Searching for a job is never easy, but job hunting in the middle of an international pandemic? Well, that has its own unique challenges.
Fortunately, there’s some good news coming out of the economic sector!
According to NPR, over 4.8 million jobs were added in June 2020. That’s a historic record.
As companies adjust to “the new normal” and different regions slowly reopen, there is a need for employees to make that happen.
But with millions of Americans unemployed, the competition for those jobs has never been fiercer. So that raises the question: how can you find your next job and stand out from the competition?
Below, we share our insights on the hiring process.
Engage Your Network
Before searching online, we recommend engaging your existing network. This means reaching out to family, friends, neighbors, and even former coworkers.
People understand that these are difficult times. While it’s easy to feel hopeless, most people want to help others however they can. There’s no shame in asking.
Even if those in your network don’t currently know of any job openings, they will remember that you asked the next time they hear about an opportunity!
Engaging your network is important, because the power of referral and interpersonal introductions still carries tremendous weight. If someone in your network knows a hiring manager or someone with internal sway at a company, they can always make an introduction and help you make a strong first impression!
Remember to reach out to former bosses, managers, and colleagues as well. Even if they aren’t hiring, you can always ask if they’d be willing to be a recommendation should you need one in the future.
Plus, those currently in the job market may have heard of job opportunities through their own networks!
Research Job Openings Online
Of course, you can always go to Google to find job openings near you.
But… this can be overwhelming.
We recommend starting with a plan of action to prevent information overload.
For example, if you know what industry you want to work in (say, working at a chemical plant or working at a hospital), then use those search terms to find job openings.
Websites like Eric’s Jobs allow you to filter job opportunities based on job title, keyword, company, location, and industry.
Because so many job opportunities are posted daily, we recommend setting the filters as strict as possible to find the job that you want. If not enough results come up, then loosen those filters until you find the right opportunities for you.
Download our free job search log
Practice Phone and Video Interviews
Even if you’re applying for a labor intensive job that will require you to be physically present at the job site, many employers are practicing social distancing whenever possible.
This includes during the hiring process.
Gone are the days when you could walk into an interview and begin your working relationship with a firm handshake.
Now, phone calls and video interviews are the norm.
Each format presents its own set of challenges. Phone interviews, for instance, make it difficult to gauge the interviewer’s response. You can’t read their body language or facial expressions as you’re answering questions. On the other hand, video interviews can be uncomfortable for people who don’t like being in front of the camera.
By practicing phone and video interviews with your family or friends, you can be better prepared for when an actual opportunity comes around.
Update Your Resume Before Sending Out Any Applications
Before you can land a phone or video interview, you need to catch the hiring manager’s attention.
How do you do that?
With your resume!
Because of the pandemic and its impact on the economy, there’s so much competition for each job right now. This means that you really need to up your game.
The first piece of the puzzle to complete is your resume.
Is it up to date? Does it highlight skills that are vitally important during these times (technical / technology skills, specializations, transferable skills)? Have you included all the relevant experience and training you have for the job you’re applying to?
These are all questions to consider when reviewing your resume. Remember, this is likely the very first impression that potential employers will have of you.
Can your resume make someone want to contact you immediately asking for an interview?
If you have any doubt, OneSource Resume Services specializes in helping employees tell their professional story in a powerful, effective way. They understand the hiring process from beginning to end.
Customizing your resume for each job is key to opening the door for your next job opportunity.
Keep Your Head Up
These are challenging times. These are new times. But we all must move forward and adapt to a shifting landscape.
If you’re trying to make ends meet in-between jobs, it can be scary. Trust us, we know.
But shifting your perspective to focus on the opportunities ahead of you can make a massive difference in how you approach the world. Does it change the underlying circumstances? No. But it will give you a hustler’s mindset that will impress even the most hardened of hiring managers.
Know that you are resourceful. Know that you are skilled. And know that there is a job that is the right fit for you.
All you have to do is find it and apply.