Searching for a job amidst a recession, whether because you’ve been laid off or are simply looking for a change, is going to be a Herculean task and you’re going to need nothing less than a battle plan.
Although what happens with your employment status during this time isn’t truly in your hands, what is in your control is – staying prepared to face the worst and keeping yourself up-to-date. You can start by updating the one thing that will help you more than anything else when it comes to landing your dream job – your resume.
Here are a few tips on how you can do just that during the ongoing pandemic:
1) Utilize this Time to Acquire New Skills and Grow
The way in which we work and communicate on a day-to-day basis has drastically changed due to COVID-19. Many people are now working remotely, which directly translates to much more free time and flexibility. Even if you’ve recently suffered from a layoff, you can easily use all this time to your advantage while simultaneously looking for a new job. How? By expanding your skillset.
Take up online courses. Some of the most acclaimed ones are now being offered at highly discounted prices or even for free. You can easily look up a good one in your field of choice, sign up for it and add a new feather to your hat of achievements in a matter of a few days.
You can also start a side hustle such as online tutoring. The majority of students are currently out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, this is one of the many industries that is booming at the moment. You can even add this newly acquired skill to your resume. It will only further increase your credibility score.
Another brilliant way to expand your skill set, and gain some exposure in doing so is – to start maintaining a blog. You can go a step further and even create a website with all the easily available tools out there. The world has never been so attentive to online content like it is today.
You can choose to learn a new language or hone your hobbies by taking a professional baking class. Do anything that propels you toward the professional goal you have for yourself in mind. Simply focus on straightening your skillset. All of these efforts will improve your resume.
2) Expand your Network
Having additional time on your hands also gives you the chance to reach out to people within your professional network and catch up online. This further leaves you with the opportunity to update them on what you have been up to and find out what they are doing on the professional front. Chances are, the two of you are working on projects that can help the other in some way, so you can easily swap notes and ideas.
In the event you are intending to be back on the job market, expanding your professional network and updating it often can help to keep multiple eyes out for the next best opportunity for you. Refreshing your network at frequent intervals through online portals can greatly help in times of need. Cultivating a robust professional network that you can call on for help and/or guidance from time to time is really the best thing you can do.
Try to obtain 4-5 professional references. Ask your former colleagues, advisors or even employers if you can include their names and contact details on your resume. These are the people who can confirm your qualifications and tell how you performed in your previous jobs.
Once you’ve got enough references, you can briefly mention them on your resume along with their work profiles and other details. Your references can easily vouch for your potential at any given point in time. If your potential employer reaches out to them, having a word with them or simply inquiring about your skills is only going to make your job profile far more credible in their eyes.
3) Focus on Ameliorating your Digital Prowess and Remote Work Skills
Many companies are working under reduced hours or transitioning into remote work right now. Therefore, it will be greatly instrumental to freshly acquire or sharpen up on your existing digital and technical skills.
Call attention to how these skills place you at a greater advantage over your counterparts in such a work environment. For instance, the use of various communication tools has become of prime importance in these current arrangements.
Also, if you have experience with remote work, make sure to incorporate it when talking about your skills within the resume. Not everyone is qualified for the same, so it can increase your chances of scoring remote positions.
Not only does it give a potential employer an overview of everything you did at your previous company, but it will also add more value by displaying that you can do the same while working remotely as well.
There are two ways to highlight your remote work experience on the resume – either include it in the skills section, or in the work description.
Also, in doing so, don’t forget about soft skills. Highlight your openness and adaptability to transform as per the demands of the role. It is also good to highlight self-motivation skills as new circumstances call for great amounts of unsupervised work. Organisation skills will give you an added advantage.
Highlight all of these skills in your resume, as recruiters will be searching for prospects who are well suited to working under unusual and challenging circumstances. Afterall, refreshing your resume right now is less about displaying what you have, and more about showing how you’re going to be the best fit for the opportunity.
Updating your resume comes in two forms and it’s best to make sure you do both – update the template and the contents. To update the template, consider downloding a premium resume template from a site such as ResumeSeed.