COVID 19 has changed the world as we know it. The ramifications of the virus can be seen in every corner of the world. It has impacted the global economy and led to thousands of job losses.
Considering that most individuals depend on jobs to provide for their families, being laid-off during a pandemic can be worse than the crisis itself. If you have been at the receiving end of a job loss, it is high time to get back on your feet and start looking for a job.
Here are some tips to help you find a new job amidst the crisis:
Make a unique resume for every job
Customizing your resume is important.
We understand the desperation that comes with losing a job. We also understand the need to try and find a new job as quickly as possible.
We want you to find one too. And this is why you need to customize your resume according to each job.
This means that if you are applying to 10 jobs, you should have 10 unique resumes that are slightly different from each other and are highly relevant to each one of your target jobs.
Each resume should be framed as per the requirements of that particular job.
Here’s how writing a job-description resume can dramatically increase your chances of getting shortlisted:
- Recruiters deploy a screening software (ATS) to shortlisted candidates based on a set of keywords. Incorporating these keywords in your resume can be useful as it helps you beat the ATS and create a resume that aligns to the needs of your targeted job.
- Use a professional networking platform, and try to search the employees of the organization. It will help you draw some key insight into the nature of skill sets that is valued in the organization. Identify them and drafting your resume in compliance with them will help boost your shortlist chances as it helps you show that you fit into the company model of prioritized professional attributes.
Use the certifications section of your resume to showcase newly-acquired skills:
Upskilling is one of the easiest ways to enhance your chances of finding a new job amidst the pandemic. With more and more professionals losing their jobs every day, it is glaringly obvious that the competition is at an all time high. Acquiring new skills can be a life saver.
By developing a command over skills outside of your immediate profession, you can easily enhance your professional value and thereby increase your chances of finding employment too.
Platforms like Coursera have made most courses free. As hard as it might be, make use of the new opportunities that are coming up to make the best of today’s worst case scenario.
After you up-skill and get certified, mention the details under a distinct ‘certifications’ section in your resume. Here’s how you can optimize the certifications section:
- Relevance: Showcase the relevance of your certification to the job by mentioning the key modules that are in line with your target profile.
- Format: Make sure the format is correct when you are writing the certifications. Mention the certification, authorizing entity, and the date of enrolment & completion.
- Projects: Mention the projects/case studies you may have done during the course. This allows you to display your practical knowledge of the expertise you gained during the certification.
Endorse remote-friendly skill sets
The ongoing pandemic has led to a global crisis. Most companies are running into losses and the number of people who are losing jobs on a daily basis is massive. Most organizations are in the cusp of transitioning into a remote work model, while others are looking at temporary solutions.
In the midst of all this, it is employees who are suffering the most as they are the ones who are getting laid off. In such a situation, it might be helpful to keep your options open.
Be it freelancing or remote work, you need to be more flexible with your work choices because these are the best professional options that are available at the moment.
The need of the hour is to showcase those skill sets that would be valued for a remote job.
Here are some quick tips that can help;
- Remote skills: Showcase remote skills like digital communication, remote collaboration, etc. Further, we encourage you to emphasize your ability to work successfully and productively using online collaboration. Modifying your resume as per these remote skills will help you show that you are built to survive the challenges that come with remote work.
- Freelance work: Mention any freelance work that you may have done in the past. Freelancing in the past helps you showcase your ability to take orders and execute them through online mediums. The idea is to showcase your ability to work independently away from a traditional office space.
Use the functional resume format to draw attention to your skills vis-a-vis work timeline:
A reverse chronological format can be really useful if you are opting for a continuous career progression. It allows you to list your profiles in a reverse chronological order.
But given the fact that you most probably have a career gap thanks to corona, it might not be ideal to use this resume format. Instead, we recommend you to use the functional resume format.
While we don’t recommend hiding your career gap, we highly advise you to use a resume format that will help you strategically draw attention to your functional skills. At the end of the day, it is your skills that really matter as they alone can help you get the job.
The functional resume format helps you achieve this.
Here’s how this format can help you:
- In this format, you have to make a summary of skills under the professional experience section. This way, you can simply club together details of your work in different organizations as long as it matches that particular skill.
- This method of showcasing your skills gives you an advantage as it helps you show the degree of your expertise in that particular skill set.
- Thus, it takes the focus away from your career timelines and draws attention to your skills.
- Showcasing your skills is the need of the hour. Do it with perfection and your next job would be easier to attain.
Transition into new roles that favor remote work
There’s only so much that you can do with your resume.
Perfecting it and getting a job would become ten times easier if there’s a market for your existing skills and professional expertise at the moment.
If there isn’t, we won’t be surprised if you plan to shift industries and opt for a career change altogether.
After all, not all skills are equally valued at this time. Many restaurant chains have shut down. Many independent stylists and beauticians are out of business. Many industries have been hard hit by the crisis and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
But what you can do is look for a job that is still in-demand.
For example, web designing and IT skills are as important now as it was in the pre-corona era. Content and marketing remains as vibrant too.
While acquiring IT skills might not be as attainable, you can definitely try a hand at landing a job in writing as this industry is less demanding than their more sophisticated IT counterparts.
The trick lies in identifying these professions and applying to them alongside job applications in your own industry. This doubles the effectiveness of your job search and increases your chances to land a job.
It may be hard to get a new job at this time, but don’t give up. Don’t let this vacuum defeat you. Pick up new courses and apply for jobs simultaneously. No one saw this coming, so don’t beat yourself up.
Engage with professionals on LinkedIn. Stay up to date with current trends. And most importantly, look for opportunities. Be it freelance, remote, contractual or a full-time opportunity, take up the first thing that comes your way.
After all, having a steady source of income is important, irrespective of where it is coming from.
That said, we wish you the best of luck.
Let’s stay strong. After all, we’re in this together.