17th May 2021
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Level Up Your Skills: Working Through Covid-19 – Part 2

Level Up Your Skills Working Through Covid-19 Part 2
By Michelle Sciarrotta

With ongoing uncertainty surrounding the entertainment industry around the world, people are changing the way in which they are working through Covid-19. Many are embarking on a change of career, with necessity moving great numbers into other industries as we find other ways of working.

Writing a CV and covering letter for a change of career

Totaljobs.com offer some great guidance on writing a standout CV, whatever your situation. To get started, they have created a very helpful CV template specifically for those who are changing career here.

“Most employers spend just 8 seconds scanning each CV before sticking it in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ pile.”

Keep it short

Remember that employers will only spend seconds making a first decision, so keep your CV under 2 pages of A4, and down to 1 page if possible.

Keep it relevant

The best way to make sure your CV is appropriate for a new job is to tailor it to each application, and even create different CV edits specifically for different roles so that they are as relevant as can be.

Talk about your skills rather than your jobs

When you are seeking a career change, it’s preferable to list your relevant skills that you’ve acquired rather than focusing on your previous roles. A good way to demonstrate this on a CV is to highlight your skills with bullet points instead of listing your work experience in the traditional way.

Totaljobs.com offer a full array of CV templates for different job needs and scenarios here.

Use your personal statement and covering letter to express yourself

Explain how your skills and experience relate to this sector in your personal statement, and speak positively in your covering letter about your previous roles, and any voluntary or charity work that is relevant.

Address any gaps in your professional timeline here, and always express your enthusiasm for the job you’re applying for.

This is your opportunity to inject a little personality into what is a formal and impersonal process, so tactfully explain why you’re the best person for the job.

Get someone to proofread

I know of several people who will scan CVs and put them straight in the ‘No’ pile if there are obvious mistakes early on. Unfortunately, when employers are sorting through hundreds of applicants this is commonplace.

The reasoning is that avoidable mistakes seem lazy; it makes the applicant appear inattentive and like there is a lack of effort – undesirable traits for any employee. Get someone to proofread your CV and covering letter before you send anything off.

Make it stand out

There are a lot of excellent templates available for free that not only look fantastic but are practical and intuitive to use, and can be easily edited and saved.

Canva.com have a broad range of professional resumé templates that are categorised by industry, which can be another helping hand to knowing what is common practice when moving into another sector.

Find a Canva professional resumé template here.

Finding a role in a new sector

It’s good to talk

While the internet connects us all quicker than ever before, researching opportunities can be overwhelming at times. Often it is difficult to really understand the realities of certain roles and industries until we see things for ourselves, and this is where the human element comes in.

When you have found a potential lead on a new sector, find real people to talk to and get informed. This might be as simple as reading through an online forum, finding a social media group or thread that explains things in detail, or reaching out to find someone in-the-know to answer your questions.

Don’t go it alone

So many people right now are changing how and where they work through Covid-19 and are in similar situations. Reach out to your network, both your professional peers and otherwise to find opportunities. Remember, most work is building relationships and word of mouth is not to be underestimated.

Likewise, pass on roles that you may see to people in your network and share ideas and supportive vibes.

Another great way to take the pressure off you is to sign up with recruitment companies, as their consultants will be able to talk to you about your skills and help you with your job search.

It is likely they will have a good understanding of what potential roles are currently out there, and will be able to provide advice and support to best help you through the transition period, such as where to focus your attention, and how to continue your professional development most effectively.

Read Part One: Level Up Your Skills: Working Through Covid-19 – Part 1

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:


Women’s Audio Mission: Free Online Learning Resources

Sophia Dalton: Interview with a London based Stage Manager

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