Job hunting during a pandemic
Many have found themselves looking for employment during the COVID-19 crisis. Whether your hours were reduced at work, or you just need a change, there are some dos and don’ts that come with job hunting during a pandemic. Read on to learn some of our favorite tips for employment success:
Know What You Want
Everyone’s situation is different – some people need a new job altogether, while others are looking to supplement their current income due to reduced hours. This means you need to decide what you are looking for in a job before you even start. Will this work be temporary? Are you hoping to turn it into a career? How many hours do you hope to have each week? Knowing these answers before you start your search will help narrow your choices to only the best options for you.
These are unprecedented times – which means you find yourself looking at an unprecedented line of work. If you are searching for a job to pay the bills, keep an open mind. You may have never pictured yourself working the jewelry counter at Macy’s after two decades in government service, but if it suits your needs, try something new – and maybe even be open to enjoying it.
Brush Up on Your Interview Skills
It may have been a while since you last interviewed for a job, so take the time to review some common interview questions, as well as practice your answers. You can even role-play with a friend or family member to practice giving your answers out loud. Bonus tip: Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer, too.
Go to Where the Jobs Are
These days, most, if not all, jobs are posted online somewhere. Places like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, and even Craigslist are good places to search for potential employment. If you have accounts on social media platforms, let your friends know you are looking for a job and what you hope to find, which will increase your odds of landing an interview or two.
Prepare to Zoom
Many employers are utilizing video services, like Zoom or GoToMeeting, to interview prospective employees. Treat a video interview like an in-person interview, and dress for the part. Prepare for the call beforehand by checking the sound and microphone on your computer (or the device you plan to use), and look at your video feed ahead of time to ensure that any visual distractions are out of the picture.
Do Some Networking
We already discussed utilizing your social platforms to find employment, but you can take it a step further. Research online groups that are dedicated to helping people find jobs, and go out of your way to make connections with people who are looking to hire. It’s important to be genuine during this process – don’t ask for help without giving some as well, even if it’s just your perspective as someone who has successfully held a job for most of your life.
Update Your Resume
When is the last time you reviewed your resume? This is the perfect opportunity to give it a once-over and make necessary adjustments. You probably don’t need to keep your high school baseball stats on there, but you will definitely want to update your certifications and any training you have completed. Another bonus tip: It’s time to remove the line that talks about how proficient you are in Microsoft Office products.
Ask for Feedback
If you were laid off from a job that you otherwise had a successful career in, reach out to your former boss and ask for their thoughts on your job performance, including your strengths and areas in which you needed to grow. You can even ask them to be a reference for your next interview, which can go a long way in helping you secure the position you’re seeking. Consider asking for feedback from family and friends in regards to your resume, the job you are applying for, and even the way your video looks over a virtual call to ensure that no detail is overlooked.
Take Some Classes
If you are between jobs or even just find yourself with a few more free hours each week, this might be the perfect time to take a class or to get a certification in another field that interests you. You may not make a career out of it, but you will learn something new that may give you an advantage when looking for your next job. Educating yourself will always work to your benefit.
No one can predict the future, but you can make yours a little less uncertain by taking steps to find your next job. Grab a cup of coffee and start making a list of what you will do today to help your new career begin.