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Top CV tips for 2021 (Covid edition)

employment, PPR, opportunities...

2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone. Many of us have faced dramatic changes to both our personal and professional lives. With Covid 19 transforming the way work is carried out, lots of people are questioning what the future of employment really looks like. With home working becoming a permanent addition to our lives and many people looking for new jobs because of redundancy or just the desire for a change of career, the job market is a completely different arena to what it was only one year ago.

To ensure that you maximise your career potential in this new employment landscape, it’s essential that your latest CV reflects the changing attitudes towards employment. To help you to optimise your career opportunities here are our top CV tips for 2021 and beyond.

  1. Write a great intro

At the top of your CV, there should be three to four sentences that summarise your skills and experience. This section should be clear, brief, and engaging. It should make any potential employers eager to find out more about how you could fit in with their company.

  1. Focus on the positives

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that staying positive is essential, both for ourselves and our friends and family. Any employers are going to want to know how you coped with your working life in 2020. If you worked from home, focus on the positives like how you smoothly made the transition from office to home. Talk about how you managed to prioritise your workload effectively despite other challenges such as childcare. If you were made redundant or furloughed during the pandemic, talk about anything you’ve done to proactively further your career. This could include any courses you’ve taken, voluntary work, or creative activities such as home renovation projects.

  1. Engage with technology

 Your ability to work with modern technology is going to be expected by most employers. Listing skills such as Microsoft office suite or Internet search engine is wasted space on your CV as every candidate will have these skills. Do your research and highlight any industry-specific technology which you have used which will help your CV to stand out. For construction industry roles, CAD and BIM software are worth mentioning. If you’re working in a professional services role, fluency using data analysing and user experience software such as Semrush and Google Analytics will be a great addition to your CV.

  1. Use keywords to your advantage

Many recruitment agencies and companies today use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter CVs. ATS software is designed to search documents for specific keywords to help streamline the selection process. If your CV doesn’t contain the desired terminology, you may be rejected before a human has even seen your CV. To ensure that you don’t fall foul of a company’s ATS, before applying, thoroughly read the job specification of the role you’re applying for. This will almost certainly contain any keywords which you’ll need to include in your CV to get past the ATS vetting process.

  1. Simplify, simplify, simplify

The UK jobs market is currently saturated with job seekers. For every vacancy, there are potentially thousands of people competing for that one role. Recruitment agencies and employers looking for candidates to fill their latest vacancy want to fill their vacancies as quickly and easily as possible. By simplifying your CV, you are helping anyone reading it to find all the information they need immediately.

  • Use bullet points for clarity
  • Choose a clean and simple layout
  • Use a professional font such as Calibri or Verdana in size 11pt – 12pt
  • Highlight salient points (job-specific info) in bold
  • Create a balance between soft skills such as flexibility and professional skills and experience
  • Talk about the last ten years only – employers want to know about you now not a decade ago
  • Summarise qualifications and personal details – dates are not usually necessary and most recent information is most important


When writing your CV, always have the employer in mind. Do your research both into the company you’re applying to and the role which you are applying for. Tell them what they want to know. Don’t be afraid to use a template for your CV but always tailor the content for each role you’re applying for. This will help you to get a higher success rate of being called for interview.

If you’re currently looking for a new employment opportunity, registering your CV with a recruitment agency is an excellent way to further your prospects. Get in touch with PPR today to find out more about how we connect companies with the perfect candidates across a range of industries and sectors. You can call us on 01895 80 81 88 or send us a message online.