For many, drafting a resume that stands out among the competition has always been a difficult task. This task can seem even more challenging than it already is in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because many have been out of work in recent months, some struggle with creating resumes that highlight their genuine qualifications while also sufficiently addressing employment gaps.
Don’t worry if you find yourself in this situation. Drafting an ideal resume can be much easier than you expect, even when circumstances have interrupted your employment.
Just keep the following tips in mind, with input from the experts at Resume.supply.
Highlight New Skills You Developed During the Pandemic
Not everyone lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, those who did eventually lose their jobs may not have been let go right away.
Thus, many workers who kept their jobs, either for the duration of the pandemic or for at least a portion of it, were forced to adapt to new ways of working.
Instead of meeting with their teams in person every week, they needed to adjust to video meetings. Rather than coordinating directly with other team members when working on projects, they had to stay in touch via email and messaging apps. Depending on the nature of their jobs, many workers have also had to quickly learn to use new tools that allow them to more efficiently work from home.
Those are merely a few examples. The main point to remember is that you might have had to develop new skills and expertise as a direct result of the pandemic. Take this opportunity to mention them.
Don’t Include Months on a Resume
This is a harmless “trick” some experts recommend to make an employment gap call less attention to itself on a resume.
When listing your past jobs, you don’t have to include the months along with the years when listing how long you worked in a given position. For example, instead of writing “Administrative Assistant: January 2018 - January 2020,” you could simply write “Administrative Assistant: 2018 - 2020.”
This isn’t dishonest. It’s just a strategy rooted in an understanding of the way certain details do or don’t impact a hiring manager’s subconscious assumptions about a job applicant. When you exclude months, your employment gaps will be less noticeable, and therefore less likely to unfairly bias a hiring manager against you.
While the strategy described above may be effective if your employment gap has been relatively short, long work gaps can be more difficult to conceal on a resume.
Luckily, you don’t have to conceal these gaps. You may instead be better off simply addressing them honestly and thoroughly. Explain why you were unemployed instead of hoping a hiring manager or potential employer will assume you had a good reason for being out of work for an extended period of time.
If applicable, experts also suggest “rebranding” your unemployment by focusing on the productive career steps you did take during your time without work. For instance, even if you didn’t have a job for a period, you might have spent some of that time reading books or taking online courses that helped you build on your existing talents. While you don’t want to lie on a resume, you do want to demonstrate you spent your employment gap striving to make yourself a more valuable job candidate.
Perhaps most importantly, remember that many people have been without work for several months now. Hiring managers know this. They assess resumes accordingly. Right now, an employment gap is much less of a red flag than it would typically be.