It’s fascinating to watch the arc of an idea, from the murky origin or “eureka” moment that launches it into the world through the stages where it gets observed and toyed with through the perspectives of groups of people with differing agendas, and on to the stages where the idea flirts with real life, gets mutated a little or has consequences no-one quite predicted. Was iTunes designed as a new way to buy albums, or to destroy the idea of albums by allowing us to buy just the tracks we like and create our own playlists? And was it the keen pricing and instant delivery that drew us in, or was it the novelty or the ego-flattering proposition of being in a position to have a better idea about sequencing a set of 12 songs than the people that wrote and played them? (Games that let us ‘play at god’ always seem to have a following, it seems.)

One of those ideas that’s been out there in the ether is The Death of the CV. I’m not claiming credit, but I remember raising the topic at an HR Unconference last year, having just encountered a group of unemployed graduates with qualifications and abilities a-go-go but a dearth of employment in which to apply it. What struck me at the time was the absurdity:

Tailoring many hundreds of variants (as some of these graduates had done) to submit to recruiters who then read many hundreds of them (or receive a selection filtered through online application processes where score-carding and box-ticking are applied to a highly condensed snapshot of a life) would, I suspect, strike the proverbial visiting Martians as odd. The debate that the idea triggered may have been inconclusive, but it was certainly interesting: most of graduate recruiters’ energies are spent not on recruiting, but on rejecting. And the rejected, who all too frequently receive no explanation or reasoning – if they receive a response at all – are not helped by the process either. We might be forgiven for concluding that the whole process is geared towards keeping people out of work, not in it.” (more…)