COVID-19 arrived, and job losses happened quickly! Recovery of the economy is expected to take 2.5 years or more. For every job opening, there are at least 2 unemployed workers. The job market has become incredibly competitive, with the highly experienced, the highly trained and new college graduates competing for the same position. Many are willing to take lower pay to find work. If you‘ve lost your job, are looking for a new position, or are entering the workforce after graduating, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of finding a position during the pandemic.
Update your resume and online professional presence: Make sure your resume is error-free, fully updated and customized for each job for which you submit. Use keywords in your resume, cover letter and professional profile; words likely to yield results when employers undertake a search. Post your resume online where it can be easily located (LinkedIn, job boards, sites specific to your target industry). Add work samples, links to your published work and/or a video introduction to your resume. If you have done remote work, show your aptitude by mentioning the video technology you’ve used and your familiarity with document-sharing tools. Maintain a clean and active digital identity and build strong professional network connections.
Look in the right places: Research hiring trends and review real-time lists of employers that are hiring. Consider industries that you haven’t worked in before. Develop your own list of target employers. Monitor social media for prospective job opportunities. Sectors with prospective jobs currently include health care, tech, finance, online tutoring, as well as pandemic “essential businesses” such as grocery stores, delivery services and manufacturers of protective equipment.
Create a job-hunting system: Set daily and weekly goals for the number of informational interviews undertaken, networking calls made, and applications submitted. Spend no more than ½ an hour per day on job boards. Spend the bulk of your time networking and looking for job referrals. Be persistent. Apply often.
Consider refreshing your skills: Analyze job descriptions to determine what skills are relevant currently. Then, bolster your qualifications by taking free or low-cost online courses that help you obtain certifications in new and relevant skills (MOOCs, EdX classes, Microsoft training and tutorials, digital marketing, coding, and data science). The skill(s) learned can be complementary to your existing training or geared towards a new career. Read business books, listen to podcasts, attend virtual events, conferences, and webinars. This will make you more employable and demonstrate your commitment to employers.
Remain open to ideas that are outside the box. Consider a horizontal career move, a new industry, temporary or contract roles and/or freelance gigs. Be flexible regarding pay and benefits. Don’t assume that a job you accept now will be a permanent one. When the labour market picks up, you can shift to another position.
Prepare for remote interviews by researching your prospective employer, ensuring your tech is working, practicing interview questions, dressing appropriately, choosing a good interview location, and answering with enthusiasm.
Take care of yourself: Job searching can be stressful. COVID-19 has added even more pressure. Self-care needs to be a priority. Maintain a positive mindset and a healthy body. Carve out time for exercise, healthy eating, meditation, hobbies, and online visits with the people you love.
In the current job market, it’s important to focus on what you can control, improving your skills, reaching out to your network and applying for positions. Set up realistic job-hunting goals and stick with them. Be persistent. Practice the above steps and it may pay off!
Looking for work in the middle of the pandemic? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.