Job Searching During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Even in the best of times, a job search takes time and effort on your part. Job hunting during the COVID-19 pandemic, is, well, challenging, to say the least. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though, and it doesn’t mean you should call off your job search. Conducting a successful job search right now means you may need to change up your techniques, and practice a lot of patience. But you can find success.
Job Searching Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Networking is, of course, one of the best things you can do during your job search. You can connect with people at a company you want to work for, learn more about your field, and even connect with “hidden” jobs that are yet to open, but may open soon.
Clearly, face-to-face networking is out during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon networking entirely. You just need to move your networking efforts online.
Start with LinkedIn. Join groups that people in your field are in and become an active participant. Offer useful advice (or words of encouragement) and share articles that the group might find helpful.
Then, follow companies that you’re interested in working for. Keep an eye out for any job openings they post and see what kinds of updates the company is posting. Are they still in business or barely staying afloat? Whatever it is, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon the idea of working for them, but it will give you an idea of how the company is doing right now and what kind of position they might be in when this is all over.
While you’re at it, update and optimize your LinkedIn profile so that your profile will be in perfect shape for your revved up job hunt.
For tips and tricks on how to create a killer LinkedIn profile check out these resources:
While LinkedIn is the largest social network for job seekers, it’s not the only one that can assist you in your job search. Depending on your field of interest, Facebook and Instagram can be great places to connect with brands.
Create Your Personal Brand
As you update all of your social profiles, don’t forget your personal brand. That doesn’t mean coming up with a catchy tagline and logo for yourself. Personal branding is how you market yourself and your expertise.
That means taking your “job title” to the next level. For example, you can say that you’re a salesperson. And, you can even say that you’re an excellent salesperson. But that’s pretty broad and kind of boring.
Creating a personal brand helps narrow the focus of your sales expertise and can demonstrate why someone should hire you. For example, if you’re in sales, maybe you’ve got a lot of experience in digital ads. You want to create a brand that emphasizes that expertise.
So, instead of saying that you’re a “sales professional with experience in digital ads,” focus on what is unique about you and how you sell ads. For example, you could say, “Digital ad sales professional with experience optimizing clients’ budget to generate the strongest ROI, resulting in ongoing retention.”
This “personal brand statement” captures what you’re good at and how your skills will benefit a potential employer and their business.
Brush Up on Virtual Interviewing
There’s a chance that you’ll land a job interview during the pandemic. But, of course, there won’t be an in-person interview. And, in reality, if you’re focusing on a remote job, you’ll likely have to do a video interview—pandemic or not!
Take some time to brush up on your virtual interviewing skills. We’ve got a ton of tips for you, and they include everything from checking out your background, where to look, how to sit, and even how to light yourself to look your best. Check them out:
If you have a job right now, that’s a positive. But layoffs and furloughs do happen.
In either case, you should prepare yourself in case you lose your job and you have to start a job search. Keep doing the best job you can, but put some time aside every day to update your resume and other important information so you’re not caught off guard.
FAQs About Job Searching During the Coronavirus Pandemic
In times like these, feeling uneasy about the economy is normal. We asked the Career Coaching team at FlexJobs for their expert answers to some of the common questions job seekers have about job searching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are employers still hiring right now?
Many employers are freezing hiring, both publicly and quietly. While we’re still in the middle of this and it’s hard to predict how this will play out, one of the historical points we can look at is the last recession. During that time, remote job listings actually increased each year even as in-office job listings were dropping. We can’t predict what will happen during this rapidly changing environment, but that is something to keep in mind.
Should I even bother applying right now?
Companies may be slower to hire right now, but many will still need to hire. So, yes, absolutely keep reaching out to contacts and try to make new contacts. Continue to apply for open jobs with the knowledge that responses from employers may be slower than normal.
My interview was postponed due to the pandemic. What can I do?
Check back in with your contact about one week after your last interaction. Ask how they’re holding up and express sympathy for their current situation. Suggest a video interview as one option.
Is there more competition for remote jobs now?
We have seen signs that interest in finding a remote job has risen during the pandemic. However, not everyone is truly interested in remote work as a long-term job. Companies want people who are serious and dedicated to remote jobs for their remote roles. If you’re someone who can show you’re committed as a remote worker for the long-term, you’ll have an advantage.
Do I change my expectations about employment opportunities?
If you can, it may be worth it to focus on the industries and companies that are posting remote jobs now. Also, the career fields below have seen an increase in hiring during the pandemic and have work-from-home jobs hiring now.
As far as what to expect for your current field, it’s vital to stay on top of remote work trends by industry. Conduct searches for the major organizations in your field and see what they’re saying about how the pandemic has impacted them. This will give you a good idea of whether your career field is visible right now, or if a shift in job focus is necessary.
My offer was frozen. Now what?
Maybe your job search started before the pandemic, and you landed an offer. Or, you started your search later and recently got an offer. In either case, the pandemic may have upended your plans and your new company’s plans, resulting in your job offer being put on hold.
What does that mean for you? Well, it depends on the company, but start by asking why the offer is on hold, then ask if there’s an estimated date when the freeze will be lifted. That should give you a good idea of how soon you might be able to start your new job.
One suggestion: ask if the company is willing to turn your full-time offer into a contractor or “temporary” position until they can convert the offer to regular employment. It may not be ideal for you, but it may be better than no job.
Job searching during the coronavirus pandemic will require patience and understanding. Finding a new job won’t be easy right now, but with patience and persistence, you will connect with the right job for you.
For more personalized advice, consider connecting with one of our Career Coaches to help with your job search. FlexJobs members receive a discounted rate, and right now, we’ve dropped our prices as low as 50%. Just use the code JOBS at checkout.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
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Rachel Pelta is a Content Coordinator for FlexJobs. With professional experience in job placement and as a manager, she creates content to help people succeed in their job search, and to help managers get the best out of their staff.…Read More >
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