Optimising your CV for 2021

Is finding a new job on your list of goals for the new year? If you're looking for new opportunities or want a change of pace this year, there's a few things you'll need to do that'll help you on your job search.

First up, updating your CV - you want to make sure that the previous year is fully represent on your CV before you start applying for any exciting new roles. But, how do you optimise your CV? And what important things do you need to include? Here are our top tips for making yours stand out from the crowd. 

1.  Add last years experience 

This may sound obvious, but the last year has been anything but normal. Your new experience of working in a hybrid workplace is valuable and should come across on your CV, because it showcases your adaptability, technical skills, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.

Include the programs and strategies you have had to adopt throughout this year, as they could be useful in your next position. If you have been managing a remote team, include this as well. Successful management in a time of uncertainty is extremely valuable and should be displayed on your CV.

2. Include soft skills

Soft skills such as communication, quick learning, emotional intelligence, resilience, and more have proven their worth as organisations navigated the challenges of the year previous. They are now at the top of wish lists of many hiring managers.

Michael Page’s recent survey of 1,000 UK hiring managers provides detailed insights into the importance of soft skills - find out which soft skills hiring managers are looking for and how soft skills inform their hiring decisions.

Ensure that these kinds of skills are peppered throughout your CV instead of relegating them only to a separate section at the bottom of the document. This way, you are highlighting them and showing that you are aware of their importance.

3. Mind the gaps

If you have been made redundant as a result of the economic downturn, do not be afraid to include this. Or any other employment gap on your CV. However, you should be prepared to speak about what you have been doing in-between positions. 

If you have been upskilling, or taking any classes in the interim, you can include that information on either your CV or cover letter depending on its relevance. Or if you have had to take time off for health reasons that can be shared in an interview. A potential employer will more than likely understand these kinds of gaps, so there is no need to hide them.

4. Refresh your CV summary 

A CV summary provides hiring managers with a brief overview of the key skills and experiences that make you a standout candidate. Make sure that your summary reflects your most recent and relevant qualities. If they appear outdated, then incorporate new skills and experiences you have gained and try to keep it to only one or two sentences in length. 

5. Remove outdated information

Before you start sending your CV out to potential new employers, ensure you remove old jobs that hold no relevance to your target position. This will help free up space on CV for more relevant information that's more in line to your 2023 career aspirations.

For example, of you're looking at progressing into more senior roles, you might consider removing your secondary school or college achievements and only listing your degree-level qualifications.

This can make space for you to highlight more professional accomplishments that may be more impressive to recruiters.

6. Check contact information

Don't forget to make sure that your contact information is up to date each time you refresh your CV, for example if you've recently moved or changed mobile number. 

This also goes for the contact information you may have listed for any referees. If they have also changed jobs over the course of last year, ensure that this is replayed on your CV and you have updated contact information incase a recruiter or hiring manager wants to get in touch with them. 

What next? 

Optimising your CV is just the start of your job applicant journey. Next up is learning all the tricks of the trade when it comes to interviewing like a pro. Read through our extensive library of job interview tips so you’re fully prepared.

Looking to secure more interviews for exciting new roles? Apply for live jobs on the Mcihael Page site today.


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