Job hunting in the midst of a pandemic
It’s a tough time in the jobs market, as firms struggle to operate or shed staff to cut costs. In the week to 27 November, the volume of online job adverts posted was at 77% of the number posted in the same week last year.
As companies move to remote work to fight the coronavirus pandemic and an increasing number of workers are being laid off or furloughed, you might be wondering if you should continue to send out resumes or just assume that no one is hiring for the foreseeable future. It’s true that economists are predicting a recession, but career experts say it’s best to keep networking and applying, provided you change your approach a bit to acknowledge these are uncertain times.
Some companies have responded to the health crisis with layoffs, furloughs, cutting hours and overtime pay, and implementing hiring freezes. Other companies are actively hiring and posting new jobs daily. Right now, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what the national and global impact will be on hiring, but there are ways you can stay positive and proactive about job searching.
Ultimately, life is in a state of “wait and see.” However, we can provide some guidance on how to keep your job search in motion while we navigate the holding pattern that is our society.
Are There Even Jobs To Be Had Right Now?
The short answer is, thankfully, yes.
The longer answer is that there are jobs to be had, but the landscape is shifting. Many companies have implemented complete hiring freezes. Others are still hiring but more carefully scrutinising the roles they’re advertising.
Job Hunting During Uncertain Times
We should all be thankful that we live in a digital world. Can you imagine facing a job search 30 or 40 years ago when you actually had to search newspaper want ads and go hand in a resume in person? So, be thankful for small blessings that come in the form of the Internet and technology platforms that still allow us to remain connected and let information flow.
With all this in mind, here are some tips from us to consider and implement as part if your job searches during the Coronavirus pandemic:
1. Use Your Networks
With thousands of people applying for some roles, your personal network should be your first port of call. Friends, family and acquaintances will collectively know hundreds of people, and some should know of businesses which are hiring – after all, the entire planet is said to be connected with just 7 degrees of separation. Many employers do admit value from a personal recommendation and you may even hear about roles before they are advertised.
If not already, sign-up to LinkedIn and start to incorporate use of the platform into your job search activities (in earnest). LinkedIn is an amazing tool for connecting with other professionals, sharing pertinent information about happenings in your industry, and for uncovering potential opportunities. Engage in some outreach, connect with old colleagues or partners, and spread the word that you are job hunting — you never know when an amazing opportunity could present itself. Plus, the mere fact that you are using digital technology to look for job prospects already shows you are comfortable operating in a remote, tech-focused environment.
2. Tailor your CV and covering letter for every Job application
Tailor your CV and cover letter for each application, which is time-consuming but more likely to result in a job. Check job boards daily, reach out to recruitment coordinators and contacts after submitting your application materials, and make time each day to exhaust all avenues. Be diligent about your search to unearth the results you want. As you look for jobs advertised online – for instance, by using the ITMarketingJobs.com job search – don’t forget to make speculative job applications to employers you’d like to work for and use social media for job hunting.
3. Highlight your transferrable skills
There’s so much competition for jobs, so it’s important to up your game right now. First, prioritize jobs that have been posted most recently because that’s a sign that the company has a current role that needs to be filled. If a posting has been up for weeks, it may be less of a priority for the company right now. Be confident when you’re reading job postings and remember that you can still get the job even if you don’t meet all of the job qualifications. Use your resume and cover letter to show you have transferrable skills employers are seeking.
4. Practice phone and video job interviews
Now that many people are working remotely, job interviews are being done by phone and video instead of face-to-face. It can be more challenging to have a phone interview because it is harder to interpret someone’s reaction and have a conversation that flows naturally. It can be trickier to have a video interview because it can feel awkward to be on camera. You’ll stand out if you learn the ins-and-outs of phone and video job interviews.
5. Stay Positive
This doesn’t just relate to finding a job, but to the whole pandemic and the effect it is having on our daily lives. Remaining positive is important for our well-being and is crucial to allowing us to maintain a routine and have some focus. Referring to the job market specifically, there are definite reasons to remain positive. Yes, many companies have implemented a recruitment freeze, but this won’t be forever, and the recruitment market is normally one of the first to bounce back after turbulent times. Furthermore, there are still many companies currently recruiting, looking for people to work from home, making it the perfect time for you to apply for full time roles. Competition is not as high right now, which is always a plus, but also, you’ll have more time to dedicate to your application, receive calls from the hiring manager, attend an interview (albeit a video interview and not face to face) and receive job offers.
At the end of the day, not every company or industry is going to put hiring on hold — they simply might modify their processes to ensure that hiring professionals and job seekers stay safe.
Stay strong, persist and try to do what the others aren’t.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”