A booming economy means that qualified candidates are in high demand, and that was certainly true for all of 2019 into the beginning of 2020 when the U.S. economy was abruptly forced into a self-induced coma caused by the coronavirus. In what felt like the blink of the eye, everything changed. With millions of people furloughed or laid off because their employers are struggling, candidates are concerned about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on their job search.
The only bright spot is that while it was always necessary to account for employment gaps on resumes, it’s now self-evident that most employment that ended in 2020 was for the same reason. No explanation necessary.
Given a reduction in the number of available jobs shrinking and an expansion of the candidate pool, it’s more critical than ever before that your resume make a compelling case for your value proposition. Here are 4 steps for making your resume pandemic proof:
Differentiate yourself by telling specific stories that showcase your accomplishments and skills. This works because while there are likely thousands of people with the same title or responsibilities as you, the specific stories you tell are unique to you alone.
Put context around keywords instead of just listing a bunch of words. I see this a lot in the resumes clients send me, and my first thought is, “what about [budget forecasting] or [branding] or [operations management]?”
Avoid ageism by removing signifiers to age, such as graduation dates, going back more than 15 years of experience, or worse yet, proudly asserting that you have “over 25 years experience…” This was always important, but now even more so. Employers are hurting, and younger employees typically cost them less in salary than more experienced candidates. Right now, you need a job, so don’t age or price yourself out of the running.
Write a summary of qualifications that reflects your personality. A little humor never hurts, but if that’s not your style, aim to avoid stuffy, boring platitudes.
To learn more about how I work with clients, check out my pricing and process, and turn these 4 steps for making your resume pandemic proof into a successful job search tool.