5 Tips to Help Your Career Thrive During COVID-19

These are uncertain times. The pandemic has disrupted many careers. But whether the pandemic is a career stumbling block or opportunity depends on how you react to it.

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It certainly presents challenges, especially if you have been laid off. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your career on hold, attempting to just wait it out until the situation improves. There are still things you can do to move forward even now.

  1. Perform above and beyond

No surprise here. If you want to move ahead in your career, you have to perform well in your job. Without doing that, nothing else will work.

Don’t let the disruption affect your performance. Established routines may be in some disarray, but you cannot let that affect your focus and your goals. To stay on track, assess your situation, establish priorities and a plan of action. Don’t get sidetracked doing tasks that are unimportant or take on too many projects. Concentrate on the important stuff. Multitasking – trying to do more than one task at the same time – doesn’t work. In fact, it can really reduce productivity.

  1. Don’t be a perfectionist

While you want your work to be superior, you need to also be on guard against perfectionism. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, which can harm productivity. It can also lead to procrastination and wasting too much time on minor details. Stopping this behavior means realizing that doing something well does not mean it has to be flawless. One good rule of thumb to follow – treat the difficult task as though it were easy, and the easy task as though it were difficult.

  1. Advertise your achievements

Many think that if we work hard, our accomplishments will speak for themselves, and higher ups will notice our work. But it usually doesn’t happen. To advance in your career, you have to increase your exposure and sell yourself and your accomplishments.

Some of us naturally shy away from the idea of tooting our own horn, believing it gives the appearance of egotism or arrogance. But you need to get past this misguided conception. To get ahead, it is important to let others know what you can do and what you have accomplished.

One tip: every quarter, send your manager a report of the things you’ve accomplished in the last three months and how ongoing projects are progressing. These reports can come in very handy come your annual review.

  1. Network

This is essential if you want to move ahead in your career. It’s something you should be doing whether you are looking for a job or not. Making connections can help in many different ways – gaining new information and insights, learning about trends, learning about job opportunities.

You need to go beyond your immediate circle of colleagues and build relationships with people in other departments and in other companies. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn make this much easier to do.

  1. Lend a hand

One of the best ways to build goodwill and good relationships with others is to volunteer to help them. If you take the time to listen to others, try to understand their problems and offer solutions, you will develop a reputation as someone willing to go above and beyond, a team player and a problem solver.

You don’t have to sacrifice time for your own work to do this. You just need to be selective about what extra projects to take on.

  1. Keep growing

Growing in your career doesn’t just happen. In addition to doing the things mentioned above, you need to continually challenge yourself, to take on new and different projects to help you develop new abilities and skills. This may be uncomfortable. You may have to learn a lot of new information, ask people for help, and do things you are not used to, but the rewards will be worth it.

Whether you’re looking for a full-time career position, or a part-time, temporary opportunity, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities and then follow directions to apply to the ones that interest you.

Resume Rules for the 2020s

Technology has made work more complicated because it requires more sophisticated job skills. It’s also made looking for work more complicated because it takes longer to explain exactly what we accomplished and how.

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Plus, many recruiters and HR professionals now use technology that screens resumes for certain keywords, keywords that are supposed to show a candidate has the needed experience and know-how to do the job.

Submitted resumes tend to head first to a company’s recruitment database, allowing recruiters to find several candidates with the exact skills they’re looking for in mere seconds.

And, with the pandemic making it even harder to look for work, now what?

Here’s what:

Resume Rules for the 2020s

  • Focus!

Your resume needs to be as focused as possible on the particular job to which you’re applying. Does that mean you’ll need to change up the resume for every job? Yes!

Don’t worry, you won’t need to do a complete re-write; but you do need to re-work it so that you clearly showcase the skills and background you possess that the job description requests.

  • Create a resume that speaks to both the computer algorithm’s and the recruiters/hiring manager’s needs.

How to do so? Make the resume’s first page all about the position’s needs, such as skills and education/experience background. Doing so will help it rank higher in the recruiter’s search results because the keywords that describe your job skills and education, etc., often are the same keywords the company’s computer looks for.

You also should have a descriptive phrase at the beginning of that first page that “tells a story” about how you can do the job.

Doing so helps draw the recruiter in and helps make the argument that your resume is one to look at, thus encouraging the recruiter to read your resume carefully.

  • The “resumes should be one-page only, unless you have a LOT of experience” rule really no longer applies.

Not that you should pack everything into your resume. No. But if you have a lot of experience that’s applicable to the job opening and you can stay focused on showcasing how that experience and skills applies to this job (and you edit that experience tightly), a two- or even three-page resume should be fine.

Here’s why: leaving out relevant keywords and information could mean the database algorithm misses your resume and you’ll thus have less of a chance of it being read and – most importantly – “selling” whoever reads it on your skills.

Don’t worry: recruiters are happy to read “long” resumes…so long as they provide value.

Bottom line: the key to resume success in 2020 is to include appropriate keywords AND making it easy for a recruiter/hiring manager to see how you’ll provide value and help the company solve the problems the position is supposed to solve.

Most people don’t know how to do this. But you now do. So move ahead: create a resume that does that and you’ll have a leg up on other people applying for the same position!

Helpmates always is looking for great people to work on assignment with our clients. Take a look at our current opportunities and, if one or more look interesting, follow the listing’s instructions to apply.

 

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