7 Tips For Writing an Impactful CV & Get Interviews in 2021

CV Nov 30, 2021

Job hunting in 2021 requires that you are always ready to apply to jobs. Also, you need to have your CV handy with you. To prepare an impactful CV, you need to learn some tips for CV writing in 2021.

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As a rule of thumb, people are also advised to have an elevator speech handy—a thirty-second summary of yourself if you get stuck in an elevator with someone influential. An elevator speech allows you to effectively summarize your values and present yourself in an appealing manner.

If you are a job seeker, you need more than just an elevator speech. You need to have an impactful CV that will speak volumes about you to hiring managers.

Employers have only a few seconds to view a résumé because of the number of applications.

If you want to stand out, your CV needs to be outstanding. The competition in the job market is higher than ever. Surprisingly, the number of vacant positions is also very high.

As a skilled professional, branding your CV to attract hiring managers is as important as thick socks in the winter. If you want to transform from your old presentation  to a better one, your CV must be well-structured. Employers are too busy to read through every CV details and so you must be able to hook them at a glance.

Tips For Writing a CV that Gets Interviews

Getting an interview with a company is not easy considering the number of applicants that companies get for a job.

As much as it is difficult, there are ways to go about it, and if you can learn the ropes, it works like voodoo. Here are some helpful tips for résumé writing in 2021 that will take you closer to getting your dream job.

Replace “Objectives” with a “Professional Summary”

It is a very common practice to see résumés begin with a headline called “Objective.” Ideally, this section explains what your CV aims to achieve, but it is pretty obvious already. If you are sending a CV, getting the job is your objective; it is a no-brainer.

An ilustration of a CV in the middle and a coffee, agenda, glasses, and a phone on the table

You don’t need an objective in your CV, what you need is a professional summary. The summary will be a snippet of who you are and what you have to offer. If you want to know how to write a modern CV in 2021, a professional summary is where to start.

Writing a professional summary is quite easy. The goal is to show that you are best suited for the job over every other applicant.

A professional summary should be a paragraph containing a few sentences (about three or four). These sentences will highlight the relevant skills you have necessary for the job.

Use Keywords

The number of applications that hiring managers receive is much more than they can handle. This is why medium and large-scale businesses make use of applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATS saves employers from having to check job applications one after the other.

As a job seeker, you must understand that your CV will likely pass through an ATS. To scale through an ATS, your CV needs to be well-optimized. It must contain certain keywords that will single you out among other applicants.

Why do you need to add keywords to your résumé?

When recruiters post a job vacancy, there are certain skills that they want from an ideal applicant. These skills are hidden in the lengthy job description and luckily, they are not hard to find.

After spotting these keywords, the next thing for you to do is to edit your CV and insert them naturally. Applicant tracking systems are programmed to filter applications by searching for these keywords.

The ATS can separate résumésthat contain these keywords from the ones that do not. This separation makes it easier for recruiters to consider people whose CVs reflect their competence.  The others who do not have these keywords in their résumé can be disqualified immediately or kept on a waitlist.

A computer with few screens with a CV and a loupe pointing to one of them

Your chances of beating an ATS are higher when you include keywords in your résumé. Keywords are a perfect way for recruiters to reduce the number of applications they need to attend to.

Here is an analogy to explain how to add skills to your résumé.

Think of a job application for the position of an IT project manager with years of experience and able to use specific tools. Keywords to include in your CV would be “project management” and names of relevant tools that you are conversant with.

Showcase Your Skills

Showing off your most important skills is one of the most important tips for CV writing in 2021. The skills section in your CV is one place where it pays to be boastful. Capitalizing on this page gives you an edge over other candidates applying for the job.

Your skill section is a great place to make use of keywords in your CV whilst exhibiting your experience.

According to research, every job opening gets an average of 250 applications. Each of the applicants has distinct skills and yours has to be relevant to be the job you are applying for.

While preparing an interview-worthy CV, you need to put the necessary skills that make you a preference over other applicants. Highlight these skills in bullet points and use keywords too. This way, whether it is an ATS or a recruiter viewing your CV, your CV will definitely stand out.

When you are highlighting your skills on your résumé, you need to take note of how they are arranged. Start with the most relevant skills. In 2021, being able to work remotely, along with use of tools and personnel management, is an in-demand skill.

Following safety protocols after the global pandemic, a lot of companies have reduced their office space. Some workers now have to perform office duties from their homes or a coworking space. Being able to manage a team of workers from different locations will be a more relevant skill now than ever.

To manage these virtual teams, you need to be conversant with tools that can connect them. Not many technical personnel can navigate their way around Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other project management tools. If you can, let your résumé reveal this.

