Here are four things to do while preparing your CV for a job-search exercise now or in the post-COVID world

Future-readiness: ‘Announce it to the recruiters’

The covering letter is as important as the resume, but has a different focus. While the resume dwells on what you have done, a good covering letter will seek to explain how you are aligned with the work culture of the times and how you will fit into the organisation.

So, if you are looking for a job now, the covering letter should discuss what you can bring to the table and add value, during these difficult pandemic times; and also your future-readiness.

“For instance, remote working is going to be a significant feature of the future of work; and if you have managed distributed teams in the past and have yourself done a lot of remote-working, highlight these facts,” says Hena Mehta, founder and CEO, Basis, a fintech start-up.

A recruitment manager points out that if one is flexible about the nature of the contract — permanent or project-based employment — they should declare it.

Gigging is the future, and if you are willing to work under a project-based contract system and have the ability to run a team of gig workers, say it aloud.

The PAR strategy: ‘Discuss your relevance’

While highlighting professional experience and accomplishments, follow the PAR (Problem, Action, Result) principle, which helps the hirer to get a quick idea of what you have achieved. Most important of all, you have to have a footnote to each accomplishment explaining how that is going to make you a valuable team member during the current crisis.

For example, you might have created new revenue streams for a business though it had to shut down a vertical function. If you are a fresher, discuss your internship experience, and how that would fit in with any pandemic-triggered requirements the company may be having.

Hena gives an example: If you had stemmed a customer churn through your efforts in your previous job, mention it.

Skip explaining why you are looking for a new job, unless it will bring value to the application. “If you are switching from a large company to a start-up, then you may have to provide the context for the decision,” says Hena.

If you have been laid-off due to organisational restructuring necessitated by the pandemic, your resume should mention that. There are job portals and companies that prioritise resumes of those who have been laid-off.

Going visual: ‘Try out a video resume’

COVID -19 has accentuated the need for remote hiring processes, and so a video resume will be in order.

The National Career Service (NCS) portal, a tech-based initiative by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has introduced a video-profile functionality feature on its platform. Existing users as well as new members can upload their video profile with details about themselves, their skill-sets, the areas of interest, each element not exceeding 20 seconds.

“Video feature is being used to filter candidates based on communication skills, attitude and technical knowledge,” says Chocko Valliappa, CEO, HireMee, a Bengaluru-based AI-based assessment platform that enabled this feature.

To make your video resume stand out, be dressed as if you are at office; and prepare talk points before recording the video.

NCS has also added an assessment feature where verbal, quantitative and logical skills of a candidate are measured along with a psychometric test.

Transferable skills: ‘Acquire them, flaunt them’

Transferable skills — which include communication, problem-solving and organisational skills — will be highly sought-after in the new normal, and present assignments where your displayed these skills thereby benefitting your previous employers. It is equally necessary that you present these skills prominently in your resume, as also adding in enough keywords so that you give your resume a good chance of making it to the top search via recruiters.

Having an irresistible resume, takes some doing, and that necessarily includes upskilling. If you have been furloughed from work, make use of the time to pick up new skills via Coursera and other learning platforms. It is a good idea to opt for courses that comes complete with certification.

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