We are most certainly seeing green shoots all across the board at TTR. From looking out of the window at the lovely daffodils bursting out, the clocks going forward declaring that we have finally left British Wintertime behind, to seeing lockdown measures easing over the next few weeks, we’re feeling full of the joys of Spring! The recruitment market seems to be showing something of a growth spurt in the area, with new opportunities available across a wide range of industries and within businesses who’ve had particularly tough winters from the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s wonderful to see the market opening back up, and the green shoots of positivity around Gloucestershire. It feels as if we have weathered the storm, and we’re beginning to tentatively get back to ‘normal’…if anyone knows what that is anymore (answers on a postcard please)!
Interestingly, despite the local job market now moving, candidates are not as easy to come by as you may think. Some have been in “hibernation” through this period, riding the furlough rollercoaster, and/or juggling home-schooling and working from home! There are lots of candidates who may have been considering a move, but following the pandemic, are now so fiercely loyal to their employer for the way they’ve been looked after in these turbulent times they have decided to stay put!
From a client perspective, with job roles now being advertised where previously recruitment had been on hold, employers are often tentative about their next hire. Times have been hard to say the very least and for many, cash flow has been tight; the cost implications of taking on the wrong hire are very damaging. Clients need to be assured that they are hiring the right candidate, the first time so are becoming increasingly selective about what they want to see on a CV to demonstrate characteristics such as loyalty or skills gained during the pandemic.
If you are looking to take the plunge and dip a toe into the recruitment pond again to see what opportunities are available to you, it is probably time to dig out that old CV and give it a bit of a Spring Clean spruce up!
Here are some of the things we would recommend you do before hitting send on that all important application:
- Firstly, Get Dusting!
How long has it been since you updated your career history? Go back through and update each of your previous roles, using current terminology to give your whole CV a refresh, and keep it all in the same style. We’ve probably all been guilty of just updating the top, most recent, section and letting the less recent stuff sit and gather dust!
Make sure the history for each role includes the company name, the job title and a little bit of information about what you did within the role. If you used specific software, tools or skills in the role then make sure to mention them here.
Mentioning any specific software, or particular tools or skills required in each job, and removing anything that is now out of date will be advantageous. If you drove a forklift once, but your licence is expired and you have no plans or desire to use it again, take it off! There’s no point being contacted about a forklift-driving warehouse role because your CV alerted a recruiter to it if you have worked in an office environment for twenty years and have no interest in returning to the warehouse!
On the flip side, make sure you include the company name, job title and some key information about your job role within each segment of your employment history. Keep it concise, and make sure it’s all relevant to you, not the company as a whole.
- Rearrange Tidily
Remember, your CV is a summary of your career, not a short novel! Tidy up, making sure you include the most important parts and remove the ‘fluff’. Unless you can find a valid reason to include all of your social media handles, telephone numbers, multiple email addresses and a full home address then don’t! In this modern era, to minimise risk of online data fraud, we would recommend you only include the basics. A contact telephone number and your email address, with the area that you live in will suffice for now.
Keep things simple; a readable font and a sensible colour, with an organised layout that shows key information clearly. Using bold font to highlight job titles and bullet points of main achievements is often a nice way to lay out the information effectively.
- Revamp Your Personal Statement
Be clear about the sort of role you are looking for. Perhaps you could write a few different versions of this if you’re looking at roles within a couple of different industries, to tailor your statement to each. Shorten up your profile if it’s long and rambling and instead try to keep it to a summary of your key (relevant) experience and your aspirations in your next career move.
- Do You Need a Trim?
As a general rule, CVs should be at a maximum of two pages. If yours is four, five or even more then you definitely need to reduce it down! Try to keep your sentences shorter, use bullet points for important details and adjust your wording to make it quick and easy to read. In-depth detail is not essential at this stage, you want to use your CV to grab the recruiter’s attention and pique their interest in you as a candidate.
- New CV, New Name
This sounds totally silly, but you would not believe how easy it is to accidentally select the wrong file, and how all experienced recruiters will have a story of ‘that time a candidate accidentally sent me a photo of them ziplining through the forest/Mum’s favourite recipe/the draft CV with their friend’s notes on it’! It makes for a funny story, but it’s not going to paint you in the best light as an organised and interested candidate… Save your CV with your full name or initial and surname in the file name path. You could even add a date, so you’ve got it clearly marked and it’s easy to find the latest version. You’ll also then leave another positive imprint of your name in a recruiter’s saved documents. Think how you’ll stand out in comparison to ‘untitled document’ or just a plain ‘CV’!
Hopefully we’ve inspired you to take the time to have a bit of a refresh, either just to maintain good practice or because you’re looking for a new role. We are always happy to offer advice and guidance, so if Spring is a time for change for you, please do let us know and if we can help you, we would love to.