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

May 29, 2021

How to update your CV to job hunt during COVID? In these uncertain times, the thought of looking for a new job might seem like a nightmare. Whether you are currently in work, furloughed or unemployed, you shouldn’t let the pandemic prevent you from furthering your career. 

You might have to go through a remote hiring process, but this shouldn't put you off. Some people even prefer a remote hiring process as it allows them to go through the interview stages from the comfort of their own home.

If you’re thinking about job hunting during a pandemic, you’re not alone. While some people are stuck in sectors that have shut down altogether, others are using this as a chance to upskill and focus their attention on new opportunities. 

You shouldn’t feel afraid to look for new opportunities. After all, it has probably never been easier to interview with another company without your current company finding out about it. You don’t have to take time off work, and you can easily schedule a Zoom interview during your lunch break without your current employer knowing about it.

Why update your CV during the pandemic

Why update your CV during the pandemic

Even if you aren’t planning a big move yet, it’s worth updating your CV to reflect your current working circumstances. Although it might feel like you’re doing the same job, it’s almost guaranteed that you have adapted your working practices and learned some new skills. Make sure these new skills are reflected in your CV.

If you leave it until things return to normal, you’re more likely to forget that you have adapted your entire workday to difficult and unusual circumstances. You can highlight your change management skills and how you have adapted. Employers love agility in their workers as it allows the wider company to operate in a more agile way.

Explain your career gaps

Explain your career gaps

If you are currently furloughed and have some spare time on your hands, you may have felt the pressure to learn new skills. Employers will be far more impressed with the person who spent their furlough period learning a new skill like coding over a person who struggled to get off the sofa. And while most will recognise that it was a very difficult and stressful time, others might be more ruthless in their appraisals of your lockdown activities.

Even if you spent your time doing something completely unrelated to your job, such as learning to bake or creating a community garden, it’s worth mentioning on your CV. If nothing else, it’s a conversation starter. You should also outline any volunteer work you have done throughout lockdown.

Are employers still hiring?

Are employers still hiring?

Some sectors have slowed down their recruitment, but other sectors are booming. If you’re not sure if now is a good time to be looking for new opportunities, it’s worth getting in touch with a recruitment agency. They will have a broad view of current hiring practices and will be able to advise you if it’s worth submitting your CV

If you’re open to new opportunities, you could use the pandemic to take your career in a completely different direction. While technical skills are obviously important for any role, soft skills have proven to be incredibly important during this pandemic. Communication, adaptability, flexibility and a strong work ethic have proven to be the most desirable skills to have. So if you’re thinking about a change of direction, now could be the time to take the plunge.

Preparing for a remote interview

Staying calm in an interview is difficult at the best of times. When you’re also in the depths of a global pandemic, you’d be forgiven for having a few additional jitters. A remote interview requires the same amount of preparation and a few extra steps.

  • Find a quiet place to do your interview where you won’t be interrupted. Employers are forgiving of cramped living conditions, so don’t worry if you’re stuck in a bedroom. As long as your surroundings are clear of clutter, no one should raise an eyebrow.
  • Check your webcam and speaker settings in advance. You should also make sure you know how to use the video calling software. You don’t want to discover one minute before the interview that you need to download additional software for the call to work.
  • Keep your camera at eye level. No one wants to see up your nose, so use a few books to prop up your laptop if needed. If you’re using your phone for the interview, invest in a small tripod so it doesn’t fall over in the middle of the call.
  • Headphones with a microphone will help to reduce external noise and reduce the risk of an echo on the line. An echo can be very distracting. If you find this is happening, try turning your speakers down a little.
  • Relax and remember you’re in a comfortable space. Interviewing from home is a little easier as you’ll be surrounded by your personal items. Remember that the person interviewing you is also likely to be working from home, so they will be understanding of any interruptions.
  • If you’re working with a recruiter, you can ask them to test your camera connection and even run through a few practice questions to get you ready for your interview. 
  • If the connection is poor, don’t panic. It might be frustrating, but don’t get wound up over something you can’t control. And if you don’t hear a question, ask them to repeat it rather than simply guessing the question.

Nolan Recruitment is a Specialist Engineering Recruitment Agency. One of the UK's best Engineering & Technical Recruiter

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