For anyone looking for a job, you want to use the relevant words that indicate that you know 1. About the industry you’re in, 2., The role you’re applying for, and 3. The company you want to work for. This requires some use of common phrases and words connected to the job descriptions. 

2020 and the Job Search

However, like the phrase “uncertain times” and the word “unprecedented” there’s a few other words in rotation due to the job landscape of 2020:

  • Pivoting
  • Rebranding
  • Retooling
  • Shifting

What do all of these words have in common?

They point to change. They reflect thinking differently about work now that jobs have been lost or folks have been furloughed. This particular time in our lives has also been a catalyst for people who have been thinking about finding a new job for months, long before the pandemic began.

What does this mean for me?

What this means is that you can consider tangible ways to reposition yourself for a new job. It may be more of a Plan B job, but you can still use your materials wisely to market yourself for new opportunities that become available. Below are four things to keep in mind:

1. Professional Summaries

Placed after your header and before your work experiences on a resume, they’re a great way to provide context for what you’ve done and the skills you want to leverage now. Sometimes past jobs don’t convey the next move we want to make. You can take the most relevant skills and accomplishments and highlight those in a professional summary. In one paragraph, you can pitch yourself for the job you want and point the employer in the right direction.

2. Career Competencies

Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve looked for work and you’re not sure what appeals to employers today. There’s a term that employers and career counselors are using now called “Career Competencies” as it relates to college students’ readiness for the workforce. Okay, so you’re no longer in school but think for a minute about how much you’ve gained at this point with the following: 

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Career Management
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency

If you’ve ever been stumped about what key skills employers are looking for now, the above list of words is what they value and look for in candidates. Look at your work history and take inventory of what you already have. This is also a great confidence booster!

3. Job Responsibilities vs. Accomplishments

Hiring managers have a lot of applications to go through and they can’t spend too much time on one. For that reason, make your resumes and cover letters engaging. Write about what you achieved, and contributed. A list of what you did is not only bland but you run the risk of writing out your job description instead of what you accomplished. Your application is more memorable when you stand out in that bulleted content.

There’s a lot that can be done with words to convey what you bring to the table. Need help? Contact us at

Upcoming & Past Career Events:

There are a number of Career Development Center events happening in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for upcoming programs with top employers in your industry. RSVP using the links below to receive Zoom joining info:

Check out our previous event recordings in our recent career event round-up:

Categories: Tuesday Tips