Nearly 40 per cent of Australian jobseekers admit they don’t know how to get shortlisted for a job interview, according to a recent survey.

IT recruiter Hays found that, at a time when the official unemployment rate is 7.4 per cent – a figure that the Prime Minister expects to rise to 10 per cent – less than a third of jobseekers feel confident they can get their foot in the door with a prospective employer.

For Hays managing director, Nick Deligiannis, that lack of confidence would be boosted by a better understanding of what HR is looking for in a CV.

“COVID-19 has changed the world of work, with employers now valuing new skills and qualities,” Deligiannis said.

“Clearly a significant percentage of today’s jobseekers do not feel informed as to what they need to do to ensure their CV will earn them a place on the interview shortlist.

“To gain an interview in the current market, it takes a CV in an acceptable format that uses relevant keywords and is backed by proof, appropriate soft skills and the potential to add value longer-term.”

For starters, your CV needs to be in a standard format.

It may feel like a different CV style will help you stand-out, but that is rarely the case.

“When faced with a large quantity of applications to review, a time-poor hiring manager is unlikely to take the additional time required to search a convoluted application for the information they need,” Hays said.

Then you need to make sure your standard CV is filled with appropriate keywords to maximise the chances you will get noticed by screening algorithms and HR AI.

You also want to make sure your skills are proven: add quantifiable results of your skills to show how you can add value to the business.

On top of that, you have to sell yourself as the complete package – not just a technical expert. That means demonstrating soft skills like team work and communication to prove you are more than a master coder.

Finally, don’t forget to make the most of the professional summary section in your standard CV. What can you offer your next employer? How will you add value to their organisation immediately and in the long-term?

Avoid using this space to pontificate about how important the job is to you.

“You should convey what you can offer an employer and summarise the key skills and experiences that would allow you to succeed in this particular role and add value to the organisation,” Hays said.

“After all, employers don’t want to know what they can do for you – they want to know what you can offer them.”

If you are currently looking for work, there are still plenty of job opportunities out there.

At the time of writing, three of Australia’s major job ads sites had between 7,500 and 8,900 ads for IT jobs around the country.

But ANZ’s senior economist Catherine Birch warned this week that despite growth in the number of job ads, there are still major concerns from the second wave of COVID-19 that has swept through Victoria and disrupted economic recovery.

“Payroll jobs turned down in early July and some industries that were less affected earlier in the pandemic, such as construction and professional services, may now be suffering lagged impacts,” Birch said.

“And in an ABS survey conducted in mid-July, when asked what they would do when government support measures were no longer available, 10% of businesses reported they would close and 13% would reduce their workforce.”