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Job Searching During COVID-19? Make These Quick Updates to Your Resume

The pandemic has left employees, freelancers, and gig workers in the experiential and event marketing industry laid off, furloughed, or underemployed.  While you navigate searching for new employment, be it temporary or permanent, there are a few universal updates that you should consider making to your resume during this unique time.

9 Resume Updates to Consider During COVID-19

1. Acknowledge your employment status. 

If your employment status has changed due to COVID-19, it makes perfect sense to address the obvious. Add a brief note to your resume or cover letter noting your current employment status is due to COVID-19.  This will clarify to potential employers why you are unemployed or underemployed at this time. 

2. State the type of position(s) you are interested in. 

Be sure to include all types of employment situations that you are seeking, such as full-time, part-time, freelance, temporary, project-based, etc. In doing so, you’ll open yourself up to a variety of schedules and workloads which will in turn present you with more opportunities. 

3.  Collect or refresh your professional references. 

Having updated references reflects a good relationship with your most recent employers and colleagues. With that said, you will want to reach out to recent employers or colleagues to ask for permission to be used as a reference. Once you have gathered your references, note on your resume “references are available upon request.”

4. Add in the extras. 

If applicable, update your resume with online certifications, continuing education courses, relevant projects, or volunteer experiences.  This displays a go-getter attitude and will demonstrate to potential employers that you’ve been professionally active during any downtime.

5. Call out your remote working experience. 

Emphasize your ability to work remotely.  Being adaptable, flexible, and prepared for the “new normal” is a fantastic asset to share. Your ability to pivot, work independently, and with a team from home is a benefit to any potential employer.

6. Emphasize digital and technological skills. 

Technology has become our best friend in recent months and being tech-savvy is a hot commodity right now.  Noting any digital and/or technological expertise, from computers to software to project management software, is a subtle resume update that can make a big impact.

7. Be mindful of applicant tracking systems (ATS).

An applicant tracking system is a system that companies use to receive, filter, and organize applications for hiring purposes. Companies may receive hundreds or thousands of applicants posted positions, and an ATS aides in the screening process. As this article states, “when a recruiter or hiring manager receives that many resumes, it’s not feasible for them to carefully read each one. With an ATS, they can sort through applicants based on search keywords (e.g., hard skills or job titles), filters (e.g., location and education level), or how well the resume matches the job description (i.e., match rate algorithms).” 

Steps to prepare your resume for an applicant tracking system:

Adjusting the language used on your resume to reflect targeted keywords related to the job that you’re applying for will give you a higher chance of passing through an ATS.

  1. Review the job listing that you’re applying for.
  2. Identify the keywords used in the job description and research industry keywords.
  3. Add the top keywords from the job description and research to your resume.

8. Add transferrable soft skills to your resume. 

Since most companies utilize a remote workforce right now, soft skills (non-technical attributes) are more important than ever before.  Work soft skills into the bullet point statements that highlight your skills and/or achievements. 

Examples of soft skills:

  • Interpersonal (people) skills
  • Clear communication
  • Adaptable
  • Strategic thinker and problem-solver
  • Positive mindset
  • Proactive (can-do attitude)
  • Engaging and friendly
  • Multitasking
  • Teamwork
  • Customer service
  • Networking
  • Culturally aware

9. Link it. 

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and include the link to your account in your resume.

The Takeaway

If you are searching for a job during COVID-19, keep in mind that your searching for a job in a brand new world so to speak.  The days of in-person interviews are over, at least for now, so making a killer first impression with your resume is critical.

Since 2002, ATN Event Staffing has offered unique job opportunities for brand ambassadors, experiential marketing freelancers, and tour managers, and we have even provided referrals for full-time marketing agency positions.

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