Cha Hak-yeon was one of the MyDOL contestants chosen to be part of the six-member boy group VIXX. They debuted in May 2012 with the single Super Hero. He serves as the group’s leader and main dancer, given his extensive background in dancing. He also became part of the project group Big Byung, which was created during the first season of MBC Every1’s Hitmaker in 2014. That same year, he landed his first acting role in the MBC romantic melodrama Hotel King. This was followed by another supporting role in the SBS series The Family Is Coming in 2015. He was then included in the main cast of the 2015 KBS2 teen series Sassy Go Go. In 2016, he starred in the Naver web dramas Tomorrow Boy and What’s With Money. In 2018, he joined the MBC mystery-thriller Red Moon, Blue Sea.

Cha Hak-yeon enlisted for his mandatory military service on March 4, 2019. He was discharged on October 7, 2020.