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    The ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) epidemic has caused major disruptions in the way that businesses function. With the rise in infection rates, the situation continues to pose as a challenge to various industries worldwide as operations come to a halt and as thousands of people are faced with the challenges of reorienting work practices and policies in compliance with social distancing and disease prevention measures. 

    According to an assessment by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), unemployment is on the rise due to the economic consequences of the virus outbreak. COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on employment, as outlined by immediate concerns relating to the health of workers and their families, as well as the quantity and quality of job opportunities that are available, leading to the reduction in work hours and wages as companies struggle to stay afloat. The ILO forecasts undesirable effects on specific industries and groups who are more vulnerable to negative market outcomes. 

    Here are some tips that you can apply in order to stand out in your job search during this outbreak: 

    1. Highlight special skills

    Since a significant number of jobs have moved to modified arrangements such as working from home, working under reduced hours, or minimising transmission by refraining from gathering in large groups, those with excellent communication skills will stand out. You need to highlight what makes you special and what makes you the ideal candidate. You can do so by including information such as sales figures, awards and recognitions, promotions, and special projects. You may also include significant contributions, especially if they led to the success of projects. This information can be highlighted under your employment history as “key achievements”.

    You also need to highlight how your skills will give you an advantage in the work environment. The use of various communication tools such as Skype, Zoom and other technologies feature prominently in these current arrangements. It is also important to highlight self-motivation skills, as new circumstances call for significant amounts of unsupervised work where there are limited opportunities to be mentored. Moreover, high levels of organisation and prioritisation will be highly regarded. 

    Lastly, learning and absorbing information in an agile and active manner are also important skills. Highlight these in your resume, as recruiters will be searching for prospects who are well suited to working in challenging and unusual circumstances. 

    • Focus on transferrable skills        

    Transferable skills can cover a wide array of attributes such as leadership and team management, sound problem solving and analysis, teamwork, communications, time management, prioritisation and task management. These, along with the ability to think outside of the box are considered transferrable because they apply to a wide array of roles. Employees from all levels and with different specialisations who possess these skills will stand out to a potential recruiter.

    The challenge in succeeding and securing your desired role isn’t only about current technical proficiency in job-specific tasks, but also, communicating to potential employers that you have the fundamental and sought-after skills and attributes that will enable you to receive mentoring, coaching, and direction. As mentioned earlier, highlight your ability to absorb information and your willingness to learn for the most impactful resume.

    • Emphasise adaptability and openness to change 

    In the current job environment, flexibility, resilience, and adaptability are paramount values as change can and will occur within most organisations. Strategic, leadership, process, and technological changes take place with very little notice in response to challenges created by the outbreak. According to the ILO assessment, more and more companies will hire employees who are capable of transitioning through rapidly evolving circumstances.  

    Resilience and openness to change are valued attributes as these are abilities required in easing tension and creating smooth processes within teams. As such, skills such as effective communications, initiative, and sound organisation of time and resources must be highlighted front and centre. It is essential be able to communicate to your employer that you are capable of adopting standards whilst maintaining consistency in order to create a more dynamic and innovative workplace. 

    • Widen your search          

    If you are having difficulty searching for prospects because of limited postings due to the outbreak, you may find more opportunities if you expand your search and cast a wider net. You may also try alternative platforms to apply for jobs – explore government websites, company job portals, and sites such as Indeed, Seek, and others. LinkedIn has a role advertising feature that will allow you to put your profile out there for employees to see. Working with recruitment agencies may also allow you to take advantage of wider job searches and existing relationships with employers.

    Moreover, you may leverage existing and previous relationships with clients, employers, and organisations to look for openings. Look outside your usual scope and expand your search to related industries where you may find success in transferring your skills and applying your existing knowledge to similar roles.

    • Optimise your resume for ATS readability. 

    With reduced HR capability due to suspensions and social distancing measures, more and more companies take advantage of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) scanners, which rely on keyword richness in order to highlight resumes that stand out. These keywords must be prominent in your resume, as tracking software pick out the most compatible submissions from a recruitment pool. Use keywords that represent soft skills and hard skills aside from the expertise that you have acquired over the years that qualify you for your desired role. Moreover, clearly outline key sections such as Core Competencies and Professional Skills in order to produce a document that is coherent, and organised, and leverages your most significant values, skills, and qualities in relation to the roles you are applying for.

    Aside from keywords, layouts and design formats matter when it comes to ATS. Pick a simple yet readable format, free from graphics and tables, which will highlight information in a more streamlined manner.  You can consult a professional on ATS readability, and a consultant will help you improve your credentials by applying tried and tested principles in working around ATS constraints. 

    In this current economic and labour environment, most companies remain functional and have instituted some form of modified working arrangements. Businesses must undergo effective change management to prevent the worst effects of the outbreak from impacting profitability and productivity.  In order to fare well in your search for prospects, it is essential you demonstrate resilience in highlighting important skills that show your fitness to assume critical roles. 

    Brisbane Resume is the leading choice in ATS-friendly resumes. Contact us today to find out more, and let us assist you in creating professional documents to stand out in these trying times. 

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