Reimagining your resume
Thanks david, i'm so happy to be here today and to talk to this phenomenal, panel, dr kelly monahan. Is a social scientist. And studies the future workforce. At accenture, research. Her writing has been recognized. And published, and applied in academic, journals. Catherine, minshew, is founder, and ceo, of the muse. A career, platform, used by more than 75, million people, she's also the author of the new rules of work and hosts a podcast, by the same name. Ian siegel, is co-founder. And ceo, of zip recruiter. A leading online, employment, marketplace, whose platform, actively, connects, millions of business to job seekers. Across all industries. Thank you all for being with us to offer your thoughts on reimagining. Your resume, and evolving, your skills. Kelly i'd like to start with you just to set the scene for us. What are you seeing in the data, about how the workforce. Is feeling these days. And what job seekers, could be focusing, on, yeah thank you so much for having me what a great question. You know within the data let's take a quick step back and realize, that covid19. Has put people in a state of shock. It has disrupted. All of our work lives to different degrees. Within the data set at accenture, research we're going out into market, every other week to collect data on people just like you and i to determine. How people feel about these shocks in the ripple down effect. We have found three unique experiences. That are influencing, the way people feel and i hope you can identify, yourself in one of these. The very first, is the disrupted. And displaced, worker. Let's be honest as of march 22, million jobs in the us have been lost. Labor report just came out today. Noting august. 8.4. Unemployment, rates. So it might be no surprise that we see within this workforce. Financial. Needs at the forefront. About 62, percent of global workers within our data set are reporting, high levels of job, insecurity. And so we've got very basic needs and feelings emerging at this level. The second experience, that's causing people to shift the way they feel. Is that of the underemployed. Worker, what does underemployment, mean, that means that people don't feel that they're using their skills, strengths and capabilities. Each day, now before covid, this was a third of all people. Today that numbers jump to well over a third, closer to 40 percent. And so be again no surprise, we're seeing workers, in this, persona. 52. Today are worried the shock all this distraction, we have for coven 19, is only going to exasperate, this problem. And this is causing, great emotional, and mental needs. And our third group which is probably many of us sitting on this panel today, are the remote worker. 57. Of people, have been, caused to work from offices, now into their homes and they have no experience, doing so. And i think one of the most alarming, things we're seeing in this data that's been very consistent, since covet 19 has hit. Is that 76. Of people are reporting. High, loneliness. And so we see relational. Needs and feelings coming to the forefront. As people are seeking to learn how to work in this, what we call an accenture never normal. And especially, understand, how do we connect with people through these technologies. So depending on your experience, the needs, vary. But there's one thing that i'm looking forward to discussing, this panel today. Is that no matter what your workforce, experience is whether you've been disrupted, displaced. Whether you're now remote. Here's the bottom line we've all got to focus on upskilling.
