in Careers Advice, CV Writing, Job Applications

CVs – have Linked In and video CVs made paper and digital CVs obsolete?

Are CVs obsolete thanks to the Internet?

We recently attended a recruitment agency trade fair where numerous salesmen attempted to flog us video CVs and online pre-interview software and a number of speakers told us that CVs were no longer necessary. In the digital world it is so easy to find out about someone – after all you can type “Jonathan Fagan” into Google and find out all about me – my LinkedIn page comes up together with the Jonathan Fagan and Ten Percent websites. If I applied for a job then anyone could go onto my LinkedIn page to find out all about me and after connecting they could also view my full career to date. I received a telephone call from a candidate yesterday who informed me that he didn’t need a CV – he was a solicitor with 30 years experience and I could find out all about him from his firm’s website and LinkedIn.

However, and our main argument for CVs still being relevant, is that all of this takes time.

Lots of it.

If you send me a CV I can find out everything I need to know about you in just under 15 seconds. I can see your name, your location, your date of birth (although I accept this should not be relevant), your date of qualification, the type of law you have done, where you have done it and anything else interesting. In a further 10 seconds I can quickly check the Law Society site to make sure you have a practising certificate and type your name into Google to see anything pings up there.

If you were to send me a video CV I would have to sit and watch it. If your video was as long as some the CVs we get in, my working day would be considerably longer!

If you expected me to find out about you online rather than read a CV I may well get the wrong information. If you search Jonathan Fagan on Google then you would find out on page one that a Jonathan Fagan was arrested in a major drug trafficking operation in central London not that long ago. Has anyone really got the time to sift through this type of search simply to see if you are in any way suitable for a job you have applied for?

We think CVs will be around for some time to come. At least until robot lawyers and recruitment consultants are invented…

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at