Tag: resume tips


5 Ways to Make Your Resume Relevant and Attractive in 2022

It’s 2022, a new year. I know many of us want to move forward and forget the past couple of years. But a friend of mine always says, “never let a crisis go to waste.” Even in the midst of something bad, there’s always a redemptive perspective, something good emerging out of the bad.

It’s likely one of those good things is you gained some new skills and experience during the past two years of the pandemic. And it’s these new skills that will make you relevant and attractive in a 2022 job market.

But first, you have to learn how to market them on your resume. And since the new year is always a great time to update your resume, I’ve provided some tips below on ways to refresh your resume for a 2022 job search.

1. Make the most of past employment gaps

Most people who have any kind of employment gaps on their resume automatically assume this will hurt them. While this was typically the case prior to the pandemic, employers are now more understanding of such gaps. Especially of those which occurred during the pandemic.

Hiring managers know it was a time of uncertainty. Therefore, they’re more forgiving of employment gaps.

But if you can show you spent your gap developing new skills, either through online courses or a personal project or side hustle, you’ll have an advantage.

Don’t forget to list in the education section of your resume any online courses you took. Also, add any new skills you developed to your skills section.

2. List new pandemic-related skills

If you were fortunate to keep your job during the pandemic, you likely developed new skills such as:

  • Crisis management
  • Process building
  • Digital collaboration
  • Remote teamwork
  • And ability to work from home with self-discipline and good time management skills

You’ll want to update your skills section on your resume with these.

3. Update your results and keywords for 2022

In fact, you’ll also want to highlight in your professional summary, and your job descriptions, anything you did to help your company not only survive, but thrive during the pandemic. When doing so, always provide results.

In addition, include pandemic-related keywords such as “remote teams,” “virtual teams,” and “crisis management,” throughout your resume. This will help get your resume through the application tracking systems. And it will help make your LinkedIn profile show up in more recruiters’ search results.

4. Highlight your contributions during the pandemic

Depending on the nature of your job or how you’d like to highlight your pandemic-related experience, you may want to even consider having a separate section called “COVID Response Efforts,” or “Successful COVID Adaptations.”

This will make sense to include if you had a heavy hand in your company’s response to the pandemic, or if you’re seeking a job requiring the skills you used in response.

5. Indicate your willingness to work remotely in 2022

Since more employers will continue to offer remote work opportunities in 2022, you may want to include a line on your resume worded as, “willing to work remotely.” Do this when applying for remote jobs. Remove it when applying for on-site opportunities. And consider leaving it on if the job description doesn’t specify location, especially if you’re interested in continuing to work remotely.

Don’t forget to also indicate in your cover letter if you’re willing and technically able to work remotely.

Coming up next in 2022

Stay tuned for more tips on how to stay relevant in a 2022 job market. In next week’s post, I’ll cover:

  • Changes in interview practices for 2022
  • New interview questions to expect and prepare for
  • New questions you should ask the employer in your 2022 interviews

In the meantime, if you need personalized assistance tailored to your unique career situation, please complete the paNASH intake form to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

Related sources

It’s an Employee’s Job Market. Here’s How to Take Advantage of It.

The “Great Resignation” is in full effect due to the disruption of the pandemic, which has dramatically changed the job market. Workers, especially mid-career employees, are re-evaluating their careers. This re-evaluation has led to many employees resigning from their current jobs for various reasons.

The biggest reason is due to burnout. Other reasons include organizational changes, under-appreciation of employees, insufficient benefits, and no support of well-being or work-life balance.

In fact, I’ve been working a lot lately with clients looking to leave their current job. This is because they don’t want to lose the flexibility they had when working from home. They’re looking either to start their own business venture, or to join a company continuing to allow remote work.

As a result, the jobs people are leaving are now coming open to other people looking for something new or different. Because of this, job seekers and potential employees are in more demand. Therefore, they can demand more from potential opportunities and contract negotiations.

