Insights from our Talent Acquisition Experts: the CV is passé

26 April 2024

In a series of five blogs, seasoned Human Development (HD) consultants and internal domain experts share their thoughts on prevalent topics in Talent Acquisition.

Agree or disagree? Let’s see what our Talent Acquisition experts have to say!

The CV is passé.

Traditional vs skill-oriented CV

The traditional CV is a way to show a candidate's work history. Where they worked, for how long and what their job responsibilities and tasks were. Typically pointed out chronologically.

However, in a labor market where recruiters are shifting towards a focus on (soft) skills, a skill-oriented CV might be more relevant.

Take, for instance, the main skills of a sales manager: business development, people management, strategy, creative thinking, and interpersonal skills. It could be advantageous for a candidate to structure their resume around these foundational skills, detailing their experience in each skill set based on their past work at employer X or on project Y. This approach offers a unique way to showcase your expertise and demonstrate a skills-oriented focus.

The value of a CV

A CV has evolved beyond a list of experiences and career steps, it’s an employability passport. It’s a unique combination of skills, personality traits and motivation, reflecting your career choices and aspirations.

Ineke Vandael believes that while a CV remains valuable in providing insights into candidates' characteristics and skills, it is not the primary parameter. “A resume is the beginning of a trusting relationship between a candidate and a recruiter,” she says. “It serves as a starting point for conversations about career possibilities, where the recruiter can act as a guide along the way."

A CV is the beginning of a trusting relationship between a candidate and a recruiter.

Ineke Vandael

Active vs passive job seekers

According to our Talent Acquisition experts, the CV is not entirely passé, but its significance varies depending on factors such as active vs passive job seeking and the specific needs of different industries and demographics.

“Especially for passive job seekers, applying without a skills-oriented CV, is perfectly fine,” says Martine Groenen. “For hard-to-fill vacancies or complex positions, we want to lower or remove as many barriers as possible. Their LinkedIn profile is sufficient to get the conversation started”.

    Alternative approaches

    For blue-collar workers, the reliance on CVs can be a barrier, leading to missed opportunities for diverse talent. “An alternative approach such as open hiring, where the traditional screening process is replaced by a test case, might better suit the target audience,” explains Jonas Muylaert.

    Additionally, other CV formats, such as video resumes, are gaining popularity, especially among younger generations like Gen Z. Martine emphasizes the importance of careful consideration: “Video resumes should only be used when relevant for the role being applied for. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing potential candidates who don’t feel comfortable creating a video.” Think of positions as a marketeer or a social media journalist, where a video resume could give an immediate first impression of their skills and flair.

    In certain fields, such as graphic design or architecture, a candidate's portfolio holds greater value than (just) a resume. This portfolio typically includes work samples, such as writing samples or design projects, demonstrating the candidate’s main skills and accomplishments.


    Our Talent Acquisition experts assert that while the traditional CV remains relevant, its importance varies based on whether job seekers are active or passive, alongside industry and demographic factors. Alternative approaches, such as open hiring for blue-collar workers and the adoption of video resumes, are gaining traction, but careful consideration is necessary to ensure relevance and inclusivity.

    However, the primary objective in recruitment is to initiate a conversation, to reach out to relevant candidates and to create an open dialogue about their careers. Sometimes, requesting candidates to send their CVs can deter them. In the current ‘war for talent’, the aim is to minimize any barriers to contacting candidates, allowing for the establishment of a trusting relationship.

    • Jonas Muylaert, Intake Lead

    • Ineke Vandael, Business Consultant

    • Martine Groenen, Project Consultant

    Optimizing your Talent Acquisition process

    Is your Talent Acquisition process running at its full potential? Our phased and tailored approach unveils the opportunities of your end-to-end talent acquisition process.

    An improved talent acquisition process creates significant value for the business, such as reduced time-to-hire, better quality hires, enhanced candidate experience, and significant cost savings.