The biggest myth of the COVID-19 pandemic: “companies are not hiring.” In fact, there are over 70 companies that want to see your resume now. The real question is, are you ready to send it?
In the wake of the Coronavirus and the uncertainty it has wreaked on several industries, there is a lot of reluctance surrounding the job market and its viability. However, the economy has proved to be resilient - with several industries in higher demand today than ever before including healthcare, logistics, telecommunications, finance, and many more. Whether you were impacted by hiring freezes, layoffs, cut costs, or just happened to start a career change at an unfortunate time - there are still several options for your next steps. You just have to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity. Follow these steps to better your chances of landing your next job.
It’s true that some industries have been hit with layoffs, but don’t let that deter you from a job search overall. Many companies are still hiring - specifically the technology, food production, and healthcare industries. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Kroger and other big names are stepping up regarding community well-being and essential services.The truth of the matter is - the role you don’t apply for today, will be someone’s new opportunity tomorrow. By pausing your job search, you are only impairing yourself and your own chances at success.
Make a Plan - and Stick to it
Establish what you need to achieve and set goals by creating a timeline. If you are unemployed, run your finances and see what your timetable is for when you need to start a new role. Benchmark career goals, and make your application process strategic to help you build your trajectory into growth industries and specializations.
Carve out an hour or two each day to look at new listings. More if you have the time for it! Think about a full time role - and try to maintain a structured schedule to mirror what your day on a job would look like - utilizing that 9-5 to your own success. But don’t just click apply. Do your research on the company and get to know their mission and organizational structure. Find the gaps in their current employees’ skill sets and look for ways you can fill them by studying up on new skills. Whatever you fill the hours with - make it productive and help yourself by ensuring that when you get back into a role, you aren’t unaccustomed to working a full day.
Update your resume! Don’t just add to it. Just like if you were applying to any role, you need to make sure your resume reflects the job you are applying for. Make sure to highlight the skills and experience the description lists in clear, keyword-heavy language. Keep it short, concise, and applicable to the job at hand. If the company’s hiring need is that urgent - the hiring manager probably doesn’t have the time to read an entire 15-page resume. They will want to get the need-to-know information quickly to make a decision on moving forward with you as a candidate. Don’t waste that first impression with fluff.
With that, also make sure that all your references are up to date. Take it a step further and reach out to those you listed to let them know that you are on the market, and a potential employer may be contacting them for a recommendation soon. The hiring manager may call them before they call you, and the more seamless the message, the more likely you are to be hired.
Check your social media profiles. Today’s hiring process is very different than it was 15 years ago. With the rise of social media, several companies make profile checks part of the process - especially if the role is something in leadership. When you are hired to a company, they are making you another face of their business. If you have anything on your profiles that is too polarizing or offensive, this may impact their decision before you get to show them your personality yourself - much like dating, it’s all about how you want to present yourself!
Expand Your Skill Set
On the job training and college admissions are not the only ways to gain new experience. Depending on what you are looking to move into or explore, there are several opportunities out there for expanding your professional toolkit that are low cost and little commitment. LinkedIn offers online learning video courses for software applications, creative fields, business skills, and more. In addition to their GSuite paid certification programs, Google offers free training, tools, and resources to help grow skills, or even businesses in their Grow with Google programs. They also have AI programs, machine learning courses, and more on their Google AI site. Coursera helps to build skills with courses, certificates, and even degrees online through their partnerships with world-class universities and companies at a fraction of the price. Forbes has compiled a list of resources such as these, proving that the opportunities to grow are not limited by quarantine or funds.
There is always something to learn - even if it isn’t job-skill based. Don’t think you have hit your ceiling when it comes to professional skills. At the minimum, you should brush up on your interview skills by running through this guide and setting up a mock interview with a friend. An impressive resume does not guarantee a job if your interview presence doesn’t dazzle. No one is perfect, but practicing sure can help.
Be Flexible - and Consider a Backup Plan
Have patience and trust in the process. Make sure to follow your plan - but make it flexible. These are unprecedented times that can have some yet to be determined effects on the hiring process for several companies. Odds are whatever plan you make will have to be reevaluated time and again as the market reacts to these changes - so put yourself in that mindset and prepare for some turbulence, but control what you can and let go of what you can’t.
After reaching out to your network and browsing the market, you might find yourself in an urgent need for some income. Consider your transferable skills and think about how you could apply them to gaps in the market today. These are usually soft skills like organizational mindset, customer service experience, and more universally applicable attributes. Temporary opportunities could be the answer, so don’t close yourself off to things like freelance work, part-time jobs, remote work, application gigs like food delivery, and other side hustles.
Regardless of the changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a lot you can do to help yourself find and take hold of opportunities out there. If you are unsure of next steps, need some professional guidance, or want some insight on the current market conditions, talk to one of Blue Signal’s expert recruiters today. We are still hiring, and we are here to help!