It seems like yesterday the world was filled with optimism as 2019 became 2020 and everyone was excited for what the next decade would bring. New Year, New You? You got it!
Coronavirus has impacted the globe, sadly ending thousands of lives and upending the lives of millions of others. With 22 million people losing their jobs just four weeks since President Trump declared a national emergency, the United States is now experiencing record levels of unemployment, and skyrocketing uncertainty of when and if they’ll go back to work.
Whether you’re laid-off, on furlough, or reevaluating your next career move, it’s important to take the time to make sure your resume has the traits necessary for communicating that you’re essential, regardless of the industry you’re in.
- Focuses on the Future, Not the Past or Present
The unfortunate reality is that most people don’t think proactively about how they present themselves professionally online until they absolutely have to, which usually means dusting off a resume that’s not only out of date but locked in the past.
Too often, resumes focus too much on the present and the past and not enough on the future. While work experience is certainly a primary feature of a resume, it’s important to remember that the goal of a resume is to land an interview based on what you will be doing, not merely what you’ve done.
Think about it like this: hiring managers are looking to hire you for what you WILL be doing justified by what you’ve done and your current career goals.
When creating a resume, make sure you begin with an Objective section that clearly states the work you do and the impact you want to have on the business in 3 or 4 sentences.
2. Positions you as a specialist, not a generalist
If you can’t communicate what you want to do and what you can do, the job you are applying for will be given to somebody else. While involuntary unemployment is a challenging problem to navigate, the impact of Coronavirus does provide an opportunity for everyone to re-evaluate their professional career and take advantage of the millions of businesses that will be adding to their workforce when the curve flattens and we get back to business.
What are you bringing to the table? Take some time to evaluate what segment of your industry you have specialized knowledge about. Are you a Fine Dining Restaurant Manager? Facebook Advertiser? “Retail Store Manager” is a wide net. “Women’s Shoe Store Manager” is specific.
If you don’t have a deep level of specialized knowledge in one industry, you may consider including three more general job titles you could fill based on your career goals and past experience separated by dividers. For example, mine would be “Sales Professional | Content Marketer | Brand Strategist”
3. Aligns your skill set with job opportunities
In the timeless classic Think and Grow Rich, the author Napoleon Hill predicts that “the future relationship between employers and their employees will be more in the nature of a partnership consisting of 1) the employer 2) the employee 3) the public they serve.”
After taking a personal inventory of the job you want to do and the skills you have, it is vital that you find an employer that is equally focused on serving the people who may have the problem you are able to solve.
When crafting your resume, research the job postings of companies in your industry who are hiring and incorporate some of the language they use in their mission statement, job postings and other communications into your resume.
You should never falsify your work experience or skill set but, if you’re a natural fit, find creative ways to showcase how you and the potential employer are on the same page.
4. Highlights the impact you’ve made at other companies
When it comes to work experience, simply citing what your day-to-day responsibilities is not enough. Hiring managers are interested in the results you can bring, not what other companies expected from you.
What successes have you brought other organizations? Did you raise website traffic? Decrease employee turnover? Improve a process that saved the company money or headaches?
Find ways to reframe your past job duties into your personal contributions to that organization.
For example, instead of “Responsible for customer follow up”, consider “Increased customer engagement through timely phone calls, emails, and personal visits”. If you can add a dollar figure, percentage of increase or decrease, or another metric that can be verified, include it!
5. Connects to a professional online presence
A strong online personal brand has been a wise career investment pre-Coronavirus, but now that employers are forced to engage with current and prospective employees online more often, it has never been more important.
A resume is a powerful way to make a positive first impression, but it does not have to stop there. What if in addition to your resume, you could point the hiring manager to your Instagram or LinkedIn profile that showcases how you think about the work you do and the industry that you’re in?
LinkedIn notifies users when someone looks at their profile. What if you followed up your resume with a quick view of the hiring manager or company owners’ profile?
Personal blogs and professional social media accounts are powerful ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded market because they showcase your expertise, focus, and gives those making hiring decisions the ability to imagine how you would represent them in public.
Take the time to improve your social media accounts to the degree you’re proud to share them and start networking with other likeminded professionals.
Who knows, a recruiter may even reach out to you because of it!
I hope these tips help you build a resume that sets you up to be a leader for the next decade!
About Aaron Dunn
Aaron Dunn is a published author, content marketer, experienced sales professional and host of Strong Com Podcast who has been learning and applying branding best practices since 2013. In addition to his responsibilities as Director of Sales and Marketing for a trucking and logistics business, he is also a freelance brand strategist who helps businesses and individuals build more effective brands through intentional communication and community building online and off. Follow Aaron on LinkedIn – Twitter – www.strongmy.com.