Anytime you’re in the market for a new job, you know one of the first steps you take is freshening up your resume. While there are general updating and editing tactics that are always applicable, these days there are some additional considerations for job seekers looking to highlight their adaptability, flexibility and success during COVID. Amanda Augustine, career expert for Top Resume, explains that many hiring trends have emerged in the wake of the pandemic. And your post-COVID resume has to reflect that.
“As the talent-acquisition community adapts its processes to this new hiring landscape, so must job seekers change the way they promote their talents online and on paper,” she says. Here’s a look at some of the standard resume rules that still apply, and the other new guidelines that have emerged to address the changing landscape of the job market. Are you ready to give your career one-pager the update it needs?
People know their resumes need to stand out, and that their LinkedIn profiles need to be SEO optimized, but in a post-COVID world, job seekers must approach their job search in a more creative way, suggests Wendi Weiner, a resume and career expert. “It’s imperative that job seekers take additional actions beyond just applying online — they need to create a new strategy,” she says.
This should include a multi-prong approach that not only covers your bases but helps you to reach a more diverse range of opportunities. Weiner says job-seekers should think of their post-COVID resume through a bigger lens and think of the variety of recipients who will receive it. In other words, nearly anyone is just an email away.
“Your new strategy will involve direct outreach to targeted people at companies. When you do this, you should ask for informational interviews,” she says. How come? You can access a recruiter, hiring manager, or key executive at a company at the push of a button via LinkedIn, so the old ways of the ‘spray and pray’ method no longer work, she explains.
Emphasize Your Ability To Work Remotely
Though some businesses may be eager to have everyone under the same roof again, many are welcoming remote work and adopting more flexible policies. If you would prefer to dial in from home, or at least have the option to, your resume should demonstrate your ability to be productive and effective from anywhere.
“Show prospective employers that you can be a productive member of the team, regardless of your location, by editing your resume to highlight previous telecommuting experience and the accomplishments you achieved while working remotely,” Augustine suggests.
She also says not to discount the value of the soft skills you possess that are particularly important for remote workers, including self-discipline, tech-savviness and time management.
“Consider adding a line to your cover letter that you have a dedicated workspace and a fast, reliable internet connection to work from home successfully,” she adds.
Give Your LinkedIn Just As Much Attention As Your Resume
As an executive resume writer, Weiner focus on three key areas for her clients:
- Their unique value
- Their personal branding
- The results they’ve effectuated at a company
Then, she optimizes their LinkedIn profile to attract the best type(s) of job opportunity for that person. Because we all need to think of our LinkedIn profiles as our digital resumes, they should never be outdated.
“Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile gives you wider visibility to 700 million users, whereas your resume is hand-delivered to a select number of people,” Weiner says. “LinkedIn acts very similar to Google in that you need to have targeted, highly-searched keywords. LinkedIn is a place to tell your story, whereas your resume is a formal strategic marketing document that not only sells your value, but also demonstrates it in the form of metrics and results.”
Delete Your Physical Address
If you’re like most professionals, your resume’s header features your home address. This has been a traditional design for decades, but is now antiquated. “With jobs becoming increasingly location-agnostic, many employers are casting a wider net for candidates — and so should job seekers,” Augustine says.
Bottom line: if you want to not be chained to an office, delete your physical address and instead, replace it with a website link that goes to a simple webpage about your work history on your post-COVID resume. Alternatively, you could provide a link to your LinkedIn.
Be Transparent About Any Gaps
A resume gap may have raised eyebrows a decade ago, but today, it’s no longer a red flag. Particularly following a pandemic, Weiner says not to fear it and instead be transparent and honest.
If you’ve been laid off from a company, she recommends showcasing the strategies you’ve leveraged during COVID, as well as how you’ve turned lemons into lemonade during this time. “Think about ways in which you’ve effectively managed a crisis professionally and personally. Think about your adaptability and flexibility. Think about the transferable skills you’ve formulated and accentuated,” she continues. “And highlight them in the resume.”
Flaunt Your Adaptability, Flexibility + Soft Skills
While everyone’s COVID-19 experience has been different, it’s safe to assume it’s forced everyone to be more flexible, adapt on the fly, and be patient. These are all valuable soft skills you can employ in any industry. Try to illustrate how you’ve been creative with solutions by listing them as examples on your resume.
For example, perhaps you had to figure out a way to virtually onboard new employees or scramble to offer your in-person services in a virtual environment. Augustine says to use the bullet points under your resume’s ‘Work History’ section to highlight these successes, using what is known as the ‘result by action’ format. This is when you begin each bullet point with the outcome of your efforts and then describe the actions you took to achieve the result.
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