Covid-19 has forced all of us to become innovative to make the most of the national stay-at-home orders that have been in place since March 2020. Our daily routines have been stripped away and replaced with new ones to accommodate our urgent need for safety. Consequently, many employees have enjoyed the benefits of working from home, or teleworking, and sleeping in longer due to the elimination of traditional work commute times.
However, others are now at a disadvantage because their careers have been stalled or terminated due to the prolonged lockdown measures that won’t allow their businesses to run as usual. With this once in a lifetime circumstance, it is a great opportunity for professionals who are newly established, wishing to transition into new careers, or current jobs have come to a halt due to the virus, to spend some of their newly found time boosting their resumes.
Employers have also adapted to the new career world by providing numerous resources online that we can take advantage of from the comfort of our homes. This makes it easier for us to stay busy during the quarantine, which is not only essential to our mental health but can also greatly benefit us once the pandemic subsides, and companies can resume their search for qualified candidates. Additionally, jobs will be impressed that you took the initiative to broaden your skills during a scary period of uncertainty in the world. In this article, we will explore various techniques that can be used to revamp your resume to mirror your professional goals all while staying in your PJs.
Create a Master Resume
First, it is wise to make one resume that displays your entire professional experience. This should include all of your degrees/certifications/awards earned, volunteer or internship experiences, additional languages you are fluent in, any other special skills, and all of the past positions you have obtained, starting with your very first job. This is not the type of resume you will use for potential experiences, but it will become convenient while applying to multiple opportunities at once. For instance, it is crucial that the resume you are sending for potential positions is specifically tailored to the job’s requirements. You can achieve this quickly by using your master resume because you can cherry-pick the parts of your background that coincide with the position you are applying for at the time to demonstrate why that job or organization needs you as a new addition to their team.
Making your Resume Unique
It is important to keep your career profile diverse. Today, this can be achieved by volunteering for virtual opportunities or earning certifications through online accredited programs. These experiences can but may not relate to your most recent job experience. They are important to highlight on your resume because it shows that you are consistently willing to develop professionally as well as personally. Also, if you are a person looking to change careers, the diversity displayed in your new resume will reflect that you enjoy taking on a challenge and are not afraid of mastering a new skillset.
- Certifications opportunities: Many well-known sites are now offering professional courses and certifications for free or at a discounted price. Completing one of these may help you receive recognition at your current job, a promotion, or help set you apart from other applicants when applying for something new. A few online resources that advertise this opportunity include: Harvard University, Stanford University, Coursera, and Edx.gov.
- Volunteer experiences: As a public servant, I love giving back to my community anytime that I can. Although the pandemic has limited face-to-face interaction, many organizations still provide online volunteer opportunities while our new normal is in effect. It is important to note that professionals should be constantly seeking new opportunities that allow them to showcase their greatest strengths or obtain new skills. Love writing? Then, volunteer to write for an online blog geared towards your professional interests or create your own. Love teaching? Then, volunteer for a virtual tutoring website where you can help students nationally or even internationally with their school work. Accredited organizations, like the Smithsonian Institution, offers various educational volunteer opportunities that allow seekers to gain valuable experience in research, digital editing, and transcribing historical documents for their website.
Building an Online Presence
We are experiencing a generational shift into the digital age and it is important to establish a professional, polished online image. Sallie Mae highlighted a survey conducted in 2018, which revealed that 70% of employers utilize social media when seeking potential candidates. This number likely will continue to rise due as we long as the pandemic stretches on. It is important that you keep your social media profiles up to date, showcase your professional strengths, and highlight your favorite non-career hobbies and activities so that employers can get a well-rounded picture of who you genuinely are. Creating social media pages gives candidates the opportunity to virtually experience some of the things they aren’t able to do in person at the moment; including, attending educational webinars, professional development workshops and networking opportunities. Popular social media websites commonly used for professionals networking include: LinkedIn, Xing, Meetup, and Facebook.
Briana Richardson-Jones serves as a Justice Department (DOJ) program analyst. Before becoming a federal employee, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s of Science in criminology with a public policy concentration. She believes she can help prospective and new employees navigate government efficiently while currently doing the same. Briana has discovered creative tips that can help others “work smarter” in the future. She also plans on combining her love for writing and criminal justice to educate readers about current events and community issues affecting people worldwide.