Searching for a Job During a Pandemic
Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on the way many of us live our lives. The job market has inevitably been drastically affected by the pandemic, and we have also noticed a major shift in the way in which job seekers are searching for jobs.
Here are a few tips that may help you with your job search during these challenging times:
- Be REALISTIC: Your present career/industry, or the career/industry you are hoping to enter, may not currently have as many opportunities as it normally would have. There may be an over-abundance of people looking for work in your field, with few positions available. Consequently, you may have to accept a position that isn’t necessarily your “dream job,” with the understanding that being employed, gaining new experiences, and building new relationships and networks, takes priority during this time of stress in the job market.
- Be FLEXIBLE: If your industry has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, you may need to consider changing industries. Be sure to customize your resume so that it demonstrates that the skills that you have gained in previous jobs can be directly or indirectly applicable to job opportunities in a different industry. Choosing to pivot into a new career or a new industry can be overwhelming, and many job seekers may not know what potential options are available given their schooling, certifications, and experience. A great resource many job seekers have at our fingertips is LinkedIn and the opportunity to utilize LinkedIn as a search engine. Search your education, certifications, even recent position titles and see what jobs other professionals with similar backgrounds have done.
- Use your TIME: Most people are finding themselves spending more time at home than they ever have. Use this as an opportunity to update your skills! Many colleges and universities have online courses (including great free options), which can go a long way in setting you apart from other candidates, or helping you to pivot into a new field. It may also have the added benefit of introducing you to new social networks of people your industry. Some of our favourite online training platforms include: Coursera and LinkedIn Learning.
- Stay INFORMED and CONNECTED: If you are unable to find work in your field for an extended period of time, it is critical that you continue to stay informed about your industry if your intention is to eventually re-enter. Continue to connect with former colleagues, and start developing new networks. Although in many areas face-to-face meetings may be discouraged, continue to network online through e-mail, texts, Zoom, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Build a professional, online presence so that people are able to reach out to you and connect as well.
- TRACK the TRENDS: Recruitment is changing as a result of the high number of job seekers: positions are being posted for shorter periods of time, many positions are seeking a more diverse skill set, and resumes are being scanned by hiring managers at an average of 6 seconds per resume. As a job seeker you can remain on top of these shifts by saving a copy of all positions you apply for, making sure your resume clearly outlines your skill set, and clearly indicating that you meet all qualifications (for example languages, typing speed, or software proficiencies).
- Make EVERY APPLICATION COUNT: The market has been flooded with newly unemployed masses, and there aren’t as many job opportunities available now as there has been in the past. Having a professionally formatted resume, targeted cover letter, and polished interviewing skills will go a long way in helping your application stand out and help you land that job.
- Try to BREATHE: It is a stressful time for everyone, but particularly for those that are unemployed. Be sure to reach out to the resources and/or people around you to get the assistance that you may require.
Written By Heather Park