And New skilling, and figure out what are those skills that are going to get you the foot in the door. Thanks kelly that's super, interesting. Catherine, have the user, behaviors, that the muse, changed, these past few months, what are you seeing absolutely. Yeah it's been really interesting, to, watch the impact of covid. On how people are both looking for jobs and job search, and also looking for content, and advice on the muse so in the first category. Probably, surprising, to no one, but, remote, and flexible, jobs, have increased. Massively, we are seeing across, every geography. Every industry. A huge surge of people who are looking for jobs that can either, fully or partially be done from home. The the. Sort of recession, and the various. Economic, impacts, of cobit have also hit different. Sectors and different industries, unevenly. So we've seen an increase. In people looking for jobs, in companies that deal with, technology. Infrastructure, in some cases, healthcare, education. And then other sectors such as obviously, travel and hospitality. Have been very very hard hit and both, the number of people looking for jobs as well as the types of jobs they're looking for, is way down across almost every category. On the content side it's been interesting. Again, we've seen almost a i think 20x. Increase. In people looking for advice and content, on the muse, about, remote work, remote interviewing. Um, you know how do you stand out in a digital world because it is really different right you can't just, show up face to face, at a career fair or a recruiting, event, and expect to have the same sort of interactions. We're all now doing everything, over these virtual platforms, and so we're, we're seeing a lot of people. Who are coming to the muse. Obviously looking for jobs but also looking for that guidance, and looking for that advice. Um and then the last thing i would say, that, i'm really passionate about have been very very pleased to see in the data. Is that we've seen a um a really significant, increase. In, the. Numbers of people, looking for content, on, um how to assess if the workplace, they're thinking about joining, is an inclusive, one, so content, around, uh diversity. Around, building, belonging. And equity. Into the teams how do you assess, for this type of thing in the job search we're seeing a lot of interest, in that, in light of many of the broader national conversations. Around how do we create workplaces, that work for all of us because. You know i think covet has laid bare so many of, the challenges. Um and difficulties. That different populations, of americans, face on a day-to-day basis, and we're seeing. In a really interesting way in a way i think sets us up, um hopefully, powerfully, to build a better a better future, we're seeing both individual, employees. And companies. Start to really think about. How to, yeah how to build a better workplace and how to make that workplace, work better, for different populations, of employees. Absolutely, that sounds like a true reflection, of of where we are as a country today. That's really great to level set on, where people are emotionally, i bet a lot of our viewers, can relate to that, so let's talk about, specifics. Ian, is there something that a job seeker can do on their resume. To stand, out from all other applicants. All right.
Pay Attention, because i'm about to give you the most, important, piece of information. You need, if you are, in the process, of looking for work. Seventy, percent. Of resumes. That are submitted. For an application, to a job. Are read by a robot, before they are read by a human. At this point, the only purpose your resume, serves. Is to pass that robot, filter, to get to the human, so, what do you got to do in your resume, in order to get there. Number one, you got to use the most, boring, template, possible, i mean i want you to go to google docs, or microsoft. Word, use the generic, resume template they have there where it clearly, lists your title, the years of experience, you have, and then somewhere on that resume, i want you to list the skills, you have, and your level of expertise, with those skills. There are parsers, trying to extract that information. To put it in front of humans, so that they decide, which are going to be the final list, of vetted down candidates, that they're going to bring in for interviews. If you want to stand out, what you actually have to do right now is simplify. Make sure the robots, can read your resume, that's great advice, so simplify. In order to stand out. That's excellent. Some people are looking, for their, first job someone to take their career, in a different direction. Some may be re-entering, the workforce, because of a change in circumstances. With their loved ones. In my case, i, worked for. 13, years full-time. And made a choice to become a stay-at-home, mom to my three children. And when it came time to go back to work, i had a really, really tough time, i felt like i had to learn a whole new skill set, how would you counsel, people, who are trying to get a foot in the door, ian. Well, first off, there's really two different buckets, people fall into one is they left the workforce. For some reason, usually, personal, often family related. And in those cases. The thing you got to remember, is that's not an uncommon, story. Employers. Are encountering, that every time they post a job so you should just be open. And explain, the choice you made, and that you're ready to get back in that is a common narrative. What's happening today however. Is that more than 20 million people lost their job as a result of covid. And now a lot of them have to face the question of why were you expendable. I only have one piece of advice for you if you actually get to the interview stage and you get asked this, question. Never. Bash, either your former, employer, or your former boss, the only thing i want you to talk about, is what you learn from the experience. And how you're going to improve, going forward to make sure that you're never expendable. Again. Catherine, are you finding that similarly. I i could not agree more with what ian said, so i just want to plus one that it is a huge red flag for a lot of employers, when a candidate, speaks, poorly. Of uh of companies in the past because it makes them worry, would they do the same for me, um the other two pieces of advice i would give, one is that, um and i think this has come out in a lot of what uh, what the other panelists, have said, but um.
