How to write a modern CV in 2021 to impress every employer

How to write a modern CV in 2021 to impress every employer 

If you have been trying to find a new job and cannot get through to the interview stage or you are finding a new job for the first time in a while, you need your CV to have a modern look to it. 

An impressive CV from a year or two ago might no longer stand out to the employer and there are new ways that can make your CV the best around. 

By following these simple tips, your CV will be the talk of the town and you will have every employer wanting to have an interview with you. We have listed some bold statements here but they really work - we have checked it. 

Include keywords 

It is a brutal truth but most hiring companies will not use their time reading through every CV that they get sent. The CV’s either get proofread or scanned by an applicant scanning system. The scanning system has a software built in which allows recruiters to search for specific keywords to immediately reject candidates that have not included their skills or requirements that the company desire. Therefore, you need to make sure you have the right keywords in your CV, to get it read through by the hiring manager. The easiest way to find the desired keywords is to use words that are directly used in the job description. Look for words that are more frequently used or words in the requirements section such as industry specific job titles, the name of the industry/field of work, experience, or qualifications. 

Show that you have good knowledge of the industry

Showing some insights of the industry that the job sits in will prove that you are knowledgeable about the field and are sure to impress the recruiter. You should drop these nuggets throughout your whole CV but more specifically in the experience and employment history section when you are talking about responsibilities and key achievements. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge in the field and the employer has asked for someone with experience or knowledge, there is more chance of your CV to be declined. 

What sort of knowledge should you include? 

  • Relevant topics
  • Knowledge on any software’s, practices, and keywords 
  • Up-to-date news 
  • Changes in the industry/new rules coming into place 

Give your CV a clean and simple look

You may think your current CV looks nice, you might have a nice photo of you, some graphics and a stylish font but is that really necessary? 

As previously mentioned, employers use a scanning system which is looking for text and not graphics, so adding your photo isn't something that will give you more chances of getting a job (unless you're in the modelling industry). Adding a photo of yours might actually be seen as a negative sign. Although adding a photo to your CV is very popular in Europe, it might be seen as a delicate push towards discrimination here in the UK. Remember, your CV should only be two pages (one double side of A4) maximum, so there is no space to waste. 

Using a stylish font may look good in your eyes but the applicant scanning system cannot always read the text and may mess up the reading of some letters making it look like you have some grammar issues which is never good. So just choose an easy-to-read font, remove that photo of yourself, and create your CV with a clean and simple look. 

Perfect your personal statement

Recruiters spend 6 seconds on average looking at a CV, so you do not have much time to show why it is your CV that should be chosen by a recruiter. Therefore, you need to perfect your personal statement. Your personal statement is a quick summary of your whole CV, including some words to describe you, your experience, knowledge about the work field, and your aspirations and goals. 

So, what should you include in your modern personal statement? 

  • Keywords  
  • Relevant skills (relevant to the job you apply)
  • Work experience 
  • Aspirations and goals 

Add a key skill section

You may already have a key skills section but creating a dedicated section to highlight your skills is the best way to show what your top strengths are. This should be positioned just under your personal profile so it is easily spotted if the employer is only skimming through your CV. Include 5-8 key skills at most because this section is only for the most important skills from your work history, not a broad section of skills that most candidates will have.  

Key skills ranging from management skills, communication skills and specific computer software skills that you can proficiently use should be added in this section. These skills need to be relevant to the job you are applying for so you should be constantly changing some key skills if you are applying for different jobs, or at least change the order, so the most relevant skills are at the top of the section. 

Clean up your experience and employment history

You should already have a section on your CV about your work experience and employment history, but employers are mostly interested in your more recent jobs. We recommend that you only include jobs and experience from the past 10 years at most as they do not need to know about a job you had at 18 when you are applying for something completely different 15 years later. Highlighting key responsibilities and key achievements or project that you played a part in give you the opportunity to show off your skills. Make sure to use powerful verbs and any statistics to support each claim. These verbs include words such as adaptable, innovative and demonstrate. 

Use quantifiable data to back your points

When listing your achievements and responsibilities in your CV, recruiters would rather see stats and figures in your CV rather than a vague point that does not prove anything. Using percentages and figures that does not give away any private information to emphasize your accomplishments will impress the recruiter and is the best and easiest way for you to prove that you are the real deal. 

Instead of saying ‘’I planned events for Company A’’, say ‘’I organized A events for Company B attended by C people.’’ It sounds so much better and tells the recruiter exactly what you did. This is a place for you to sell yourself! 

Remove personal information  

We are not saying remove everything. You only need to include a few personal details at the top of your CV. You do not need to include a list of hobbies in your CV, it is taking up valuable space and the employer is not going to change their mind based on what you enjoy doing out of working hours.  

You should only list your name, phone number, email address, the city that you live in, and maybe social media profiles if you feel that they add value to your CV. That is the only information that the recruiter needs to know and will be interested in so adding anymore information is not necessary and will not help you land that job. 

Have we missed anything?  
What have you recently changed on your CV?  
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