What if we Added 2020 to Our Resumes?

We’ve been managing our families’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year, and I, for one, would like my participation trophy.

Humor me for a moment.

In a period of the quickest and most significant skill development of our adult lives, what do we have to show for it? Sure, we have vast collections of memes, yoga pants, and mask selfies. Maybe your sourdough starter is still going strong, or you’re still working your way through that toilet paper hoard. We still don’t have, however, anything that truly conveys the transferable skills that helped you to navigate a world of new social, educational and professional norms.

What if we added 2020 to our resumes?

Imagine a formal, polished record of your demonstrated expertise in communication, innovation and creativity. Envision written examples of your adaptability and resiliency in a time of fast-paced change amid emotional distress.

Did you arrange a car parade for a pandemic birthday? That’s problem solving. Did you attend a virtual happy hour or bridal shower? That’s relationship building and technical savvy.

And seriously: why not? A resume is a perfect format to encapsulate the roles and responsibilities you took on to handle this past year. Here’s the thing: with a master copy of your resume, you can selectively tailor and edit it for each job application. Chances are, you will never apply for a position using this version of your resume.

You will, however, document how amazing you are in a situation that calls for flexibility and multitasking. It may be an appreciated reminder next time you take on a challenge like applying to a new job. Plus, these examples may come up in a future networking opportunity or perhaps when you speak to your grandchildren’s class in 2060.

Feel free to borrow and use for your own resume entry. Here is what mine may say:

The Great Pivot, March 2020-present

Full-time remote employee
Administrator, Remote Elementary Learning Site
Coordinator, Grocery and Food Delivery Services

  • Supervised logistically complex remote schedule for elementary student including daily synchronous meetings, daily asynchronous lessons, six distinct weekly Zoom links, biweekly special area subjects rotation, and weekly changes to small group assignments/times
  • Coordinated daily screen time allotment, including clear communication of expectations, suspension of limits when appropriate/necessary and adjudication of policy violations
  • Facilitated and participated in meetings utilizing a variety of video conferencing platforms, including Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger Rooms
  • Provided technical support for situations ranging from internet outages to explaining Zoom to senior relatives
  • Oversaw redesign for functional work/learning spaces serving two remote employees and two students, including purchase and assembly of desks, chairs, lighting and storage systems
  • Managed competing demands on workday focus and attention by addressing and resolving issues such as potty training, verbal conflicts over shared resources (Legos, phone chargers) and repeated snack requests
  • Developed proficiency in diverse learning management systems, including Clever, Seesaw, Canvas, Dreambox, and Lexia
  • Improved personal competencies in the areas of dog walking, sudoku, wrinkle treatment, and recognizing when I’m on mute

If you added a 2020 section to your resume, what would it say?

Susie is a mom of two, book-lover and frequent challah baker. In addition to working at The University of Iowa, Susie is a PTA volunteer and sorority advisor. She loves date nights in the Ped Mall, catching a show at the Englert, and most of all, cuddling her family on the couch.


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