How to Optimise Your CV for Covid-19 Job Hunting

In this guest post, the CV writing experts from TopCV provide top tips for optimising your CV while job hunting through the pandemic.

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The UK jobs market has been heavily impacted by the fallout from the global Covid-19 pandemic, as many businesses closed their doors and placed their staff on furlough. But the furlough scheme is set to close by the end of October 2020, and many businesses have decided they cannot afford to pay their staff and must let them go.

If you have lost your job due to Covid-19, no fear. There are plenty of industries surviving and thriving, and vacancies do exist. Here’s how you can optimise your CV for your Covid-19 job hunt.

Tailor your CV to each vacancy

One size does not fit all when it comes to CVs. Prospective employers are looking to see how your skills and experience line up with the role they have advertised, so tailoring your CV to each vacancy is essential.

Read the job description carefully to ensure the role is suitable. Then identify keywords and phrases listed in the job spec and mirror the language throughout your CV to make it clear you are a match. If recruiters can quickly draw parallels between you and the role, you will have an immediate advantage over your competition, which is important in a Covid-19 era.

Prove your competency

Many job seekers write their CV as if it was a job description, listing key duties and responsibilities. Whilst this will paint a decent picture of your experience, it will fail to demonstrate the positive impact of your work – which is essential if you want to impress.

Use achievement statements rather than descriptions and bolster them with tangible evidence, such as numbers. For example, you may have managed client accounts, but how many accounts did you run, and what size budgets did you handle? If you trained teams, how many staff did you train and what solutions did this training unlock?

By proving your competency in this way, prospective employers will see the value you could bring to their business.

Optimise your CV for an ATS

Many large organisations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter through large volumes of applications. This software scans CVs for keywords related to the job description and will pump out a suitability score based on its findings, immediately sorting the wheat from the chaff.

In the midst of a pandemic, stakes are high, so optimise your CV for an ATS to ensure your application doesn’t slip through the cracks. Get the keywords right, highlight relevant skills and experience, delete headers and footers, and remove graphics, photos, tables and logos. Keep it clean and simple for maximum impact.

Format your CV for readability and professionalism

Whilst optimising your CV for an ATS is crucial, remember that it's a human who has the final say on whether you will land the job. Here are some formatting and spacing guidelines to bear in mind so your CV looks slick and professional.

Divide your CV into sections with clear headings and use punchy bullet points underneath to aid skim-reading – dense paragraphs are not your friend. Two sides of A4 is the standard CV length. If you are c-suite level, you may wish to extend this to three. Format the body of CV in a 10- or 12-point font and in a sans-serif font type to maintain a clean feel. And above all, don’t forget to proofread thoroughly to remove typos and clunky sentences.

There is no room for mistakes in a Covid-19 job hunt. If you’re struggling to grasp the CV rules, seeking the assistance of a CV writer will alleviate the pressure, as you can ensure they will produce a CV poised to grab an employer’s attention.

Laura Slingo is a regular contributor to TopCV, the leading CV-writing service in the world. TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. Request a free CV review today to find out if your CV is ready to land you your next role.

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