The pandemic resume

Published 6:58 pm Friday, November 27, 2020

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By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Have you updated your resume lately? For many people, the coronavirus has forced changes in their employment. The Department of Labor advises that whether you are a current job seeker or not, you should take this opportunity to update your resume with your teleworking skills. We may not like this situation of forced adjustments in our work nature. The truth of the matter is that skills that you have acquired have added more to your value in the workplace.

Recently, I was reviewing information about a writer’s conference. One of the video advertisements mentioned how much traditional publishing has changed for new writers who submit book proposals for potential publishing. Writing coach Angelo Enos stated, “We are not just writers anymore. We are businessmen, videographers and marketing geniuses all at the same time.” The first part of her statement really resonated with me. How many of us can honestly say that we are just (fill in the blank) anymore?

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, our professional and personal roles in life were likely more easily defined. There has been so much intersection of roles and responsibilities lately that one singular title is no longer accurate.

I hate resumes. Although I am fully capable of writing resumes, it is not the type of writing that I enjoy. Some say that a good resume tells an interesting story. In my opinion, resumes fall short of presenting the actual person named at the top of them. Past accomplishments listed in bullet fashion emphasizing quantitative highlights are not impressive to me.

What does a resume header truly convey in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic? Our resumes as they stand today are false now that this pandemic has changed several of the jobs that we once held or are currently serving. If your header only says one word, such as barista, you are lying. If you are still in the ancient days of using objectives to state your desired job title, I am certain that any role anyone is playing right now is not what they envisioned.

Before you become my collective Amen Corner, please know that I am not the enemy of the resume. I am drawing your attention to the expansion that has taken place in our professional development. Be honest. How much have you taught yourself over the past few months? Whose role could you step into right now and likely do a better job than they are? How much grace have you been given to be all that you can be in this season where nothing is guaranteed? You have done it by the grace of God and the allowances of this pandemic.

Much of what you have done is not in your job description. That fact should not be used as arms against your employers but rather as credit to your adaptable skill. Look at how well you have managed to pivot in this season. To pivot is an act of acceptance and commitment. Pivoting requires willpower and willingness to have the right perspective during change.

Perhaps someone will soon retire the resume and develop a more appropriate narrative of our success. Until then, it is best that your resume is up to date. To all the telework champions, domestic engineers, double-duty gatekeepers and multi-service administrators that are leveling up during this pandemic, I see you. Thank you for all that you do.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Connect with her via