Many Employers, are looking, for, resilience. And looking, for, a learning mindset. Among the candidates, that they're hiring, and it makes sense right the entire, world, is different now, than we thought it would be, 6 12 months ago, and so. Candidates, that can show, that they are able to learn, and grow and that they have a track record of resiliency. I think are doing better, by and large than candidates that don't and that's a that's actually great news i think because. There's so many different opportunities. When you think about your own life to think about a time when you've been resilient. When you've learned and adjusted quickly, and so i would absolutely encourage people to think about that either in a cover letter if you're writing one, in a, job interview, etc. And then the last thing i would say and this harkens back a little bit to ian's point earlier, about. Making sure that your resume, is very clear, and very direct, and very simple, is that it's really helpful to include the same words, in your resume and your application. As you see in the job description. So a very simple tip that we often recommend, on the muse, is to actually print out a job description, that you're thinking of applying for, and use a highlighter. To highlight what are some of the most common words, skills. That the employer says they want, and then think about well obviously. You know being truthful and being authentic to your experience. But is there a way that you, um can use those same skills, don't use a synonym, sometimes it's helpful to literally just use, the same word if it's one that um, that you're that your application. You know is uh is justified, with, and that can help again both a human, and, um an applicant tracking system, say okay, we're looking for these things and the candidate has them. Wonderful, thank you kelly any research, insights, on getting, getting your foot in the door. Yeah you know as a social scientist i'm going to come from this probably with a bit of a different angle but something that ian and catherine have both hit on which i think is absolutely, instrumental, these days is that growth mindset. And that's the one thing you can control as ian mentioned, you know there's a lot of things outside of your control, as you go to submit that resume. But what's within your control, is making sure that you use every opportunity. Regardless, of the outcome. To actually learn from that experience, you know if your resume did not get picked up or you didn't get through the interviews. What did you do differently, what can you learn from this experience. And again going back to something i mentioned earlier. What does it take to build this growth mindset, especially to build this resiliency, muscle. During this shock environment. And what we know from research we're going to be releasing, soon. Is that when your needs are under stress and under shock your physical, mental emotional, relational. It's hard to show up each day with that mindset. So i'd like to give everyone advice to make sure that you're putting on your own oxygen, mask first taking care of your own core needs. That's going to allow you to show up when you get that foot in the door. Truly your authentic self and being able to show them that adaptability, resiliency. And so that's where i would add to that conversation. It's a particularly. Difficult, time, to change, fields. Because so many of these resumes, are reading your past experience. Sorry so many of these resumes are being read by software. That's extracting, your past experience, and if your experience, doesn't match, what the job description, says per what catherine, said they're not even going to show you to whoever the hiring manager, is, so this is a time. Where. It behooves, you if you want to change careers, and move into a new field, to try and find either a certification. Or a license, that you can go get, that provides. Validation. That you have the skills to do this job, even if you don't have the past work experience, to do this job, and honestly. It's an extraordinary. Time for single skill jobs, we call these new collar jobs and there is a. Raft, of them that have emerged, in the market, that provide. Middle-class. Lifestyles, with very little training required, whether it's flying a drone. Uh learning a software, like pro tools to support the 500, 000 people who are trying to make a living as a podcaster. Or even learning something like autocad, which is a little bit more advanced but then it opens you up to every field of architecture, and engineering. So, there's a surprising, number of jobs that require, mastery of a single software. Or. Acquiring, a single license or certification. You should definitely, think about getting that evidence, if you're trying to change careers right now. Ian there are many people job seeking now that have gaps.
