Updating Your Resume for the COVID-19 Job Market

While there’s been some rebound from the height of the outbreak, we aren’t nearly where we were at the end of 2019, when unemployment was reaching record lows. Even more troubling is the fact that most projections show a long and slow recovery period that won’t find unemployment reaching 6% until the end of 2021.

All things considered, it’s safe to say that the job market will be in state of flux for some time, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still opportunities available for current and future job seekers. If you’re unemployed, on your way out of your current role or fully employed but keeping your options open, one of the most important things you can do is have your resume in tip-top form and ready to send out at a moment’s notice. Several crucial tips can help you make sure that this important piece of paper stands out from the crowd in the coming months, even if desirable positions are scarce. Account manager, Christina McCarty, shares her advice for updating your resume in the new COVID-19 job market. 

1. If a candidate was laid off due to COVID-19-related issues, how should they relay this on their resume?

If you’re working with a recruiting firm and were previously let go due to COVID-19, your recruiter/account manager will be communicating those details to any prospective managers during your job search and can advise you accordingly. I think most positions that show an end date during the past few months mostly speak for themselves, so there’s nothing wrong with noting that the reason for leaving was a COVID layoff.

Luckily, most hiring managers and clients are empathetic and want to help out as much as they can, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the first job you apply for. Companies also are in difficult spots right now and the business decisions they make at this time are more critical than ever.

2. Are there certain soft skills/experience that hiring managers are now seeking in the new working environment that job seekers should promote on their resumes?

Absolutely. Let’s face it, the hardest thing about working remotely is maintaining your discipline and communication. Organizational skills, focus, and good communication are all critical components of a remote environment and are important to list on your resume.

Right now, businesses that have never had remote workers are trying to implement new work-from-home processes and policies for an entire enterprise. Promoting any past remote work and experience in work-from-home-related technologies will help to set you apart from the competition. For hiring companies, the best way to mitigate risks are previously proven successes.

3. In general, what issues do you typically find with the resumes you review?

I see a lot of very wordy resumes. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep it to one page per ten years of experience. On the other hand, I often see a lot of resumes with no detail at all, which is worse. Try to keep your descriptions very specific. Use power verbs to show how you achieved a goal or task, and if there are software products or numeric values to demonstrate that achievement, use them! Try to keep your resume specific to the job you want by highlighting any relatable experience that’s relevant to your desired role.

4. Do you have any other tips or advice for those updating their resumes during this time?

Your resume is very important! Your personality will get you the job, but your resume will get you in the door for an interview. It takes time to sit down and really think about what you do on a daily basis, but try to break it down by functionality and processes. And use keywords! Recruiters often use search strings for specifics skills or titles, so know what you’re looking for and tailor your resume to that job. If you need help, we know firsthand what hiring managers would like to see on resumes so we can help you articulate your experience with precision, accuracy, and integrity.

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