Holiday Downtime Peak for CV Updates Ahead of January Rush

Up to 19.2 million employees used downtime over the festive period to update their CV,…

Up to 19.2 million employees used downtime over the festive period to update their CV, despite pandemic resurgence.

According to new research from specialist talent solutions provider Robert Half, three in five (59%) employees updated their CV over the holidays in preparation for a fresh job search in January.

Employers should brace themselves, as an additional study reveals that one in five (21%) employees are getting ready to apply for new roles in the first three months of 2022[2], starting from January – suggesting that ‘New Year, New You’ will include ‘New Job’ for a lot of people.

Analysis of Robert Half’s own internal data reveals that job applications usually surge in Q1. While normal candidate behaviour was disrupted last year due to the pandemic, there was an 80 per cent increase in job applications from December 2019 and January 2020 – a trend that has held for many years.

Although the persistent Covid-19 virus interrupted the trend last year, experts are predicting that the New Year rush could be even bigger than usual in 2022.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half, explains,

“Holidays are typically a time for people to take stock and assess their priorities in the year ahead – it’s why we usually see a jump in activity in Q1, and after the summer holiday period in Q3.

“With the uncertainty of the pandemic, many employees were holding fast until the situation was a little more secure. Even with the rumours of a fresh lockdown approaching, many are now tired of waiting and keen to take the next step in the careers.

“For those thinking for taking the leap, there couldn’t be a better time to look for a new role. Companies have been hiring to back-fill roles and take advantage of the economic rebound, which left 1.2 million vacancies across the UK without the candidates to fill them. As a result, the best talent will be able to command healthy salary packages from potential employers.”

To help people on their way to success, experts at Robert Half have offered five top tips for CV-writing, including things to avoid and how to set yourself apart from the crowd:

  • Be authentic. People often over-polish their CVs, but in the wake of the pandemic, employers are looking for candidates who are authentic. Try reading everything you have written back to yourself – if it doesn’t sound like you, it needs a re-write.
  • Demonstrate your best traits. Instead of labelling yourself a problem solver, think about how you can demonstrate those traits. By adding an achievements section to your CV you can showcase your skills and demonstrate a history of delivering excellence
  • Avoid jargon. Employers look for reasons not to interview candidates, so your CV needs to be easy to read. If you include too many abbreviations or jargon from your current company, you run the risk of losing them.
  • Keep it short. For junior roles, a CV should be no longer than two sides of A4 (but for a more experienced candidate it could run to three). Bullet points are a great way to do this and remember to hold some things back for the interview.
  • Be kind. Rewind. Start with your most recent (and most relevant) experience and work backwards, including any gaps. A chronological CV puts you at risk of being overlooked by employers.

For more, check out Robert Half’s CV buzzwords to avoid or find out the going rate for more than 200 professional services roles with the 2022 Salary Guide.