When I turned 16, I wanted a job and so I bounded down the high street with my newly issued national insurance card in hand and handed my CV to everyone and anyone who would accept one. I filled out dozens of applications by hand, applied to all the large companies in my area through their websites, sat back, switched on my PlayStation and waited for the interview invites to roll in.
But, instead, all I got was “We’ll keep your CV on file” coming into my email inbox over the following days and weeks, and I never heard from those businesses ever again.
So instead, I asked a few buddies in class and eventually landed a trial shift washing dishes at a local hotel. Nowadays, we call this ‘leveraging your network’ and being referred for a role, but to me, it was just normal to ask my friends.
However, the phrase “We’ll keep your CV on file”, which kept coming up again and again, meant nothing to me; it offered no next steps, it felt evasive and non-comital.
But, now that I am on the other side in Talent Acquisition, I’ve learned how incredibly powerful keeping CVs on file can be and just how valuable it is to growing businesses. Also, the Talent Acquisition technology landscape is quite advanced, almost all intending to add value to the phrase “We’ll keep your CV on file”.
There is a real need to ‘keep your CV on file’
Corporate careers websites like VMware receive thousands of applications every week – I have seen some vacancies receive 500+ applications. And so we have invested in Talent Acquisition tools to manage, store and carefully organise all of the CVs that we receive. And if all things go to plan, the best candidate will receive an offer, but inevitably that leaves many candidates disappointed.
However, from reviewing all applications, screening calls, interviews and post-interview assessment, we know that top talent applies to VMware. And while someone might not be successful for the role they initially applied for, they could be a perfect fit for a future opportunity. But as we don’t always know what that role will be or when the need will arise, there is a real need to ‘keep your CV on file’.
As someone who has worked on implementing and optimising these tools, I can tell you that the intention is always to prevent the ‘black hole’ of applications. If a candidate has relevant skills, recruiters want to hang on to that data to reach out to them directly when a suitable opportunity arises. It saves us time by accelerating the sourcing stage of a vacancy, and in a very active jobs market, being able to move quickly and reach out to top talent without delay is critical.
Taking Advantage of Talent Communities
Modern Talent Acquisition teams want to keep in touch with relevant and high potential talent. We want to know when your skills and experience develop, and we really want to know when you start looking for a new job.
In VMware, we manage this through our VMware Talent Community portal. After submitting your information via a job application or signing up to register your details, your CV will be categorised into a relevant section based on your skills, experience, and location to make it easier for our recruiters to find you when they have a new role. However, the categorisation depends on how well optimised your CV is or not.
In the portal, there is a dashboard for each member to update their details whenever they wish, upload a new CV or update their skills. We also keep potential candidates in the loop through communications on relevant new roles and early-bird invites to live virtual career events, news and updates. And, when the perfect role opens up, you’ll be one of the first to hear about it.
But, Talent Communities are not only vast databases of potential employees; they also serve as a middle ground for the jobseeker between applying for a job and just updating a LinkedIn profile. When you are part of a talent community, and if you are actively updating your information, you are effectively telling a company, “I have new skills, and I want you to know because I see myself there someday”.
Tips for Jobseekers
Below are my top tips for jobseekers on leveraging Talent Communities as part of your career journey.
- Firstly, regularly update your LinkedIn profile, treat it like your CV. I recommend reviewing and updating your CV and LinkedIn profile every six months or whenever you receive a promotion, complete a big project, or learn a new skill.
- You can build a CV for free using your Linkedin’s Resume Builder, and it’ll be optimised to work well with the tools Talent Acquisition teams use internally to store your CV accurately.
- Identify the companies you would be interested in working for someday. Then, check their career site for a Talent Community and upload your information.
- Regularly update your information within the Talent Communities you have joined.
- If you are early in your career, leverage your network. Your network isn’t just the people you follow on LinkedIn; it’s friends, classmates, tutors, family.
Gone are the days of a dusty old filing cabinet in the basement marked ‘CVs’, and the phrase “we’ll keep your CV on file” means a lot more these days. The technology for Talent Acquisition teams to utilise the data effectively at scale is constantly evolving. But landing the ideal job at a big organisation takes time and dedication, and sometimes fortuitous timing. However, you can gain an edge by being in a Talent Community. When companies make wise investments in the right tools and take the time to build Talent Communities, they unlock a tonne of value by accelerating the sourcing process while delivering a best in class candidate experience.
You can start by joining VMware’s Talent Community here: VMware Talent Community.