Taking advantage of the current job market

Because of the Great Resignation, you may have noticed an increase in the number of recruiters reaching out to you for job opportunities. Perhaps even for ones in which you have no interest or qualifications. Because it’s an employee’s job market, you can decide which ones to give consideration to and which ones you don’t.

Whether you’re seriously considering recruiters’ offers, or are actively looking to make a career change, here are some tips to help you take advantage of the job market created by the Great Resignation.

1. Re-assess your personal and professional goals

It’s important to take an inventory of your personal and professional goals to see how they’ve changed since the pandemic. You can do this by going back through the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

If you haven’t already used this plan, you can receive a free download of it by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter. Clarifying your goals can help you to know which opportunities are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t.

While working through this plan, discuss your thoughts with your family. It’s important to have their input and support when considering any kind of career change. This is especially true if you determine your own resignation is part of your goals.

For tips on leaving your current company, check out my post entitled, “How to Plot Your Escape From the Golden Handcuffs.”

How to Plot Your Escape From the Golden Handcuffs

2. Update your résumé

I’ve always said it’s important to update your résumé every six months, even when you’re not looking for a job. It’s much easier to remember your results and accomplishments from the past six months, than waiting until you need a résumé to try to remember them.

But now especially, you need to update your résumé to reflect the skills and adaptations you’ve developed during the pandemic. These skills might include crisis management, remote teamwork, digital collaboration, and process development.

I recently added a bonus downloadable handout entitled, “Post-COVID Résumés: What your résumé should look like in a post-COVID job market,” to the online video tutorial on résumés. This tutorial is a great resource in helping you bring your résumé up to current standards, and getting it through résumé filtering software.

3. Brush up on your interview skills

Specifically, you’ll want to be prepared to answer questions about how you adapted during the pandemic, and perhaps even how you spent your time if you lost your job due to COVID. I address how to answer such questions in a previous post entitled, “How to Answer These Important Pandemic Interview Questions.”

How to Answer These Important Pandemic Interview Questions

Also, you’ll want to update your own list of questions to ask the employer in the interview. In addition to the questions I’ve previously suggested, you’ll want to ask:

  • How has your company changed for the better since the pandemic?
  • How has it changed for the worse?
  • Which pandemic-related adaptations have you kept in place?
  • What is the projected outlook for the company and this industry based on the effects of the pandemic?
  • How have you supported your employees during the pandemic?
  • What is your company’s definition of company culture?

This last question is becoming increasingly important. One of my clients who’s gone on several interviews lately, has noticed when she asks about the company’s culture, the employer asks her to clarify what her own definition of company culture is.

The reason they ask for clarification is because they’ve seen a trend where job seekers are defining company culture as being able to work from home. But companies don’t see work from home as a cultural aspect. They see it more as a logistic.

So be ready to explain what you mean by company culture, and then ask what their definition is, to ensure you’re both on the same page.

4. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and 5. develop good salary negotiation skills

It’s these two tips I want to discuss at greater length in next week’s post. Stay tuned for “Reverse Job Search: How to Deal With Unsolicited Job Opportunities.”

Related posts

Should You Share Your Interests on Your Resume? Yes or No?

In critiquing thousands of résumés over the past 20 years, I’ve seen several with an “interests” section highlighting the job seeker’s hobbies. One of the most memorable interests I’ve ever seen listed on a resume was “eating peanut butter.”

Yes, you heard that correctly. Someone actually put her love for peanut butter on her resume. No, she was not applying for a job as a taste-tester for Skippy, and no, this was not a smooth move on her part (pun intended!).

Clients will frequently ask me if they should put an interests section on their resume. It is neither right nor wrong to have an interests section, but there are times when it makes sense to include it, and times when it makes sense to leave it off.

When to share your interests on your resume

The following are reasons to include an interests section on your resume:

1. When you don’t have enough work experience to fill a full page

This is typically the case for those early in their career, or those who’ve held the same position for a long time with little change in their work duties.

Your resume should always be one to two pages in full length. If you go over to a second page but it’s only half filled, then I would suggest including an interests section to complete the page.

