Writing a Pandemic-updated 2021 Resume

You’ve come to the decision it’s time to move on from your current job because:

  • Your job bores you—maybe a job that excited you has lost its flavor and going to work now has the feel of chewing stale gum;
  • You no longer trust your manager or employer;
  • You don’t see a future in your company;
  • You fell into your current job by accident and don’t like the type of work you’re doing.

If you haven’t job-hunted or created a new resume in years, much has changed concerning the type of resume you now need to hit a home run with a prospective employer.

Realize you have to jump over the applicant software before you get to a real person

Multiple employers now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) software to screen applicants. This means the specific words you use on your resume matter. Without the words mentioned in the employer’s job posting, your resume might not pass the ATS screen. Your first step:  optimize your resume to pass the ATS by tailoring your resume to the position description

Two pages

Some job seekers assume they need to cram their job experience into one page. The problem? They don’t provide enough about what they can do to excite a future employer.

With each job you’ve held in the past ten years, show what you’ve done for your employers. Statements such as “reduced annual operating expenses by $210,000,” “increased employee retention by 33%” and “processed over 69 orders daily, resulting in a monthly revenue increase of $79,000” provide tangible examples of your value to prospective employers.

Highlight your skills in navigating today’s environment

What on your resume highlights you skill at navigating crises? What did you handle effectively during the pandemic? For example, what did you do to maintain your workload and client or customer count while working remotely? If you’re a manager, how did you reconfigure your team’s operations?

Are you fluent in Teams, Zoom, Skype, MS Office and Acrobat? Can you manage a remote team using these video-conference programs? What’s your proficiency with MS Office and Acrobat? Employers expect remote workers to handle spreadsheet work and create signable forms and PowerPoint presentations without admin support.

Attend to details and create a sleek, streamlined resume  

If the job posting asks for a resume submitted as a PDF, don’t provide in Word. Use standard fonts and bullets. Drop the outdated “objective” that once led off resumes and replace it with a brief, one-paragraph “highlights” summary. List references so your prospective employer doesn’t have to ask for them, and can see, at a glance, if you’re listing supervisors from every recent job.

If it’s time to move on, create a resume that helps you land the job you see.

One thought on “Writing a Pandemic-updated 2021 Resume

  1. Thanks for the tips and observations about how resumes in general have changed. Getting past the ATS is a major hurdle!

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