Tips for Landing a Job During the COVID Pandemic
The unemployment rate has steadily gone down since the COVID pandemic took hold in March 2020, but it’s still hovering at 6.9% as of November 2020, around 3% higher than November 2019. With more people searching for work, the job market is more competitive. But many businesses are still hiring. Some are even ramping up operations in this new work-and-live-at-home era.
Don’t get discouraged if you’re out of work at the moment. According to the “Wall Street Journal,” since May 2020, employers have added back more than 11 million jobs. Jobs at home mortgage firms, technology companies and financial services companies in particular are increasing.
Use these tips as you navigate a job search as the country deals with coronavirus.
Like we covered in our post, “How to Network When You’re Not Going Out,” networking is more important than ever in today’s uncertain job market. Networking provides the following benefits.
- You may hear about open jobs early, before they’re posted to the public.
- Your contacts who work at companies you’re applying to may put in a recommendation for you.
- You can learn about new opportunities you may not have considered before.
- Your network may connect you with mentors who can help you develop your career.
To network online during the pandemic, use LinkedIn to optimize your professional profile and connect with past coworkers. Join LinkedIn Groups based on your professional interests, and participate in discussions.
If you want to connect with someone on a deeper level, set up a virtual coffee chat. Prepare for your meeting with questions you’d like to ask the person. Take notes or ask for permission to record the meeting so you can follow up on action items or anything that’s inspired you.
There’s no shame in using social media to announce to your contacts that you’re on the job hunt. Be transparent about what kinds of opportunities you’re open to. You can ask your personal contacts for recommendations for leads or for professionals they’d suggest connecting with.
While you’re job-searching, sharpen your skills with virtual trainings. At HiConsulting, we offer several free webinars each month on topics like resume writing, optimizing your LinkedIn profile and preparing for interviews. Check out our schedule here.
According to the World Economic Forum, the most in-demand skills for 2020 include:
- Analytical reasoning and strategic thinking
- Artificial intelligence
- UX design
- Business analysis
- Sales and negotiation
- Scientific computing
- Video production
If any of those apply to the jobs you’re interested in, learn more about those topics to stand out to employers. Soft skills like creativity, persuasion, collaboration and emotional intelligence are also in high demand.
The pandemic has resulted in a major shift in how many businesses operate. COVID forced many companies to accommodate remote workers, which required introducing virtual collaboration tools like Zoom and Workfront to get jobs done.
Remote work has already steadily been increasing over the past 15 years, with regular work-at-home growing 173% since 2005, according to Global Workplace Analytics. That growth rate outpaced the rest of the workforce by 11%. You may have worked your last job at an office, but the jobs you’re looking at now may have moved online. You may want to upgrade your technology and create a home office to prepare.
If you’re not familiar with remote work tools yet or you need to brush up on your technology skills, now’s a great time to do so. Your next interview might be virtual, as well, so having familiarity with virtual work tools is a plus. Check out how to prepare for virtual interviews.
Adapt to Changing Business Landscapes
The pandemic will have a lasting impact on the economy and has already influenced what jobs are in-demand. According to Glassdoor data reported by “The Wall Street Journal,” retail, food service and healthcare had the most U.S. job openings in August 2020. Ecommerce and delivery jobs have, not surprisingly, also seen growth during COVID.
If you’re currently in-between jobs, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your career path and determine what next step will fulfill you. You may want to work with a career coach to determine how to match your skills and experience with your best future career path.
Also, check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to find in-demand jobs that might fit your skillset. The Occupational Outlook Handbook details what each job is like and the skills and education needed to find entry-level work in each field.
There’s Still Opportunity, Even During a Pandemic
The pandemic has upended many career paths in 2020, but there’s still hope for what’s next in the business landscape. With the promising news of a vaccine, expect increased hiring in a variety of industries.
A job search can be an opportune time to embark on a meaningful career path. If you’re searching for what’s next and need assistance with resume writing, LinkedIn profile optimization, job searches, interview preparation or career coaching, contact HiConsulting Services for a free consultation. We’re here to help you navigate your career future.