2. When your interests might be relevant to the job

Though you may need to fill a page to make it complete, this doesn’t mean you list any or all of your interests. Instead, you want to list those most relevant to the job.

For example, if you love golf and the job might include taking clients on golf outings to network and close sales, then I’d include this interest on your resume.

Or, if you enjoy playing basketball and the job requires you to work with youth in an after-school program promoting physical activity, then it would be appropriate to list this.

3. When your interests have taught you relevant skills

It’s also appropriate to include personal interests that have prepared you for the skills needed in the job.

For example, if you enjoy doing improv in your spare time, this skill is often a basis for good sales skills.

Also, a passion for blogging on the side can be a plus for a job requiring strong writing skills and social media experience.

An interest in coaching little league can translate into good leadership skills.

4. When your passion project showcases your skills

If you have a passion project that demonstrates practical application of your skills, then you would include this on your resume.

A passion project is something personal you’ve always had a desire to do or accomplish. For example, it could be a book you’ve always wanted to write, or a podcast you’ve always wanted to produce.

If you’re currently working on a passion project or have completed it, include it on your resume!

When NOT to share your interests on your resume

The times you should avoid sharing your interests include:

  • 1. When you don’t have enough room on your resume because of all the results you’ve listed in your experience section. (Results should always take top priority on the limited space provided on a resume.)
  • 2. When your interests are completely unrelated to the job. This requires you to know your audience!
  • 3. When your interests may initially be viewed as odd. (While liking peanut butter is not unusual, it is strange to include it on a resume!)

Be professional

Whatever you choose to list, always present it in a professional way.

Also, grab the reader’s attention by calling your section something other than “Interests.” You could re-name the section heading to something like, “Work-Related Passions”. This sounds much more dynamic.

Finally, help the readers connect the dots on how your interests benefit the company. Remember, your resume is about them, not you! It’s about what you can do for the company and how it can impact their bottom line.

Résumé help

paNASH has a certified professional resume writer on staff to write your resume for you. Dr. Denisha Bonds can provide you a properly-worded and uniquely-designed résumé to help you succeed in your job search.

She is also certified in LinkedIn optimization and can help you spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Click here to request a quote.

Related resources

How to Revive Your Pandemic-Ruined Résumé

If the pandemic forced you out of your job and left you with a ruined résumé, you may be worried about the growing gap in your employment history.

Hiring managers certainly understand the reason for current résumé gaps. But, you’ll likely be the candidate to land more interviews if you show how you’ve spent your time wisely during the pandemic.

This means your 2021 résumé will look a lot different from your ruined résumé of 2020. You’ll need to include some sections and entries you wouldn’t ordinarily include.

Here are some examples to help you revive your pandemic-ruined résumé.

Salvaging a ruined résumé

Online courses

The pandemic caused my business to slow down a bit, so I’ve had some extra time. As a result, I registered for a nine-month course I’ve had my eye on. While the class usually meets in person, this year’s cohort is meeting virtually through Zoom.

I’m gaining so much from it. And I know in the long-run, it will positively impact my business and the clients I serve.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn? Is it something that can build your résumé and help you improve your skills?

Last week, I met with a client who’s interviewing for a new job. She said she’s spent time during the pandemic taking online classes on Udemy to learn some new skills. This is something she’s now including on her résumé to make her more marketable to employers.

There are several online platforms like Udemy which allow you to do the same thing. You can list any online courses you take under your education section of your résumé. Or, if you take enough classes to justify a separate section, then list them there. You can call this section, “Online Education,” or “Online Coursework.”

You can also include the projects or significant assignments from the classes.

Reading

Because of the extra time from slow business and the reading requirements for my class, I probably spent time reading more books in 2020 than I ever did in one year, including my final year of grad school!

Prior to starting my class in August, I finished reading nine books. And I’ve read 15 books since then. Between now and April, I have six more books to read for my class, plus all the ones I keep adding to my personal list.

If you’ve spent time reading, especially any non-fiction related to your career interests, include this on your résumé. You probably want to title the section, “Pandemic Reading List.”

