JOB SEARCHING DURING A PANDEMIC
Updated: Aug 1
Although, not surprisingly, most say jobs are impossible to find given the current economic climate, that is not necessarily true. Yes, there are fewer opportunities, however, they do exist. What is the secret? It is pretty much the same as it was when I wrote a LinkedIn article in January of this year. That was about starting off the new year making resolutions and changes. Who knew what would happen in 2020? Even in January, I described how the landscape for finding jobs has changed over the years, mainly due to technology. Now there are more changes.
Here are a few tips since competition will be fierce. Put yourself out there and ignore the competition. If you have the experience, skills and are applying for the correct jobs, you might stand a chance.
Resume - You should tailor your experience to positions for which you are applying. No longer will a single version listing your experience that reads like a job description suffice. Review each qualification the employer seeks and show how you have used it in previous roles or your present job. Look at it from the employer’s perspective. You want them to say, “this person has everything I’m looking for so let’s bring them in for an interview.” Remember, your resume is only a tool to obtain an interview. It does not get you the job. That leads to the next point.
Interviewing - This has changed due to covid-19. You must become comfortable with video interviews. Familiarize yourself with these platforms so you are not waiting until the last minute to get it right. Look into the camera when you are talking. The natural impulse is to look at the person on the screen, however, that all important eye contact is necessary. Be prepared for coronavirus-related questions. You might be asked how have you been dealing with the current crisi. If you have moved to remote work, be able to describe how you are handling this.
Networking - It has always been essential, but never as important as it is now. If you can find someone in the organization to which you are applying, that will help. Also, connecting with people who might put you in contact with hiring managers is important since only 15% of all jobs are posted. Don’t be intimidated by networking. Think of it as a conversation and reach out to several individuals each week.
LinkedIn - If you are conducting a job search, you must be on LinkedIn. Even if you hate social media, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you do use it. This platform has changed significantly over the years and you will find there is much you can include that will not be listed on your resume. You can ‘speak’ to readers in the About’ section describing your passion for what you want to pursue and use personal pronouns (unlike a resume), which will make it more informal. And, of course, building your network will allow you to connect not only with people you know, but with their connections. It is like a web. If you start with 50 connections, you can reach out to more people. In addition, there are job postings and you can let employers know what types of positions you are seeking. Finally, recruiters review LinkedIn profiles daily to locate ideal candidates.
This is only a start. Don't be discouraged when you do not hear back from employers although that would be nice. They receive on average, 300+ applications per day. It takes persistence, so structure your search. Perhaps you might devote a few hours per week updating your resume or honing your interview skills. If you don’t try, you will never land a position or even your dream job. It takes time, but the reward is well work it if you do more than only apply to online listings using an outdated resume.