Resume Writing in the Time of Corona Virus

During these uncertain times, the job hunt is anything but normal right now.

I believe this ongoing pandemic has made everyone, especially job seekers face new and unfamiliar challenges, which is why I wanted to share with you some of the most common questions I am hearing from my clients, and strategies on how to best handle your job search, so that you can land your next job faster.

#1 “I am willing to take any job right now. Can you just write me a generic and broad resume which I can use for several different jobs?”

While I can create a broad,  and unfocused resume, I do not recommend this approach, especially right now, when the job market is so competitive. I’ve built the best resumes for job seekers who have a clear target job in mind, allowing me to build a strong and successful resume, in relation to their career goals.

Also, having a target job in mind, allows me to craft a compelling career summary, highlighting your most impressive and relative skills, while making sure your resume contains all necessary keywords to pass the ATS (screening program used by employers to narrow down qualified candidates.)

To summarize this question, a targeted resume is now more necessary than ever, because you will most probably be going against hundreds of qualified candidates, and if your resume is not targeted specifically towards that job, your application will most likely won’t even be seen for the employer, because the ATS will filter it out

#2 “I would like my resume or cover letter to explain that I was laid off due to COVID-19.”

If you’re amongst millions of Americans who have lost their job due to the Coronavirus, it’s understandable that you would want to make it clear that the layoff was related to the pandemic, and not based on performance issues.

First, let me just say this: Don’t overthink this one! Most hiring managers will assume it was because of this current pandemic. They know millions of Americans lost their jobs, many by no fault of their own.

In other words, it’s best not to mention why you were laid off or seeking a new job, because the context of this crisis will speak for itself.

The resume and cover letter should present you in the most positive light, so try to avoid mentioning any negative details. Instead, focus your resume on why you’re the best fit for the role, because employers care more about how you’re competent for the job.

The time to address any issues, is in the interview, only after the employer raises the concern. If you’re asked about your recent layoff, make sure to be honest, but remember that this is a job interview, so keep the conversation professional and try not to overshare.

If the position requires a cover letter, that may be a place where you can briefly mention and explain: “After a recent layoff, due to COVID-19, I am excited about the opportunity to work for a company like yours where my skills (types of skills) can make a lasting impact”

#3 “There are no jobs in my current field right now. Can you write me a resume that can get me into a new industry?”

If your current field has taken a serious downturn, such as hospitality, tourism, nightlife, etc. you may be forced to look for jobs in different fields. If you’re amongst job seekers who are looking to change careers, here are a few tips:

  • Similar to the point I made above, don’t feel the need to overshare or explain the reason you’re looking to change careers because of coronavirus.
  • Focus on creating a winning resume, based on your transferable skills, whatever your new career goal is.
  • If you have to accept a short-term role to make ends meet, know that it’s understood by employers that job seekers may have to accept temporary jobs to remain employed during a pandemic.

It’s easy to get discouraged when there is a downturn in employment, but don’t let this get you down. With a job target in mind, an updated resume in hand, and responses to challenging interviewing questions, you’ll be well equipped for the job search ahead.

Have any other questions related to resume writing during a pandemic, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here to help!