Job Search During a Pandemic
By Erin Kennedy
Searching for a job is not always easy. We know that. Adding the stress of trying to search for a job during a global healthcare crisis makes it even more difficult. With the global pandemic in force, many of our nation’s businesses, education institutions, and entertainment venues have either lowered or ceased operations completely. If you are in an active job search mode, there are plenty of ways you can still focus on your job search within the safety of your own home. Don’t use a global crisis to stop your job search. Companies are still hiring. Here are some tips for staying on top of your job search and get closer to landing your dream job:
Update and/or Clean-Up Your Resume:
- So many of us are currently working from home. More than likely, all of your business trips have been canceled and you are finding that you have more time on your hands than you would if you were in the office. Use this time to dust of your old resume and get it ready for your job search. Focus on updating your achievements, skills, professional development activities, and of course any employment/promotion changes since your last update. Be sure your format and writing quality aligns with today’s standards, and last, but not least, proofread the entire document to ensure it does not have any typos or other errors. If you need help, don’t hesitate to hire a professional resume writing service.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile:
- When was the last time you actually updated your LinkedIn profile, let alone optimized it with current skills accomplishments? With LinkedIn being the most well-known professional networking/job search site in the world, you need to use it and use it daily! Like your resume, your profile needs to contain content that is current and well-written. Are the skills you have on your profile relevant to the skills/qualifications listed in the postings you’re applying to? When was the last time you changed your profile picture? Use this site for everything it has to offer?join groups, check out the Jobs tab for new jobs added, add to your network, reach out for recommendations, update your settings so recruiters can contact you, etc.
Get Your Networking Game On:
- Contact or connect with colleagues and other industry-specific clients who may know of openings in their own workplaces. Reach out and let them know you’re looking to make a change in your career. Chances are, they may also be working in a remote environment and would welcome an unexpected chat with you. If you’re interested in certain companies, go to their websites and learn more about what they do and if they’re hiring. If so, reach out to the “contact” person listed on the site. Get your name out there!
Interview Preparation is Key:
- You submitted your resume and got the coveted interview. If you’re really ready for a new job, then you really need to be ready to nail the interview. Do you have an interview strategy or style? In today’s professional world, many companies start out with a phone interview, prior to bringing you on-site (this is the norm now as we are all practicing “Social Distancing”). How do you sound over the phone? Confident or shaky? Practice answering potential questions and with a voice that is upbeat, full of confidence, and markets you and your credentials. If your interview is done via video conferencing, Skype, or FaceTime, then you’re probably also going to need to work on how you will look as you’re answering questions. Research! Know who your audience is (this can be done when talking with the person(s) scheduling the interview with you, as well as the culture of the company so that you have an idea of what to wear to your interview. Compile supporting documentation (resume, references, certifications, etc.), and lastly, look at the travel logistics from your home to the location of the interview, if you do actually have to meet in-person at the company or another remote site.
Job seekers are always working hard to overcome obstacles during a job search and dealing with a global pandemic is a big one to have to deal with. As with any crisis, there are always things to do to stay positive and keep moving forward in your job search and in life. You may not be able to meet with a hiring manager or recruiter in person for the next few weeks or months, but you can get yourself prepared to do so in the very near future. While we are all trying to deal with our own version of “Social Distancing”, it certainly does not have to stop job seekers from pursuing their dream jobs. This includes you!
Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, named one of Forbes "Top 100 Career Websites". Considered an influencer, she is consistently listed as a “Top Career Expert to Follow” on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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