5 Tips for Updating Your Resume During COVID-19

The past few months have been challenging for most employees and workplaces. In fact, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed and many people are on unemployment while they wait to see if and when their jobs will be back to “normal.” This is a time—whether or not you have lost your job or are still working—when it may be a good idea to review your resume. Here are some tips for update your document TODAY.

Tip #1: Say what happened. If you are on furlough due to COVID-19 or have been laid-off due to this situation, then make a line item on your resume that says you were placed on furlough or the company closed. Because everyone has been affected by the pandemic, it is okay to mention it on your resume.

Tip #2: Now is a great time to change directions. If you have always wanted to make a career transition or try a different industry, then now is the time to rework your resume toward that goal. In fact, all industries will be changing how they operate, so there may be more opportunities in your intended target industry.

Tip #3: Focus on transferrable skills. Let’s face it: you may have to switch directions or take a job that isn’t in your traditional goals; use what you have done in the past to ensure you are aligning it to future jobs. Discuss your cross-functional teamwork abilities, critical decision making, creative problem solving, and communication skills.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to state facts. You are NOT bragging when you talk about your accomplishments or achievements. Think of yourself as a reporter who is stating facts and discussing what happened. This is NOT the time to be demure or to worry about being boastful.

Tip #5: Start looking NOW. While many companies are in a hiring freeze, do not wait to look for new opportunities. If everyone looks for new jobs at the same time, there will be a LOT of competition. Keep your eyes open now and make sure that you are always available for new jobs.

As you move forward during or after COVID-19, make sure that you are aware of the challenges while still remaining hopeful and positive for the future. There ARE things you can do RIGHT NOW to change your resume FOR THE BETTER!

Crafting a Resume When You Feel Like You Don’t Have Experience

Starting your job search and feel like you’re not qualified for the positions you’re interested in? Young professionals often don’t give themselves enough credit for the skills and accomplishments they possess. Reflect on these three tips to help you realize how great you really are!

Tip #1 | Lean on Projects

Have a relevant project from a class? Or maybe a project that let you expand your skills at your job that is relevant for your next opportunity? Highlight these experiences with bullet points that show your capabilities and accomplishments. You can put these projects in a “Relevant Projects” or “Select Projects” section on your resume.

Tip #2 | Highlight Essential Skills

Feel like you have those jobs that just aren’t relevant to your career? It is all about how you talk about them. Instead of focusing on responsibilities and duties, focus on those essential transferable skills. Need help crafting powerful statements that highlight your essential skills?

Tip #3 | Relevant Experience Doesn’t Always Mean Paid

Similar to projects, remember that volunteer experience is important to highlight on your resume if it is relevant to the job. When it comes to listing these experiences, remember that you cannot assume that the employer knows just by the title that it is a relevant experience. Paint a picture through your statements of how you’ve gained relevant skills through every experience.

When applying for jobs, remember that there is always going to be a learning curve with every new position. Be kind to yourself and remember to reflect on how you align with each job posting. Looking for more direction to make sure your resume highlights your strengths and abilities? I’d love to chat – click HERE now!

Decoding a Job Description

After you read some job advertisements, you may wonder what the employer really wants for the position. “Extensive customer service skills.” “Broad-based computer knowledge.” What does this mean? Below are some of the more popular terms that are utilized in job advertisements and what the employer may really mean when they use them.

“Customer service skills.” When an employer uses this term, they are seeking someone that has familiarity with working with the public. This not only means dealing with happy customers, but most likely they want someone that has experience working with unhappy customers. Be prepared to have specific examples of both types of customer service experiences. If you were an account manager and were responsible for 100 accounts, then put that information on your resume. Show the employer you know how to deal with a wide variety of customers in various industries.

“Basic computer skills.” Most employers today expect employees to have basic knowledge of Word, Excel, and Power Point. If you have experience creating extensive proposals in Word, then be sure that information is showcased in either your cover letter or your resume. If you have prepared presentations that have been shown at corporate meetings, let the employer know that information. If your software knowledge goes beyond the typical Microsoft Office products, list your software familiarity on your resume.

“Motivational skills.” If you are a motivator, it means that you are able to encourage other employees and you lift up those around you. If you have motivational skills, then you should be able to show how you have led a team, functioned as the go-to person for a project, or encouraged others in your company to try a new task, process, or sales tactic.

When you see the next job opportunity you would like to seek, decode the job description and try to discover what the employer truly seeks in an employee. Take the employer’s terminology and discover how you can provide examples that meet the employer’s challenges. Once you decode the job description, you will be well-on-your-way to modifying your resume and cover letter to match the employer’s needs.