It goes without saying that the job market has been lurching in some unpredictable directions since COVID lockdowns started lifting.
Remote work is still going strong, even as offices begin opening up again. Options like compressed workweeks and flexible hours are also more viable now with companies struggling to retain newly empowered employees. And candidates who are open to learning new skills or even changing professions may gain the upper hand as the job mix changes under our feet.
Take heart. As much as you’re trying to understand the new normal, imagine how hard recruiters are struggling to figure it out. You can take advantage of this uncertainty by helping them find you—with a résumé that reflects today’s realities.
Here are some quick tips to help you update and strengthen your résumé for 2022 and beyond.
Put a Positive Spin on Knowledge Gaps
Especially if you’re changing industries, show how much you value learning new skills, either by explicitly stating that in your profile or by highlighting seminars, certifications, and specialized education you’ve taken part in before. Due to the dearth of qualified candidates, many businesses are casting a wider net and providing training to new employees who show aptitude, potential, and a desire to contribute. Try to angle your accomplishments to reveal your fascination with an aspect of the open position that you may not have the exact skills for—yet.
Be What They’re Looking For (Obviously)
Start by researching the companies you’re interested in. You should tailor your résumé—or résumés plural—to their culture and mission. Read between the lines on their website or in their job posting to imagine what being a perfect employee means to them. Then present yourself in that light by mimicking their language and keywords in your résumé bullets. Your profile is also a good place to demonstrate how you’re a perfect fit culturally.
Showcase What Sets You Apart
As you know by now, prospective employers sift through dozens or even hundreds of résumés for every job opening. You may possess exactly the hard skills they’re looking for—but so do your competitors. How do you catch their eye? It goes back to scrutinizing the company’s site or job post for clues to the soft skills that will impress them. Rework your bullets to emphasize how you used strong communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, or team leadership to achieve the objectives of your previous employers. Show how you’re adaptable, enthusiastic, collaborative, efficient—whatever it is that makes you special.
Make Them Confident You’ll Succeed
Remember what we said about remote work and flexible scheduling being here to stay? Many of the skills that employers have always prized—trustworthiness, time management, self-motivation—are even more important now that “workplace” can mean so many different things. If you’ve worked remotely or in a hybrid arrangement in the past, obviously emphasize that fact in your experience section. But even if you just suspect your prospective employer may offer unconventional work arrangements, pepper your profile and skills sections with details that prove you’re ready and able to deliver for them in these new ways of working.
This year, more than ever before, finding work can be daunting and exhausting. But as with most difficult things in life, finding a way to turn obstacles into opportunities can get you through the tough times and into an even brighter future than you hoped for. Make sure your résumé represents you as an optimistic, modern thinker and doer who’s looking forward to whatever challenges the coming years may bring.
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