How to Write a Resume and Update Your CV in an Economic Context

How to Write a Resume and Update Your CV in an Economic Context

  • If you’re looking for a job in this tough economy, your resume needs to shine.
  • Your resume should highlight your experience and show the skills employers are looking for.
  • It should also be tailored to the post so the employer can see what you offer.

When you’re job hunting in a slowing economy, it’s even more important to have a great resume.

Your resume must tell your potential employer who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do in the future. Especially as data suggests there may be more competition for jobs.

About two-thirds of American workers are considering changing roles this year, according to a LinkedIn survey of more than 2,000 US employees conducted in December. And while the job market looks strong right now—as of November, there were 1.7 job openings per unemployed person—the overall economic picture remains unclear. Most CEOs are bracing for a downturn amid layoffs in several industries, while other economic data, such as job growth, suggest the US could avoid a recession in 2023.

Rebecca Pay has built a business — Pay for Precision — helping people write their resumes. She said résumés today should have a touch of personality and tell a clear story about how your experience qualifies you for the job.

“CVs can be hard to write. That’s why I have a business,” Pay told Insider. “Writing about yourself is the hardest thing.”

Some advice may be intuitive, such as brainstorming with colleagues and using concise language when describing your work, Pay said. Another piece of advice is different from what it was five years ago: Pay said most people should keep their résumé formatting simple unless they have graphic design or art.

Having a break on your resume is also becoming more common – a LinkedIn survey from last March found that nearly half of 7,000 employers considered candidates with career breaks to be an untapped talent pool.

Insider spoke to career experts about their advice for writing a resume in this uncertain climate.

1. Try some writing exercises

Eli Joseph, a faculty member at Columbia University and New York University, takes an unusual approach to writing a summary. In his book, “The Perfect Rejection Résumé,” he helps people document how they failed and what they learned. While you shouldn’t bring this up to a hiring manager, it’s an exercise to think about your experience in a different way.

Then, switch it up. Write a summary in which you fully praise yourself, listing all the personal, professional and technical things you are proud of each week. After looking at your experience and skills from these contrasting perspectives, you can incorporate lessons from both into the final product.

2. Focus on a summary article

Both Joseph and Pay said that the summary section is one of the most important parts of your resume. This section, which usually sits at the top of your CV, should be between 100 and 150 words and written in the first person.

Pay said this is a place to add your voice, instead of being too formal. This is where you tell a story about how your qualifications prepare you for the job you want.

“Work out what you offer uniquely,” Pay said. “Why would they choose you for the job over someone else?”

3. Update your skills

The types of skills employers look for have changed in recent years. According to a survey last year of 205 recruiters and hiring managers by Zety, an online résumé builder app and career website, soft skills are becoming increasingly important to hiring managers. Teamwork, communication and time management were among the soft skills most in demand.

Be specific about how you’ve used your skills in the past, Joseph said. For example, you may have demonstrated and improved your communication skills with speaking gigs and presentations.

Technical skills are also important to employers. And artistic skills like writing or design are worth highlighting to show you’re right, he said.

“It brightens up your résumé and lets employers know you’re productive in an organization,” Joseph said.

4. Tailor your summary to each post

Pay and Joseph agreed that you should change your resume for every job application. These are often refinements to the skills section and resume, which talk about how your experience would fit the job.

“No request should be the same because no opportunity is the same,” said Joseph. “We need to add some flavor, and the best way to do that is to come up with as many ideas as possible so you can make changes to the résumé for future opportunities.”

This story was originally published on 9 August 2022.

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