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  • Oliver Jessup

How to Build a Strong CV During Covid-19

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

With the global pandemic still challenging the economy, it is normal for individuals to be concerned about their employment status. Some have already lost their jobs whereas others are facing the uncertainty of company reorganisations and potentially redundancy.  Although some industries have simply reverted to ‘survival’ mode others have been able to capitalise on the opportunities that COVID-19 has opened up. There has been a distinct shift in consumer behaviour towards certain products and services and consequently this has caused a change in employment demands.

Should you be looking for new opportunities, it is imperative that you prepare prior to plunging headfirst into what is a highly competitive market. Now more than ever, it is essential to look at your CV and apply the polish it requires in order to stand out amongst the crowd. Your CV is ultimately your sales pitch and you need to impress both recruiters and hiring managers in order to move attractive hiring processes forwards.

Evaluate the job description. It is vital that you critically review the job description for the position that you are applying for. Understand what the employer’s challenges are and how you can solve their problems. Take note of the required skills and competencies because there is a high probability that you already possess these requirements as a result of your previous work experiences. Keywords can be identified under the categories Key Skills, Requirements and Qualifications etc.

Customise your CV and highlight relevant skills, qualities, and experiences. It is important that you connect your previous experiences and accomplishments to the role in question. Highlight these achievements and tailor your CV in such a way that it will be easy for a recruiter and/or hiring manager to see your individual contributions. This will enable those reviewing your profile to gauge the level of impact that you are likely to have in the role and beyond.

Use similar terminology and some of the keywords that appear in the job description. Position these examples at the top of the CV so it will be easy for the reviewer to take notice. Intuitively insert the relevant skills throughout your CV. Succinctly illustrate problems followed by your contributions to solving them followed by the resulting beneficial outcomes to the organisation.

Keep it short and simple. On average, hiring managers scan through CVs in approximately six seconds. That is why it is absolutely crucial to capture their attention by presenting them with key information relating to how their problems can be solved by you. Please note the following:

●    Remove irrelevant, outdated information. ●    Make your CV no more than 3 pages long. ●    Use simple but professional fonts, ideally sized 10-12 characters. ●    Position the most important and relevant information at the top. ●    Draw attention to key points by bolding the text. ●    Use bullets and headers as opposed to paragraphs.

Keeping these tips in mind will ultimately make the best use of a recruiter and/or a hiring manager’s time. They will remember who took the time to carefully evaluate their posting and job description - this creates genuine interest and increases the likelihood of successfully securing a place on the shortlist. Who wouldn’t want to create that all important first impression?

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