Unfortunately, the jobs market is under strain today, partly because of a devastating pandemic and a crippled global economy.

In January 2021, The Independent reported that the average jobseeker applied for 16 roles during the pandemic, with many of those polled feeling that their self-esteem was damaged by constant rejections. This could arguably be one of the toughest times to secure employment of any kind, so it might be time to revisit your CV and assess where improvements can be made for future applications.

Therefore, it’s worth asking what recruiters could be looking for in CVs in 2021. You may find some helpful suggestions below.


When you’re creating your CV, it can be quite tempting to go down a formulaic route for the sake of comfort and peace of mind.

However, a BBC article published in late 2020 showed that one recruiter wanted more creativity in the job applications she received. Handwritten letters or imaginative designs were touted as good starting places, stating further that her “favourite CVs have gone the extra mile and showcased their work within the application and not just told me about it.” Therefore, it may be a good idea to heed these preferences.

It may be worth featuring links to an online portfolio of yours, should your work be creative in nature. Perhaps a website where you’ve previously taken on clients in a freelance capacity could be worthy of display also? Additionally, you could strategically place positive client or colleague feedback to highlight your results driven work ethic. Video CVs recording presentations of your work and abilities may add an extra flare to your application as well.

Additional Skills

Education can be crucial in the job-hunting process but acquiring additional skills could give you an advantage.

For example, an MBA essentials online certificate course may make your CV more dynamic. After all, many job applicants likely have good qualifications listed, but many might be the typical GCSE, A Level and university degree combinations. If you can provide evidence of something more in addition to all of that, it may highlight that your aptitude for learning didn’t immediately stop the moment you left your institution.

Many of these courses refine a particular set of skills too, such as managing finances and nurturing leadership techniques. Hard and soft business qualities can potentially give your applications more weight, granting you transferable skills that not only makes you more suitable for the role you’re applying for, but could perhaps position you as a prime candidate for future promotions also.

Volunteering Examples

Given the turbulent year that almost everyone has experienced, local communities have suffered greatly. As such, there are many opportunities to volunteer and provide support to those in need.

Your CV may resonate better if you’re actively trying to keep your local community spirit alive. Through volunteering, you may be able to show an attitude of defiance, proactivity, and positivity, wading into work even in perilous times. That takes courage, and potential employers should appreciate all these qualities. Volunteer work may also show that you’re a principled team player, and that you put yourself to use for reasons other than getting paid.

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.