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How to update your CV to job hunt during coronavirus and beyond

By Yvonne Smyth, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Hays

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, you should still be looking to the future and considering how you can make your professional ambitions a reality.

But how should you conduct your job-search in the wake of coronavirus? How has your profession changed since the advent of the pandemic? And how can you ensure your CV reflects this?

1. Emphasise your change management experience or mindset

The agility with which many organisations have had to react to the Covid-19 crisis has been incredible, with some workforces moving entirely to remote working and processes being rebuilt from the ground up.

This will have been a steep learning curve, and many employees will have had to take individual responsibility for modifying their own way of working to meet the change head on and continue to deliver objectives successfully. As a result, many employers have a newfound appreciation for staff who have change management experience or simply show the right mindset to adapt to change quickly.

So, if you have ever had to adapt your own working practices quickly and successfully in response to challenging circumstances – especially if this involves implementing new technology or managing various stakeholders – then this should be highlighted on your CV. The experience you will have gained is invaluable and demonstrates your resourcefulness and ability to respond well to change.

If you don’t have this experience, then you should stress the soft skills you have which indicate you are someone with the right attitude to dealing with change. These include:

  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Problemsolving
  • Communication
  • Proactivity

2. Update your CV with any new skills learnt during lockdown

One outcome of the Covid-19 lockdown for some may be additional free time. This may be as a result of being put on temporary furlough leave, or simply due to the restrictions on movement currently being imposed by the government, but it could be the perfect opportunity for you to get some new skills on your CV and pre-emptively give your career a boost.

Some examples of skills you could learn during this time include:

  • Coding: the infiltration of new technologies into jobs at every level means that digital skills are everincreasingly under the spotlight, and so a great place to look at honing your skills could be coding, with Codeacademy an excellent place to start.
  • Data analytics: Alternatively, if you’re looking to master Google Analytics, then Google’s Analytics Academy should help you get a handle on how to grow business through intelligent data collection and analysis.
  • Writing: OpenLearn, the Open University’s free learning arm, can help you brush up on your writing skills.

All of these are examples of skills that have the dual merits of being in-demand and easy to learn from home, and updating your CV with any newly-acquired expertise shows both your commitment to independent learning, and initiative in terms of using furlough leave or free time productively.

3. Consider your recruiter your lifelong career partner and career consultant

When it comes to road mapping your future career and brushing up your CV, working with your consultant will be vital. As experts on the world of work, they are best placed to advise you on the skills you should try to capitalise on, which skills are most in-demand and which are most likely to be emerging amidst the current challenges.   

A recruiter will also be able to provide you with valuable interview coaching and advice about how to frame your experience against the current job landscape on your CV. Do remember that exclusivity with a particular recruiter is crucial, as it will allow you to build a relationship with them, leaving them best placed to secure the right opportunity for you.

As your lifelong career partner, Hays is here to help you at every step, and working with your consultant will be key during this time. If you want to discuss your individual situation with us then please get in touch at hays.co.uk/offices.

4. Be open to trying something new…

The long-term reality of the Covid-19 crisis may mean that we see surges in demand, industry shifts and emerging trends that have a sustained impact on not just the job market, but the world at large. Demonstrating flexibility and openness to new opportunities on your CV may well pay dividends, and lead you to gain experience in an area that you might not have otherwise, and discover strengths you didn’t realise you had.

Whilst technical ability has always and will continue to be important, remember that soft skills emerge time and time again as a key priority for prospective employers. Showcasing these on your CV by highlighting relevant experience and examples of times you’ve demonstrated excellent communication, emotional intelligence and willingness to learn will show how indispensable your adaptability makes you. In a world now shown to be beset by change at all sides, it is this quality that will keep your career on the right trajectory, whatever the future holds.

If you’re considering your next step, get in contact with one of our expert recruitment consultants for a confidential chat about the career options available to you, or to access a host of resources for helping you adapt to the new way of working, visit our Inspire Me in a New Era of Work Hub. As your lifelong career partner, we are with you every step of the way and will be updating this site regularly with new guides, blogs and information to support you.

About this author

Yvonne is Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Hays, working with our clients to ensure their recruitment strategies are aligned with the latest equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) policies and initiatives. She is responsible for creating and implementing diverse recruitment strategies that effectively support the representation of more diverse staff profiles within their business.

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