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How to talk about the skills you learned during the pandemic

14 Feb 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough, but for jobseekers it may have given them a chance to highlight a new set of skills.

While the pandemic is still ongoing, the lifting of restrictions and ongoing vaccine roll-out has seen a lot of society return to some semblance of normality.

Meanwhile, as the ‘great resignation’ sweeps across the world, there are many workers who have been re-evaluating their working life and considering new jobs.

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But while the pandemic made a lot of people’s working life harder and left many others without work, it also may have given some professionals a new set of skills.

These skills will prove to be extremely valuable for many employers and it’s important that you’re able to explain these new abilities in a job interview. Here are just some of them.

Remote communication

A lot of us had to suddenly adjust to working remotely, which also meant having to communicate effectively with our team remotely as well.

Communication has always been a vital skill in most jobs but there are some key differences to communicating over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. When going for your next interview, make sure to talk about your ability to communicate in a remote team.

Adaptability and flexibility

The pandemic forced our hand when it came to being adaptable. Simply upending our usual working life almost two years ago was a test in adaptability in itself.

But beyond that, what else changed about your role or your working life? What other differences did you have to adapt to?

Think about all the things that changed in and around your working life over the last two years and how you dealt with each change. This will show prospective employers how flexible you really are.

Creativity

The sudden changes brought on by the pandemic also presented new problems for many industries, forcing them to tackle problems in new ways or face an entirely different set of challenges.

Did you take the lead on any new projects over the last two years? Did you come up with new creative ideas to help the business? Or did you simply think of a way to change your own role for the better?

Drastic changes within working life can lead to many workers flexing their creative muscles. Make a note of when this happened for you and be sure to explain those situations to future hiring managers as a sign of your creativity and problem-solving skills.

Time management

One of the biggest changes to the working world as a whole was the move to remote working for a significant amount of time. Even now, employers have used the pandemic as an opportunity to explore changes to the way we work, from hybrid models to four-day weeks.

Being able to show how you manage your time will continue to be important for employers, but it has become an easier skill to talk about due to the changes over the last two years.

Think about how you managed your time while working from home. Did you adjust the way you set out your workday? How did you take advantage of remote working to complement your workload? Did you discover new ways to manage your time?

Leadership skills

Did you find yourself taking the lead on any projects or leading a team during the pandemic? Even if ‘manager’ or ‘team lead’ isn’t part of your job title, taking on a leadership role in some way may have been part of your job due to the sudden changes brought on by the pandemic.

You may have even had to step into your manager’s shoes or give them a dig-out while they had to focus on the bigger picture as Covid-19 took hold.

Don’t discount these as times when you were simply helping out. If you had to lead in any way, you would have been developing leadership skills. This might not be immediately clear based on your current title, so be sure to talk about it in your next interview.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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