Do employers actually want CV’s?

Monday, January 5th, 2009 - Job Application


Job Application

Diana asks: Do employers actually want CV’s? Online, all the official sites tell you to do a CV and cover letter. But I keep hearing from personal stories that employers don’t even want or ask for CV’s, or that they just want you to fill an application form; much less formal in reality. But maybe that was the past, and now times are changing. Can someone tell me how it actually is now-a-days? And does anybody know of a potential employer that just wanted a phone call or quick interview?

In answer:

Let us take two scenarios:

  • You are a well qualified graduate, who doesn’t write a CV or a Cover Letter and applies for a £30,000 a year job only by telephoning the company
  • You are an A-Level educated experienced person, who applies by writing a Cover Letter and CV

They both apply for the same job, which one as the employer would you employ? You are thinking that you would probably employ the graduate, but the second candidate would get the job as they showed their need for the job by applying, and focused that CV on the job requirements. In background, I can also say that as a professional recruiter that it would also only take 10minutes to read their CV and a 10 minute phone call to arrange their interview; where as it would take 30 minutes of wasted time to eventually tell the graduate to apply formally using their CV.

In my professional experience as a recruiter, candidates who focus on the job requirements can over come up to two levels of educational difference (if the job doesn’t require a statutory minimum qualification level), and five to ten years worth of experience. The simple act of leaving out a Cover Letter will reduce your chances of getting an interview by at least 30%.

An employers Job Application form is different, in that its is a formal legal document that all employers should ask you to complete. The reason for this is although you can lie on your CV (you shouldn’t), lies on a formal job application are dismissible and prosecutable offences.

A CV is a marketing document focused on communicating your skills to the employer. Leaving it out makes it harder for you to communicate to them how well suited to the job you are; and makes it almost impossibly difficult for them to assess you. Always apply with a CV, and personally always include a Cover Letter.

Good Luck!

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