Competition is fierce for jobs right now. Which makes it even more crucial to make your CV stand out in a crowded post-covid field.
It’s still important to show you have the specific hard skills needed to do the potential role, but employers are now also keyed into the soft skills that will be an asset in the era of coronavirus.
And if you were made redundant at the start of lockdown or after the end of furlough, you can use these facts to show you’re a stellar candidate in challenging times.
So let’s look at five things we think it’s worth weaving in to your CV.
Even before the pandemic, the trait of adaptability had shot up many employers’ wishlists (we wrote more about this in-demand soft skill, here).
With technology rapidly changing the business landscape, savvy businesses realised they needed staff able to adapt to shifting priorities.
Now in a global crisis when many employers have had to quickly change their working processes, it’s a no-brainer that they want people who they can rely on to roll with the punches - whether that’s adjusting to a sudden new way of working from home, or being able to pivot quickly to a new business model caused by the pandemic.
If you were working in an office when lockdown hit, you’ll probably have needed to start working from home. Can you show how you were able to think up some practical solutions to make a success of this sudden transition? Are there any times when you’ve adapted to manage stressful situations at work in the past? Or perhaps you’ve had a previous job in hospitality, when the business you were working for had to pivot to delivering all their goods at the start of lockdown.
Resilience is another soft skill prized by employers. So aim to draw attention to times when you’ve persevered with tricky tasks or challenges.
Be honest if you found working from home tricky at first, but think about how you learned to handle it - and made it work for you and your employer. Realistically, remote working will be the norm for the time being so it’s important to show that you now view it as a positive.
The ability to just get on with the job is important if you’re working in a physical workplace. But in a business landscape where many new roles involve working from home, new starters who are self-motivated have risen to the top of many employers’ wishlists.
Just as important? Showing that you can work just as well on your own as in a team-based environment – and have a sense of purpose even if you’re not surrounded by colleagues.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a time of great worry and loss - and for many people, just getting through the last few months is an achievement in itself.
But if you have managed to achieve anything during lockdown, make sure you highlight this. This might be working on your professional development by learning a new skill. Or maybe you decided to use your free time to get involved in your community, helping people who needed shopping or prescriptions delivering as a support volunteer.
Even if the experiences you talk about aren’t strictly work-related, an employer will be able to see values and experiences in you that will make a difference to their team.
That bit on your CV when you talk about your ‘excellent communication skills’? It’s time to give these a post-pandemic twist.
Good interpersonal skills make you a more attractive candidate, no matter the job you’re going for. But as many businesses aren’t sure when their workforces will be returning to a physical workplace - if at all - being able to communicate over a screen or phone is crucial at the moment.
So include pointers that highlight how you feel comfortable communicating online - and show off your tech skills.
If you haven’t worked before, that could include coordinating extended family quizzes via Zoom or perhaps you’ve honed your skills troubleshooting relatives’ IT problems over video during the pandemic.
You needn’t be a tech guru, just show how you’ve been able to get to grips with the different platforms people have been using to communicate.
Telling your pandemic story
You’ll still need to tailor your CV specifically to each job you’re going for, and include words and phrases that appear in the job advert and description.
But what also counts now more than ever is telling your story. At HR GO, we’ve talked before about how this paints a picture of how you are and boosts the chances of making a connection with a potential boss who’s reading it.
Everyone has their own story to tell of living and working during a pandemic. Tell yours well, and your experience can show why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Interested in finding out what employers are looking for in new remote employees? Read our advice to businesses recruiting virtual members of the team, here