Writing a Resume For Post-COVID Job Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a wave of ‘new normals,’ many of which may stick around even as the pandemic subsides. Unfortunately, COVID has hit the job market hard with its business closures, job losses, and reduced incomes. As executive job seekers begin to emerge from this bleak economic landscape, a new way of approaching the job market has taken place. They’ll need to re-evaluate what attributes companies are likely to be looking for in a winning candidate given the past year. CEOs must now look through the lens of this plague year to find candidates who possess more dynamic skill sets, immense tech-savviness, and other traits needed to thrive in the evolving business world. As you begin the process of updating your resume to attract CEOs and their hiring managers, you should consider what they’re scouting for and highlight those “must-have” crucial professional traits that you possess.
You Have Remote Work Experience
The pandemic has shifted the whole concept of ‘what it means to go to work.’ Instead of catching a train or hitting the expressways, employees across the country are walking into their home offices to work remotely. Hiring managers are actively seeking applicants who have not only worked from home during the pandemic or at some other point but thrived while working independently outside of the office. Having witnessed how well the remote platform can work, many companies now plan to maintain many workers on a small or hybrid basis, saving substantially on their operation costs. Based on those factors, you’ll want your resume to demonstrate that you are independent and self-disciplined, and perfectly comfortable with remote work and all that it entails.
You’re a Change Drive
The pandemic and its lockdowns forced companies to change how they operate overnight. This required a remarkable level of leadership to shine at various levels of all types of companies. Demonstrating that you have experience driving the changes needed to operate and thrive in an adverse situation will help you update your resume to attract CEOs and hiring managers. Many experts have warned that COVID isn’t likely the last pandemic that we will face. Companies want to ensure that they have an agile leadership team that can adapt to change quickly and guide the rest of the company to success despite its challenges.
You Are Tech Savvy
If you’re competent in utilizing Zoom, Slack, and other online applications that support remote work, you should highlight this aspect of your experience on your resume. Overall, it would help if you were prepared to demonstrate that your tech-savvy skills relate to platforms that support many means of communication. Communicating effectively is a core competency that CEOs look for in executives and up-and-coming leaders. Being able to master the technology needed to speak to both colleagues and customers is a skill that’s likely to remain at the top of the list for hiring managers.
Of course, you should also plan to highlight other aspects of your experience with technology. The tech world is advancing rapidly, especially in applications designed for the evolving business world. You’ll want to showcase that you’re able to and enthusiastic about keeping up with new tech trends.
You Have a Track Record of Problem Solving Prowess
The COVID pandemic revealed many vulnerabilities in company structures, supply chains, etc…Consider your experience. What problems were you able to successfully address in the past year? Hiring managers will be looking for job candidates who can think creatively in a crisis to achieve successful outcomes. In the last year, many companies had to shift gears in record time to help meet supply chain challenges. Others had to design remote work paradigms quickly. If you were involved in changes like these and contributed to the problem-solving process, be sure to report this on your resume and be prepared to discuss it in a job interview.
You Can Prioritize Workplace Culture
Workplace culture is always an essential element for a company, but the pandemic had a way of exacerbating companies with poor workplace culture. Businesses with a healthy employee culture are more likely to cope with crises like the pandemic than groups already struggling. As an applicant in search of a leadership role in a company, you’ll be tasked to help define and nurture your company’s culture. Are you up to it? Have you made business culture a priority in the past? Are you ready to discuss how cultural movements like #metoo, political upheaval, anti-vax, cancel culture, etc., affect workers and business culture? How have you navigated these issues as they apply to company cultures you’ve been involved with? CEOs will be looking for culturally astute candidates that have the mindset needed to guide their teams through divisive times related to the work environment.
Keep these new core competencies in mind as you search for a position in a post-COVID world. By highlighting sought-after job skills, you’ll be poised to attract the eyes of hiring managers. If you don’t possess these skills, now is the time to focus on them so you can begin to develop these in-demand skill sets.
By Gloria Oliveras-Bravo
Sr. Executive Search Manager
At Barbachano International, we understand the importance of recruiting and the return on investment that top talent can deliver for you. With 27 years in the industry, we know firsthand how imperative it is for an organization to have the right people to achieve its business objectives. We help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying top performers for your team that result in long-term success.