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6 Ways to Update Your Resume During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stay ahead of the curve and update your resumé now so you are prepared to take advantage of exciting career opportunities in the future.

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Stay ahead of the curve and update your resumé now so you are prepared to take advantage of exciting career opportunities in the future.

Photo credit: Sevipetro

Although the COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies across the world, there has never been a better time to work on improving and updating your resumé. As the world recovers, the job market will improve and change dramatically, requiring expertise in new and different fields. Stay ahead of the curve and bolster your resumé now so you are prepared to take advantage of exciting career opportunities in the future.

1. Focus on transferable skills 

The best way to build your resume and secure future job opportunities is to focus on your transferable job skills. Your transferable skills are ones that you have learned in your current career that can be applied to a new career field. For example, any leadership, research, analytical, writing, or verbal communication skills that you have learned and mastered are transferable skills.

By including in your resume transferable skills that are relevant in many different fields of employment, you open yourself up to countless new job opportunities.  Transferable skills are especially important if you are looking to change careers or work locations as a result of the changing work environment brought about as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

2. Earn a professional license or certification

Earning a professional license or certification can greatly help you develop and enhance your current skillset.  Obtaining a professional license or certification demonstrates your advanced knowledge and dedication to your chosen field, and opens you up to a variety of new job opportunities.  You can earn a professional license or certification in virtually every field of employment thereby bolstering your resume and making yourself a more appealing candidate to potential employers.  

One example of a licensed or certified professional is in the field of engineering. Engineers who go beyond their college degree and pass the Professional Engineer (PE) exam can expect to see a drastic increase in their career prospects and are likely to earn a higher salary than their uncertified counterparts. In addition, certifications in a myriad of specialty engineering fields can help increase job security by making one a greater asset to their employer.

3. Gather references

With many employees now working remotely, references are more important than ever for verifying the educational and professional accomplishments on your resumé. When choosing your references, make sure they are professionals in your career field who know you well and with whom you have a good working relationship. Professors, past employers, supervisors, colleagues, and advisors can all act as professional references to verify your credentials, accomplishments, and skills.

Depending on the number of references you use (no more than 3-4), you can either include them directly on your resumé, or as a document attached to your resumé. When listing your references, provide up-to-date contact information, their qualifications, professional designations, and current job position. 

4. Learn a new skill

A simple way to bolster your resume in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic is to learn a new skill. Since many people are now working and spending more time at home, many are experiencing more free time that may be used to take an online class, participate virtually in vocational training, or do additional research that can be put on your resume.

Learning a new skill can be anything from becoming more proficient with Microsoft Office or Excel, to learning a foreign language. No matter what skills you decide to update or enhance, as long as it’s relevant to your field, you can use it to bolster your resumé and open up more career opportunities.

5. Tighten up your online presence

In the age of the Internet, having an online presence is necessary not only to communicate your credentials, but to build a profile and personal network. Establishing an online presence can be as simple as creating a LinkedIn account with your latest accomplishments, or you can go a step further and consider creating a personal blog to showcase your professional experience, credentials, and skills. 

To establish an online presence, you also need to reach out and communicate with professionals in your field. Whether they are colleagues or people you have never met before, sending a friendly message about developing your career is sure to get at least a few helpful responses. Keep an open mind when looking for people to add to your network — you never know who might have a career opportunity or can offer valuable guidance.

6. Eliminate clutter

Clutter on your resumé can make you look unprofessional and lower your chances of getting a job. Clutter includes things like unnecessary images, a photo, lengthy sentences and large blocks of text, links to social media that are not relevant, and unprofessional font choices. By keeping your resumé clean, concise and laser focused on your achievements, you can make sure it appeals to potential future employers.

Part of eliminating clutter from your resumé also involves removing statements that do not focus on your quantifiable achievements. Potential employers are not concerned with your responsibilities at previous jobs — they want to know how you exceeded expectations and created a measurable change.

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