Home projects

A lot of people used their time during the pandemic to tackle some of those home projects they’ve been putting off for years. It was a great time for some do-it-yourself renovations or landscaping.

Include these tasks on your résumé, and show the skills required to accomplish them. You can name this section, “Pandemic Project Completion.”

Homeschooling

If you had to homeschool your children, this is an important thing to include on your résumé! It tells hiring managers so much about you and the skills you developed during the pandemic.

I share the best ways to include this on your résumé in my post, “How to Protect Your Career While Homeschooling.”

Caregiving

The devastating reality of the pandemic is the number of people infected with COVID-19. Even if you didn’t lose your job, maybe you had to take time off of work, either to quarantine or to care for a very ill loved-one. Perhaps it was for longer than you expected, well past the allowed COVID leave or FMLA time.

Caring for a family member is a legitimate gap in a résumé. It’s better to be open and honest about this reason for your gap. This is so the hiring manager won’t think you’re trying to hide something less noble.

You can address it in one short line on your résumé that says, “Employment gap due to family caregiving responsibilities.” Or, you can address it in your cover letter if further explanation is necessary.

Skills gained

From all of the things listed above, and from the experience of living through a pandemic in and of itself, you gained a lot of skills in 2020.

Generally speaking, we’ve all learned to be more flexible, adaptable, and creative. We’ve also learned to budget our money better. And hopefully, we’ve developed more emotional intelligence and improved our E.Q. by being more empathetic and patient.

Personally, I learned a lot of new skills in 2020. I learned how to apply for government aid for my business, and how to apply for PPP loan forgiveness. Also, I learned how to put a valuation on my company. This helped me complete the process of selling a portion of my business to another company. I’m also improving my supervisory skills with the hiring of a certified professional résumé writer this past September. And in July, I learned the ins and outs of refinancing my home.

You’ve also learned additional skills if you did any of the above during the pandemic. What are they? Use them to fill any employment gaps on your résumé.

Organizing your résumé

There are several ways to organize all this information on your résumé. You may want a separate section for projects, homeschooling, etc.

Or, you may want an entire section called, “Pandemic Projects and Skills.”

If you need help organizing or re-writing your résumé, click here to request a quote.

As things start to improve and your career stabilizes, you can take most or all of these items off your résumé.

Here’s wishing you a better 2021!

Related posts

3 Ways to Gain Control Over Your Career in a Recession

The past few weeks have been difficult for a lot of people. There are people who are sick from the coronavirus and missing their family members. Others have been working from home, or worse, been laid off. And we’re all facing a looming recession.

There was so much “white noise” on social media last week you may have missed my previous posts, including three different ways to help you gain some control over your career in these trying times. In case you missed it, here’s a compilation of those three things you may find useful now or in an upcoming recession.

How to gain control over your career amidst layoffs and a recession

Maybe you’ve been fortunate enough to continue working from home during this coronavirus quarantine. But perhaps you haven’t been so lucky.

Some folks have been told not to report to work. And since their job doesn’t lend well to remote work, they’re having to use precious vacation or sick days. Or worse, they’re being laid off.

If this is you, or could possibly be you in the near future, you probably feel like you have no control over your current career or job situation.

But, there are some things you can do to help you feel a little more in control, and can help you be better prepared in the event of a job loss.

1. Stay in control by updating your resume the right way

If it’s been a while since you last updated your resume, now is a good time to do so. It’s definitely more productive than spending your time watching Netflix while quarantined!

I’m sure there are several things you need to add to your resume since you last updated it. Which means you need to make room for those new things.

So how do you know what to get rid of to make way for the new info? I have several free videos, including one entitled:

What NOT to Share On Your Resume: 13 Things You Should Delete Immediately

You may not realize it, but there are probably some things on your resume that are hurting your chances of landing a job interview. They need to go! Find out what they are before you send your next résumé out by watching the video.

Once you’ve updated your resume, you have a chance of getting a free resume critique from paNASH. Details are available in the video.

