Given the current economic climate, many people are unemployed or underemployed. Whether your hours have been reduced or you have been furloughed or laid off altogether, you are job searching. I am an expert on the pandemic job search because I was in the same boat. It is possible to get hired during the biggest economic crisis our country has faced in our lifetimes. This post outlines my expert tips for your pandemic job search.
Networking is not new. It is also not easy for most people. It is, however, essential. Prior to my recent job offer, I received a call from a recruiter about a position at a company where I knew someone. Since the position sounded interesting, I asked her to submit my name for the job. In order to submit me, the recruiter asked me to share two personal references with my application for this position. So I sent a message to the person I know and asked if I could use his name as a reference. Through the course of our conversation, I learned that he was hiring for another role and gave me the heads up on it.
While you are searching, you can gain valuable skills and expand your network through volunteering. My work on the Albion College Alumni Board of Directors and with Impact100 Metro Detroit keeps me on top of current issues. I have met so many people I would not have been able to meet while sheltering in place during the pandemic. For example, Impact100 hosts regular ‘Coffee and Conversation’ calls and book clubs where I can meet and talk with a wide range of individuals with similar interests. Being on the Alumni Board with Albion College has given me a front row seat to the recruitment of a new president and allows me to participate in regular webinars and meetings with alumni as well as college staff, which has been wonderful.
Revise your Resume and Cover Letter
Take time to go through your resume and create several cover letters tailored to your areas of interest. By creating these documents in advance, you can have someone proofread them and catch any mistake you might have missed. Job opportunities come up very quickly. Recruiters and employers expect you to be able to forward your resume and cover letter immediately. Be sure yours are ready to go.
Use Social Media
Develop and edit your profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use the hashtag #opentowork in your bio and your posts to share your story and learn about opportunities. Be sure to post relevant information about your career interests. For example, I regularly post healthcare marketing information and human resources articles on my social media accounts. Spend time each day gaining followers and interacting with other users.
Be Open to Contract Work
You may not land a job with the exact title from your old job in the near future, or ever. The sooner you realize this and accept it, the better off you will be to launch a pandemic job search. Think about the skills you have, such as writing, organization, scheduling, tutoring, or social media marketing. Check sites like Fiverr for freelance opportunities and develop a profile to market your own services.
Brush up on Video Interviewing
In a pandemic, there are very few, if any, in-person interviews. Make sure you know how to participate in a video interview using the major platforms (Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom). If you do not know how to video conference, find a friend or a family member to help you practice. Again, my volunteer work as well as my past work experience has helped me get very comfortable on video calls. If you do not have a laptop that supports the platforms mentioned above, consider purchasing one like this.
Spend your time wisely and you can land a job in the pandemic. I am happy to have an offer in hand for a new job and I hope my advice will help do the same. Please add your tips in the comments.