The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted so many aspects of our lives, but one of the worst affected was our jobs and careers.
Many were left unemployed, furloughed or made redundant, while others found their career goals swiftly coming to a halt.
Now, it’s important to note that gaps on your CV as a result of lockdown aren’t something that you need to disguise or hide, as future employers will usually be sympathetic in these uncertain times.
However, you want your CV to showcase you in the best light possible. Therefore, it might need a little rescuing and some TLC after the pandemic.
So below, we’ve put together a few ways you can inject some life back into your CV this year.
Add your new lockdown hobbies
During the pandemic, most people found themselves at home a lot more than usual and with more free time on their hands than ever before. This led to people taking up new hobbies such as learning new languages, starting up a blog or learning to play an instrument.
So, providing you have room to include this on your CV, add a dedicated section that outlines any new hobbies you have. This is particularly beneficial if these hobbies are directly related to your career path or if you actually started up a side hustle to help you make some extra cash during lockdown.
Show the recruiter that you continued to learn
Another way that a lot of people spent their time during the pandemic was retraining, spending more time online or taking online courses. If you fit into this category, be sure to add any new qualifications you gained or courses that you took to your education section.
And if you’re still waiting to get your career back on track, it’s never too late to take an online course, even now.
This section could also include any educational books you read, webinars you watched or virtual events you attended, as long as these are related to your chosen industry and career.
Be sure to include any new skills you learned
As well as learning new skills from hobbies, you may have also had to learn to adapt to new ways of working or studying. For example, a large number of people had to adapt quickly to work remotely (from home) or taking lessons online if they were still studying.
This is likely to have given you a new set of transferable skills that are important for the jobs of the future. These could include important skills such as communication, organisation, time management, self-motivation and discipline.
Not only this, but it’s likely you had to learn to use new and important digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Docs, Dropbox and more. With employers increasingly moving towards digital ways of working and lots of roles becoming permanently remote, it’s important that you include any of these new skills on your CV, as these can make you instantly more employable.
So don’t underestimate the power of your new skills, hobbies or working styles.
When giving your CV an update, spend some time thinking about what you did during the pandemic and how this can look good on your CV.
Then, using these tips, you can rescue your CV and get your career back on track.
About the author
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of Job Description Library, and StandOut CV, : two leading careers advice websites with a mission to help job hunters land the jobs they want. With plenty of free resources such as their CV writing guide and templates, they have everything you need to craft an interview winning CV.
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There are a number of reasons you might have taken a career break, perhaps you lost your last job, you decided to go travelling or you took some time out to raise a family. Whatever the case, a career break is nothing to be ashamed of! Despite this, we are often led to believe that taking some time out can make finding our next job difficult. While it’s true employers may be wary of big gaps on a CV, if you address your career break effectively many will look past this.
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