2. Be prepared to become a freelancer during a recession

Even if you’re still able to work during the coronavirus quarantine, whether from your office or from home, let me ask you something:

Are you prepared to be a freelancer if forced to?

Think about it. If you lost your job tomorrow and couldn’t find another one right away, would you be able to pick up and start making some extra money?

Do you already have some other streams of revenue in place, like freelance work or a side hustle?

I’ve previously written about the importance of having multiple streams of income. You can’t rely on only one stream because it could evaporate tomorrow.

I’m not saying this to cause you to panic. Instead I say it to help you feel more productive and a little more in control of your current situation.

How to create multiple streams of income

Here’s what you have some control over. Sit down and make a list of skills you have that others would pay you to perform because they lack those skills. Also add to your list anything you own that others might want to rent on a short-term basis.

Decide which items on your list will take the least amount of time to start earning the most money.

Then, get the word out. Use your current social media profiles to do this. And join platforms you’re not already using. Start with the ones that make the most sense for your product or service.

You may be surprised what kind of response you get.

Forced to be a freelancer

Recently, my hairstylist’s husband was in between digital marketing jobs. Although he received several interviews and offers, the offers weren’t financially feasible based on his experience and the potentially long commutes.

While holding out for something more financially feasible, he took some home improvement jobs as a side hustle since he’s good at this sort of thing.

When one side hustle opportunity was completed, another one came along. Then it got to the point where he had so many side jobs to choose from it made more financial sense to make this his full-time gig!

He’s now making more money doing home improvement than he would’ve if he’d stayed in digital marketing.

Need help becoming a freelancer?

If you need help with the steps of starting a side hustle or work opportunity for yourself, let me know. I’ve successfully transitioned to working for myself and have helped several clients do the same.

3. Getting laid off? The #1 thing to ask for when you leave

Getting laid off is difficult and scary. It’s happening to so many people right now due to a recession caused by the coronavirus. It can make you feel like your career and your life is out of control.

On some occasions you can convince your boss or company that you’re worth keeping around. Such as when you’re able to show your past contributions to the company and the savings of letting you work remotely, using hard data. Hard data gets people’s attention.

But if your data doesn’t outweigh the data that supports letting you go, there’s still something you can negotiate.

Outplacement counseling

You can always ask your company to provide or include outplacement counseling in your severance package.

Outplacement counseling is simply another term for career coaching or job search assistance. It’s set up to help you find your next job more quickly, and to make a smoother transition to it.

Many companies already offer it in their severance packages. I know this because I’m often one of the people they pay to provide such a service for their employees.

Take advantage of outplacement

If your company already offers outplacement counseling, take advantage of it! I’m always surprised at how some people just toss this benefit aside. Their company has already paid for the service, yet some employees think they don’t need it.

Even if you don’t think you need outplacement counseling, use it! If you already have another job lined up, use it to help you prepare for your first year in your new job.

Career coaching isn’t just for helping you find a job. It’s also for helping you succeed in your next job and building your career. And everything discussed in your coaching sessions remains confidential. It will never be shared with your past employer.

Ask for outplacement

If you’re getting laid off due to the coronavirus, and your company doesn’t offer outplacement counseling, ask for it! What do you have to lose at this point?

If your company needs convincing, help them understand how it not only benefits you, but also their business. It protects the company’s brand and reputation. It mitigates the risk of litigation. And, it provides them the opportunity to do the right thing for their employees.

If your company agrees to pay for the service but doesn’t have anyone to provide it, tell them you know someone! Feel free to have them email me, Lori Bumgarner, at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com. I’ve provided outplacement counseling to hundreds of companies’ employees over several years, especially during times of recession.

Additional help when getting laid off

If your company says no to offering outplacement counseling, there are still some free and affordable resources here at paNASH, starting with paNASH’s on-demand programs and free career success videos. Click here to receive free access to the following videos:

Control what you can during a recession

Knowing what you can’t and can control means the difference between feeling panicked and empowered. Hopefully the tips and resources provided here will make you feel more empowered. I look forward to helping you navigate these uncertain times in your career!

Related posts