Rethinking Résumés – Key Points to Know


COVID has changed the world in ways we couldn’t have imagined at the start of this year.

But, now it’s time to stop wondering when things will get back to normal (because some things have changed irreversibly) and start preparing for living in a changed world. It’s time to adapt because these are Darwinian – survival of the fittest – times, and those who think on their feet and move with the trends will come out successful.

So, what does that mean when it comes to preparing for the job world?

It means keeping your ear to the ground, knowing what organizations are looking for and incorporating those skills in your resumes.

Here’s what we’re diving into today:

  • What are companies seeking in a candidate?
  • Setting up your resume
  • Resume design in Coronavirus times
What are companies looking for in people?

According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Grad’s Guide to Getting Hired, the top ten skills that companies are looking for are:

Source – LinkedIn 

So, soft skills are key. And the thing is that while you may possess these skills, your resume has to reflect the fact that you do. This is why it’s key to make this evident, both in your resume and also in your interview.

Apart from the above, organizations are also looking for certain traits and abilities that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Some additional abilities you’ll need to show:

Your ability to preserve or create new revenue streams

In these challenging times, managers are looking at team members who would be able to identify new opportunities and revenue-creating avenues. You’ll benefit by showcasing any project that you may have taken up in the past that opened a new revenue stream. Keeping in mind that companies are looking at optimising resources and staying financially viable, this skill will go down well with most organizations.

Your ability to use remote-working tools

Remote working is not an aberration, but is now an accepted norm. Managers now prefer people who have used automation and remote working tools that are ideal for shortening timelines, and working more systematically. If you have experience using these tools, you must state so in your resume.

Your ability to manage projects and teams remotely

Ask yourself have you worked remotely through automation tools and completed projects? Have you been able to communicate through remote working with a team and executed a project? Have you been able to make decisions independently to solve problems? These are some of the leadership traits are what the managers will be looking for in you.

Setting up Your Resume

What should you include in your resume and what should you not? You may be highly qualified, but if your resume does not reflect your skills, companies will not notice you.

Here are some pointers on what to add in your resume.

Include a personal statement: This is where you have a great chance to come across as articulate and confident in your abilities. Keep this short, include your strengths and directly relate them to the position applying for.

Customise: Do a deep study of the organization, look at the position in question and tailor your resume accordingly. One size does not fit all – so make different versions for different organizational and industries.

Proofread: The worst thing in a resume is a typing or grammatical error – it reflects callousness, which is not something you want to convey. So, proofread, proofread, proofread. If possible, get someone else to go through it as well.

Design in Coronavirus Times

Most managers spend less than ten seconds on a resume – that’d what you have to get their attention.

Which is why you resume needs to be visually appealing, and thus it is important that you take designing your resume seriously. It does not need to be over the top and a design must never overpower the content. A classic resume design can work well. However, here are two important things that you need to keep in mind.

Consistent format: To maintain consistency, you must decide whether you want to stick to a points format or a paragraph format and follow it. Don’t do both.

Graphical elements: Create a graphic chart where you include your relevant strengths for the job applied for. This will be easy to interpret when the HR is skimming through your resume.

Video resumes: In some cases (and this has to be applied with thought) a video resume works well. It gives the manager a great sense of who you are and what your skills would be. However, if you are not a great speaker and tend to get conscious while recording, it’s best to avoid this format.

But, if you want to go for this, keep a few points in mind while recording:

  • Wear white and stand against a plain wall (preferably cream or white)
  • Have light falling on your face and not be behind you
  • Speak clearly (practice first). Look straight into the camera and don’t read
  • Smile, appear warm and approachable
  • Keep it crisp and short
  • No background noise
  • Shoot horizontally. Keep the camera stable – so the video does not shake

Remember a resume is your first introduction and will create a first impression. Give this your best – as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

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