COVID-19 has given everyone the opportunity to practice flexibility, manage changing priorities, and deal with ambiguity! Amazing! These words and characteristics are on many of the job postings that we see today.
Media is fixated on two things:
COVID-19 numbers and the unemployment numbers.
The news hype takes advantage of every opportunity to heighten our fear and keep us spell-bound as we wait for the next message. Meanwhile, businesses are scrambling to find people. They need workers at every level. Check out the blog: COVID-19: Who is hiring? Where to look.
I hope you believe me that there are a lot of jobs out there! It’s logical to think, “With so many people out of work, what chance do I have to find a job?” Let me assure you that the chances are very good if you find jobs that you are qualified for and present yourself on your cover letter and résumé as a polished professional who is ready to contribute to the success of a potential employer.
FIRST MUST DO ACTION when applying for a job during COVID-19:
On both cover letter and résumé, in a prominent place, put:
Able to work remotely.
Cover Letter Tips
A quick reminder: hiring professionals spend about 10 seconds looking at your cover letter. It should be short, easy to read. Avoid dense paragraphs.
- The first thing that HR and recruiters want to know is if you are qualified for the job. This is most easily seen on a table that compares their job requirements with your qualifications.
- If you apply to a non-profit, then you should include something that tells why the position is personal to you.
- Readers are moving too quickly to make associations. So if the job calls for 7-10 years event management, do not respond with 8 years as a project manager. Even though an event is a project, readers are going very quickly. Use their language!
- If you don’t have a particular requirement, tell them what you do have that is similar.
- Be selective in what you send. Here is a quote from an annoyed HR/internal recruiter, “Why can’t people just tell me what I need to know for the job they are applying to!
- Résumé readers do not read top to bottom or left to right. They graze or wander around looking for something interesting.
- Wherever the reader’s eyes land, there should be something interesting that invites them to have a conversation with you!
- Limit what you put on your résumé to what is specifically relevant to the particular job you are applying to.
- More than two pages of work history will not be read and bullet points longer than one line are rarely read.
- Avoid overused words such as “strong communications skills” or “Proven strategic leader.” (ho-hum). Instead, use key words that show you are relevant in your industry.
Depending on your industry, use phrases such as: tension-tolerant, cognitive flexibility, mental elasticity. Do you know what words to use? I search the internet with the phrase: Top qualities employers need by 2025 in _________ (name of your industry).
Do you remember the initial words in this blog: ability to be flexible, manage changing priorities, and deal with ambiguity? Those might be excellent choices to include on your résumé.
- Separate the results statements and keep them brief. There should only be a few and should tempt the reader to ask a question…which means that s/he should call you to get the answer!
It’s all about carrots!
Many people believe that more is better. They want to tell the reader everything they can, every detail, everything! Truly, I tell you that this only spells
It also shows an inability to prioritize information. YIKES!
Dear jobseeker, please listen to this: If you tell them everything, why would they need to call you? The point of your résumé is to tell the reader just enough so they want more! Carrots!
As I watch the interview process through my clients’ experience, there are some specific changes jobseekers need to be aware of. One question you can count on is, “What did you do during COVID-19 to increase your skill sets?”
Please see the recent blog:
COVID-19: 10 Must-dos for every jobseeker
Are you struggling to find opportunities? Consider this blog:
COVID-19: Who is hiring? Where to look.
The next blog will discuss changes in the Interview process so you aren’t caught off guard.