With business closures and reduced hours, job cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic have become part of our new reality.
But, it may comfort you to know that there are industries that have ramped up their hiring in response to the global pandemic. For example: e-commerce, retail, supply chain, logistics, health care and pharmaceuticals. It’s also reassuring that most of the jobs created during the pandemic don’t require past experience or training.
Although you still have to rewrite your resume to highlight certain soft skills and transferrable experience.
We’ve written before how to make a career change resume. Most of our advice still applies. But since the job market has changed, the kinds of positions you’re applying for will change too.
If you somehow find yourself in industries outside of your experience (or below your former level), you’ll have to rewrite your resume to showcase the skills that the employers are looking for now.
Customising your resume for a specific role
A lot of jobs being created nowadays are related to e-commerce. This means that there’s a greater demand for employees in call centres, shipping/receiving operations, warehouses and inventories, deliveries, driving and so on.
Although these roles don’t require specialised training or past experience, employers are looking for transferrable skills. That’s why your resume should still be tailored to show that you have the skills they’re looking for.
Below is what you need to follow when applying for roles that are new to you:
- Do quick internet research to familiarise yourself with the skills needed in that role
- Write an opening statement on your resume and mention the skills they’re looking for
- Create a skills list section (called ‘Core Competencies’ or ‘Core Skills’ section) to mirror the skills in the job ad – this will work well in terms of matching relevant keywords on your resume
- Review and edit your job descriptions to include examples of how you used those skills
Dumbing down your resume for a lower position
Many of the jobs created during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to be temporary. Employers anticipate that most of their new hires will move on once the situation levels out.
But this doesn’t mean that you have to be complacent. You still need to customise your resume when applying for lower-level roles to present yourself as the best candidate for the job.
- Mention the job title in your opening statement (e.g. “As a Delivery Driver, I intend to bring my time management and safety skills obtained from my former roles”)
- Rewrite your bullet points to highlight skills more than your job duties (e.g. for a former Flight Attendant, focus on your customer service, problem-solving or sales skills rather than conducting safety demonstrations and/or serving guests)
- Exclude irrelevant information (e.g. advanced certifications and/or specific computer programs that are not required in your target role)
Is it OK to leave jobs off my resume?
We strongly advise not to remove your irrelevant jobs.
Removing positions could create gaps in your employment history. This could throw all sorts of red flags.
Instead of removing irrelevant roles, try to spin the job descriptions by focusing more on the skills you’ve acquired in each past position.
Is it OK to modify my job titles for a lower-level position?
Have you considered dropping the word ‘Manager’ from your job title so as not to come across as overqualified?
Personally, we think that job titles don’t mean anything. A quick background check by a potential employer could also easily prove any discrepancies.
Although in general, it’s OK to adjust your job title for as long it’s still an honest representation of the work you’ve performed in the past.
For example, if you were a Customer Service Manager at a smaller organisation and trying to apply in a bigger company at a lower position (say, a Contact Centre Agent), consider including the actual job title in parentheses.
- ABC Company, Customer Service Manager (equivalent to Customer Service Specialist)
For more ideas on how to craft winning resumes, take a look at these samples.
Looking for a free resume template, download here now.