Ways to Improve Your CV During Lockdown
Updated: Aug 19
Many people have been taking advantage of their newly acquired free time during this worldwide quarantine. Some have begun at-home workouts, others have been trying their hand at cooking, and for most, quarantine has meant spending more time with their family. All of these activities are important for improving the quality of your life, but you should also be working to improve the quality of your work life as well. During quarantine, you should be actively making an effort to enhance your resume and CV. There are many ways that you can do this from home.
Learn a New Language
We live in a time where the job market is rapidly becoming more internationalized. It has become important now more than ever that job seekers are fluent in more than one language. According to Forbes Magazine, learning a new language could actually save your career and even open up new job prospects that were not available to you before.
Many companies are rapidly expanding overseas and scrambling to appeal to foreign-language customer segments… acquiring a second language could set you apart from the sea of qualified (and younger) job applicants.
There are certain languages which have more appeal than others to employers. In the business sector, Mandarin sits strongly in first place as the most important language to learn in 2020. It’s followed by Spanish, German, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, French and Japanese in no particular order. In the medical field it is Spanish that holds the most value; Mandarin is more important to know for Engineering and Computer Science jobs; Arabic is best for working in Government; and Spanish is most helpful for social workers.
A few big-name language learning websites have made it extremely easy and affordable to pick up a new language in your free time. The best deals on the web right now are:
Rosetta Stone. For only $199, Rosetta Stone is offering students lifetime access to all of the languages on their site.
Duolingo. The platform operates via app and web in a "gamified" format that makes it easy to learn languages. It’s also free! (Although some of the more advanced features will cost you)
Pimsleur. This program has slowly become as well-known as Rosetta Stone in recent years. They offer over 50 languages (compared to Rosetta Stone’s 25 languages) and it is also much cheaper.
With all of the resources that have been made available, there's no reason to not be improving your language speaking abilities.
Get Certified in Something
Another section of your resume that could take up more space are your certifications. You can choose to get certified in a specific software or in something directly relating to your role. Software certifications are always helpful as companies are looking for tech savvy individuals to add to their roster. According to Glassdoor, the software certifications that impress recruiters the most are Salesforce, HubSpot’s Inbound, Google Publisher, Google Analytics, and Google Adwords. These all deal primarily with marketing, SEO, blogging, social media, etc.
Then there are job specific certifications. You should google the most important certifications in your field and decide where to go from there. This master list from Corporate Minority compiles every possible certification that is relevant to every field of work. The list also provides you with the average cost of each. Certifications look great on a resume but also you're learning new tricks that can make your job easier. If you get certified for any reason, it should be that it’ll make you much better at your job!
Take on Freelance Jobs
You may or may not already be doing this one, but taking on freelance jobs can be added as relevant work experience to help boost your resume. Freelancing provides you with the unique opportunity to do a one-time job for a company. You aren’t bound by any contracts and are paid for the work that you complete. Putting this on a CV shows that you have expertise in your area, so much so that a company was willing to hire you for the job. It looks even better if you have worked on multiple projects for them; it shows that your work is trustworthy.
There are many sites that you can use to find freelance work. The most notable one being Upwork. Thousands of clients post jobs on Upwork a day looking to hire freelancers in areas ranging from accounting to graphic design to blogging. You can look for more niche freelance sites that directly relate to your field as well. The best part about this method of improving your resume is that you get paid!
Join an Association (Networking Opportunity!)
Professional associations aren’t typically the first thing you would think of to help boost your employability. However, being affiliated with a respectable professional organization shows that you are active in your field and committed to being a part of it. There are also many perks that come along with a membership.
They keep you up to date with any new changes in your field.
They offer professional development conferences and webinars.
They provide you with networking opportunities.
They have job opportunities that are not made available to non-members.
Ultimately, a professional association provides you with all of the resources that you need to succeed in your career while giving you a circle of support. Having it on your resume shows your future employer your dedication. Maybe if you're lucky, your next interviewer will be a member of the organization!
Whatever you decide to do during quarantine, just make sure that you're utilizing the extra time effectively to land the job of your dreams!