Whether It was by choice as mine was to stay at home with my kids, or not. What is the best advice, you have for explaining, gaps. The important thing to understand about gaps, is a lot of people, have gaps. And so. As long as you have the skills, listed in your resume. And prior work experience, that should be enough to actually get you to the interview. Where you really have to confront the gap question, is when you're in the interview itself, and the interviewer, asks you why do you have this gap. The number one piece of advice i have is. Be honest. Be direct. And do and most importantly, you don't have to apologize, for a gap a lot of people have gaps in their work history. It's actually an opportunity, to show, more of who you are, and to give them insight, into things that are the soft skills that you will bring to the job, because most often. Gaps have to have to do with, either making a choice to stay home with family, or pursuing, a passion project for some period of time. So it sounds like sometimes, sharing your story, can be powerful. And can make you more attractive, to an employer. So let's talk about how you get the job you want during covet. Catherine are there any specific. Insights. On, on narrowing, that down. So, first of all i'd say as, kelly mentioned earlier. That, um, you've got to put your oxygen mask on first, which in this case i would say means it is a marathon, not a sprint. Know that you're going to have days that are great full of triumph, and days that are incredibly, challenging, where it doesn't feel like you're making progress, and that is part of the process, it is normal it is okay. Once you're in the thick of the job search first of all i always say it's quality, over quantity. What do i mean by that. Sometimes. People think, that, succeeding in the job search is just about blasting, out their application. To as many places as possible, and in some cases, that can help but in general especially, if you're looking for work that requires, skills. Where you need to really demonstrate. Why you're the best candidate, over a lot of other candidates. It's more, impactful. To, pick, a um, a smaller number of opportunities. But really tailor your materials. So again, look at what skills does this role require. What are the things that the job description. Is asking for and then how can i make sure, that my application. Materials, demonstrate. That i have those skills, and again i would say when you do get that chance, to interview, um do your homework, right, it is often very intimidating, for people to interview, i understand, that it can be intimidating, for me too, but um sometimes, people react by not preparing for the interview. And just kind of winging it, what i always recommend, is first of all research the company, what is, the culture, and the work environment, like, what are the values of the company, what sorts of things, might they be looking for in an employee, and then again think about some of the most common interview questions, and you can do a google google search for common interview questions the muse has a lot of advice, there's a lot of different places to get insight, but you can start to think about what might you get asked, how might you want to respond, and it's not about coming in with a canned answer, i think interviewers, do want to feel like you're having a genuine, back and forth conversation. But if you do that prep work, and you know why you're a good fit, um that goes a really really long way and that leads to my very last point which is sometimes.
When People are applying for jobs, they focus, very much on, why i want this job or why i need this job, but i have found and our data on the mu shows as well, that, most employers would prefer, for candidates to focus on, what they can bring to the company, so why are you the right person for the role, versus, why do you do you need or do you want the job, and that applies to your resume and cover letter it applies to the interview it applies, all the way through the process. Kelly what does your research, tell you about people, trying to switch. Industries. Where are the jobs going, what can people, focus, on, for reskilling. Or upskilling, themselves. Yeah you know it's a really interesting time we're in you know we know from decades of research that social skills, actually tend to be some of the most transferable, skills going into different industries, so whether that's communication. Interpersonal, skills. Those tend to be pretty industry agnostic. But the key question that we're trying to address through research, today is what's that premium, that you can get when you try to transfer, transfer to a different job or industry. And we're finding time and time and again you need to have those digital skills. Digital skills, really unlock, unlock the pathway, towards greater economic, opportunity. Better jobs, and so when you're able to have the social, plus digital skill set. You're going to have a pathway to many different industries. A couple industries, that we're seeing right now actually flourish, and thrive during these coveted times. Is right off the bat education, and health care. And typically you might not think of those as necessarily, high tech industries. But think about what's been happening, teachers now have had to be enabled along to work alongside technologies. Healthcare, options have had to move very quickly into digital solutions. And so if you have a skill set that allows you to service, people in a way that, robots, or technology, never can, at least for our, lifetime or the foreseeable, future. And then you also have that digital skill though that really elevates, you in your work. That we see is really unlocking. Uh brand new pathways. And so i think it's a really exciting, time to to double down to be honest with you and both the social but really the digital. And just to give you something practical what we're finding in our research that we're going to be releasing, later in this year, what digital skills are most in demand, and what are actually.
