Linda Walmsley of Walmsley Wilkinson discusses if a CV is still relevant in 2021 and beyond

Is a CV relevant these days?

The reliance on just a CV to judge people’s ability for a job is long gone. In these days of remote-hybrid working, rapid business transformation and ever evolving career landscapes, is a CV even needed anymore?

The risk of unconscious bias, false claims and the emphasis on qualifications are being replaced, at least in part, by assessing a candidate’s personal profile, values and behaviours. Skilled hiring managers know the importance of achieving ‘a good match’ if the new employee is going to be successful and enjoy their new role.

As hybrid work models develop and business culture is the burning issue, the need to find the right kind of person is replacing the emphasis on employing someone based on skills and qualifications alone.

To avoid a ‘mis-hire’ happening, time and energy invested at every stage is worth its weight in gold.

Indeed, around two in five of UK workers have falsified their CV at some stage of their professional career, according to a survey by commercial property agent Savoy Stewart.

A CV document to provide details of a candidate’s background, experience, skills and personality will still be required in most instances, but the reliance on it by many employers is now changing as they future proof this key area of responsibility.

The majority of specialist, management and executive talent have an available profile on social media channels such as LinkedIn which highlights their career history, experience and achievements.  The LinkedIn profile for many people is already replacing their CV. And it’s an ideal platform to keep your CV relevant and contemporary.

Employers are also embracing technology and the latest thinking to evolve and improve their recruitment process. This can include digitally run skills and profile testing. Some of the most popular tests currently run online involve logical thinking tasks with emphasis on attention to detail, speed of reasoning, resilience and emotional intelligence.

Many are also adding in an element of blind marking whereby they set certain questions against the job specification and then judge the responses without the candidate’s name on them. This helps to eliminate pre-judged bias and expectations.

The pendulum has swung massively during COVID for the use of technology by all parties involved in the hiring process.  For example, the use of video profile is now commonplace in a number of sectors; requiring candidates to create a video of themselves to communicate what they have to offer.  Candidates want and deserve an enjoyable hiring journey.  A hiring process is not designed to be a test of their patience and resilience.

At Walmsley Wilkinson, we believe in-person interviews cannot be replaced. At senior executive and management level, employers want to meet and understand the candidates over a number of interviews during the process.

Before starting on any hiring process, my advice is to remember how you felt before, during and after your own career search. Now as a hiring manager how do you want your potential new employee and the rest of the candidates involved in the process to feel?

Think about how you are going to represent yourself, the company brand and the reasons for a potential employee to work with you rather than a competitor.  The most successful leaders are often the most successful people in their sector as they know how to recruit talented people.

For the interviewee, a short CV which is to the point containing all pertinent information, which is well designed and can be forwarded electronically, along with a covering letter, which should also be logically scripted without any mis-spellings or mistakes, will put you in a strong position.

For employers, the principles of sound process, unbiased judgements and rigorous attention to the candidate’s values and abilities will also help to make it a satisfying and successful experience.

Interviewing and selection is a fascinating and rewarding experience for all involved – provided this is how it is positioned. It all starts with capturing and sharing relevant information, whether that be from a CV, a social media profile, an online portal or a video introduction.

Linda Walmsley,


Walmsley Wilkinson

Walmsley Wilkinson recruitment management solutions

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