳🇿🇿🇦 Not only are these experiences of abuse or threats of physical violence felt across both sides of the political aisle in the UK — they also appear to be growing more common in other democratic contexts where the climate of politics has been presumed to be both calmer and more volatile, from New Zealand to South Africa.


Read the full piece from The Conversation, now on Worldcrunch.com

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

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