Workforce, Most fluent in as we say, we found these three skill sets. The first we're seeing cloud computing, rise as one of the most in demand skill sets, and one of the biggest skills gaps within the workforce, so i think there's a lot of opportunity, here. The second one is really around robotic, process automation. Being able to use automated, technologies, in such a way that makes. Organizations, much more efficient. And the third thing which is not quite a technology, but we're seeing statistical, analysis. So really being, able to use statistics. To help machines, learn and, artificial, intelligence. Are three key areas that we're seeing a lot of opportunity, and growth within our research. I love kelly what you said about, this focus on digital. And i also just want to remind people that there's one, very very very simple and basic digital skill, which anyone who's interviewing right now may want to think about brushing up on and that is literally. Using video technology. To interview or speak with employers. You would be surprised, how many people, are not, comfortable, yet. Loading up a video. Positioning themselves in the frame, knowing where to speak, if they're talking with somebody about a potential role. And that can in some cases actually be the difference, between an employer, feeling like you would be able to seamlessly, join their team, and adapt to digital work, or that it might be another struggle or another obstacle so again i would definitely encourage people, in addition to some of these more. High value professional, skills, to just, practice, get very comfortable with any technology, that you might be using, in the process of interviewing. Job searching anytime you're going to be interacting with the company, because the small things can, make a big difference, in in those first impressions. Research has been done multiple times that shows.
People Giving interviews. Make determinations. About the interviewee. In less than one second. And so. The awesome, thing about video interviewing, is you have 100. Control. Over that first second, you decide what they see, you decide whether you're smiling, you decide whether your bed is made whether your room is clean, you get to make a lot of choices. To advantage, you in getting off to a positive, start. You definitely, don't want the first impression to be one of you struggling. To get the video, technology, to work, this is particularly. True, for people who are 50 plus, who are finding it, difficult. During this covet period. To, successfully. Interview, and there is a lot. Of struggle. In that population. To find work right now, you can't use it as an excuse, i totally agree with catherine, if you're going to master one new skill. And it's a digital skill, it's got to be, using, your camera phone or the, the camera on your computer. And going back to what you just said, uh first impressions. First few seconds. What's the most important, thing, you believe that employers. Catch on to or zone into, as soon as they see a candidate. Well. There's a bunch of. Soft signals. Or cues that we give off, based on how prepared, we look, so, how are we dressed. How what does our hair look like, are we leaning forward, are we leaning back, these are the soft cues. But a lot of job seekers, actually struggle with anxiety, and they get into the interview. And they just feel like the thing they're supposed to do, is talk about themselves, talk about themselves. And in a way, they end up boring their interviewer, and missing the whole point of the interview because to what catherine said earlier, this isn't about you, it's about how you fit into that organization. So i have a hack for job seekers, who are nervous about interviewing, i'm going to give you. Your magical, first sentence, that's going to get you off, to a great start in any interview you do and no matter how corny or cheesy this sounds, i strongly. Encourage you to do it because you would be amazed. At what leading with positivity. Will do with the rest of the interview. The sentence i want you to use is, this. I'm so excited, to be here, because. Fill in the blank. And here's the thing. You got to do your research to fill in the blank, and by doing that research, you're going to be so much better prepared for this interview, i'm so excited to be here, because i've been a user of your product for years and i can't believe i might have the opportunity, to work on it i'm so excited to be here because i've heard about your company culture, by reading about it on glassdoor. Or, talking to friends who work at the company and i definitely could see myself being a part of it that's the kind of culture that i want to be in, you, immediately, not only, express. Interest. And, 50, of attraction, is you going first and expressing, interest, but the other thing you do is you start a conversation, about them. It is a natural reaction, for that interviewer. To yes and whatever you said, you like our product, yes we love our product our product wins awards.
Now You're talking about their product, that is a great place to be in any interview. Yeah passion for the job, passion for the company and passion for what you can bring to the company. It's been so great, talking with all of you all today, i'm sure our career day audience, is walking away with some great ideas, on how to adapt their resume and skills these days, i want to thank our panel for joining us today and i'll send it back to you. David.