Successful application despite Corona: This is how you optimize your CV

Job seekers are currently expecting difficult times – also because they will likely face more competition on their way to the job they want.

Employers can be more choosy given the increased number of candidates, says Katrin Luzar, head of marketing at the online job exchange “Monster”.

However, if you are looking for a job, there are ways to differentiate yourself: Above all, you should optimize your CV in a very specific way, the expert advises.

It is not easy for anyone who is currently looking for a job. Corona has an impact on the labor market: from March to April 2020 alone, the Federal Employment Agency reports 308,000 new unemployed. If you ask Katrin Luzar, Head of Marketing for Germany at the online job exchange “Monster”, this will mean one thing for applicants: more competition on the way to the job you want.

“For a long time, the recruiting industry spoke of a” workers’ market “: a market in which employees are in a stronger position, not least because of the lack of skilled workers,” explains Luzar. “It is likely that this will now turn – towards an employer market where companies are more at an advantage.”

Job seekers must be noticed positively – the resume is central

Because employers, Luzar believes, will now raise their demands on candidates for two reasons: First, because they simply have a larger selection of applicants and can be more selective; secondly, because the crisis is also forcing many companies to save, which Luzar says: “If a company originally wanted to hire 100 people, but now has to save and can only hire 20 – then these 20 must fit perfectly.”

Are you looking for a job and are you afraid of this forecast? She doesn’t have to, says Katrin Luzar. Because if you know that there may be a lot of competition waiting for you, you can optimize your application in a targeted manner – so that you stand out among more other applicants and can assert yourself. You should pay particular attention to one part: “The curriculum vitae is the central element,” says Luzar.

“Applicants can use the CV to control the interview”

Recruiters take an average of 31 seconds to “read” a resume for the first time. This is the result of a test that “Monster” made in 2019 in the USA, France, the Netherlands and Germany with HR managers. 31 short seconds in which you have to convince and above all attract attention.

With a monotonous list of your life stages from elementary school to the fifth internship, this will not be possible, says Katrin Luzar. She herself reads applications from candidates who want to work in their team at “Monster”. However, she gets most of her CV at job fairs, where, together with a colleague, she regularly offers “CV-Checks” for applicants from a wide variety of industries.

Luzar is convinced: “With the CV, applicants can control the entire interview.” How do you ask? Through so-called visual anchors, she says. “When applicants highlight something in their CV, HR managers are guided by it,” explains Luzar. These can be graphic elements, small body texts about projects that you are particularly proud of – or something that the marketing expert absolutely recommends: an “About me section”.

Not the place for (false) modesty

“I always recommend adding a section between the header – wherever there is personal data and image – and the first stop on the resume, in which the candidate writes something about themselves in three to four bullet points,” she says. For example, beginnings of sentences such as “If you bring me into your team, you get …” or “In my last project for the company XY I was successful …”. Sounds banal, but it takes a lot of time and thought – and last but not least: courage for self-marketing. “The curriculum vitae is not a place where one should hold back shamefully,” says Katrin Luzar.

Companies usually still demand the classic cover letter, but it is becoming less important. Katrin Luzar says that she “scans” such letters at most. She advises: Meaningful information about you – for example about a specific project in which you have achieved success in past jobs – should in doubt be on the CV rather than in the cover letter.

Also important: the chronology of the curriculum vitae. “Candidates should always start with the latest in their professional positions and then go back in time,” says Luzar. “Because recruiters and I, as the boss, want to know first: where am I picking up my applicant? Has he finished studying? Did he quit? What was the last job title? ” So don’t let your resume begin with your elementary school years.

All of these rules of resume applied even before Corona. But now that you are all the more different from the competition and companies from yours Unique selling point should convince, they are all the more important.


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