Now that everyone has to work independently, companies will value staff who can perform specific functions. Not everyone can prepare a presentation, create a spreadsheet, or format a document without help from administrative personnel. If you can do this, especially if you are applying for a managerial role, add it to your skills.

The more you add these skills, the higher are your chances of getting to an interview room.

Another skill you can highlight is your most recent achievements. You can mostly capitalize on challenges you encountered during the lockdown and how you overcame them.

Talk about how you were able to manage crises and risks you took that turned out positive. You are trying to impress hiring managers, so avoid talking about your failure. Talk about how you were about to provide quality service for your customers without being in contact with them.

You cannot be shy when you are writing a résumé, sell yourself such that your résumé is irresistible. Blow your trumpet and blow it loudly. What stunt did you pull off that people thought was impossible?

Update Your Education

Your CV is not a biography and as such, it should not contain everything about you. An ideal résumé should be a maximum of three pages and this is if you have a lot of experience. If you are a beginner in the tech industry, your CV should stay between one to two pages.

Few books and a pencil

When you are listing your educational background, leave out any certificate that you got a long time ago.

The sole purpose of tailoring your résumé for each job is to provide only relevant details. These details do not only have to be relevant, they also have to be recent.

Educational qualifications of over 15 years should not have any place in your CV. Hiring managers will only pay attention to your most recent education. They want to know what you have been up to and how you have been keeping up with recent trends.

Using only recent information on your résumé should not be restricted to only your education. Your achievement and other qualities that are over a decade old should be omitted from your CV. The information you provide should be enough to give a recruiter knowledge of why you are qualified for the job.

Add Only Relevant Work Experience

It has been mentioned earlier that your CV does not need to be too long. One way to keep it short and compact is to add work experience only relevant to the job.

You might have worked at a grocery store or been at some petty job when you were younger. If you are applying for a technical position, your experience at a clothing store would not be necessary. Your space is limited, so you have to make the best use of it.

a man writing code in his laptop

Tailor Your CV

Each job opening comes with its specific requirements. While they might be similar, you need to pay attention to these little details. What specific experience would make you a better fit for the job?

If you have been able to answer these questions, add your answers to the résumé. Another way to go about this is to make a list of all your work experience across different industries. This method is very effective for technical personnel who have been working for a long time.

When you make your list, begin to check through each of them. Select the ones that are most relevant for the job you are applying for and add them to your CV.

Another way to go about it is to section your work experience based on the fields where you have experience. If you have a background in IT and cryptocurrency, you can add both of them to your résumé. But how?

Start with your background in IT and write out all your relevant experience. Create a division and write your experience in the cryptocurrency industry. This helps the recruiter to easily find your relevant experience.

Erase Every Personal Details

Your prospective employer does not need to know your state of origin or your date of birth. This kind of information will not affect your efficiency and is not necessary for your résumé. Sadly, these details are an integral part of conventional résumés.

Your gender, nationality, marital status, hobbies, and so on should be highlighted and then deleted. The only personal information that should be on your CV is your name and contact details. Every other personal detail in your CV will only be taking useful space.

How To Properly Format Your CV

After the short description of what needs to go in a CV, the next important thing is the arrangement. How do you position each section to make the résumé presentable?

Your CV should be well-formatted. It must be easy for an ATS to scan it and for a recruiter to spot it in bulk. You can add a headshot, some graphics, and images.

Use bold and readable fonts like Helvetica or Arial. If the ATS is unable to scan your document, your keywords will not be recognized. And this will take you farther from the interview room.

Align your résumé to the left so recruiters can easily scan it. Also, include links to social media or websites if you have any.

Lastly, there is no need to tell your hiring manager that your references are available on request. If they need references, they will reach out to you through the details you have provided.

Writing a well-formatted CV can prove difficult especially if you are trying to switch jobs. You can save yourself the stress and subscribe to LoopCV. LoopCV helps you format your CV to be suitable for any job.

You also do not need to spend time applying for jobs after preparing your résumé with LoopCV. The platform seeks out jobs that resonate with your CV and applies on your behalf. Circumvent the stress of searching and applying for jobs and spend your time upskilling by using the LoopCV platform.

Originally published Nov 30 2021

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best CV format for 2021?

There are many ways you can format your CV for 2021. Whatever the way, make sure it is scannable and legible.

How should a CV look in 2021?

A CV in 2021 should contain recent information that reflects your knowledge of current information trends.

How can I make my CV stand out in 2021?

If you want to make your CV stand out in 2021, include only relevant skills and work experience, and make use of keywords.

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George Avgenakis

CEO @ Loopcv

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