You might be thinking a COVID19 pandemic is the worst time to initiate a job search. After all, countless other people are in the same position as you, rushing to find a light at the end of a tunnel that wasn't even there a few weeks ago.
But if ever there was a time to start your job search, it's now. As the novel coronavirus rages on across the U.S. , Mexico, and the globe, and people scramble to find some stability, there's bound to be a massive job reshuffle. And what better way to make sure you aim for and secure the right position than to strike while the iron is hot?
We're only just beginning to come to terms with lockdowns. While many companies try to solve the challenges they're faced with alone, others are keeping their doors open to new talent. The prospect of a more competitive job search may be daunting but there are ways to stand out and bypass your competition.
Here are 5 ways to use the effects that this novel coronavirus is having on the job market to your advantage:
Some would say the belief that there are not enough jobs to go around is consistent with a scarcity mindset. The keyword here is 'mindset' - as in 'it's all in the mind'. Focusing on the challenges from the get-go will only discourage you. And from then on, it's a slippery slope to joblessness. Once you lose heart and the mere thought of a job search becomes overwhelming, your chances start to dwindle. Instead, try to work on your mindset. Shift your focus, improve your attitude, and realign your plan of action so that it's consistent with an abundance mindset. The job is out there. You will find your way to it.
Focus on What Matters
Pumping out résumés and sending them out everywhere is no way to improve your chances on a job search. You may think statistics are where your fortunes lie, and the more applications the merrier. But at a time like this, when employers are swamped with applications, all you should be caring about is that your résume brings out the best possible version of you. Few of the jobs out there are truly a good fit for you, especially in a slow job market. Everything else is a waste of time. Your time is best spent crafting the kind of wording that can get you noticed.
Show You're a Problem-Solver
Job openings happen for a reason. The company needs a problem solved. Whether it's an empty slot, a new product, an increasing workload, plummeting morale, a sales slump, or a lack of overarching strategy, the goal is to fix that problem. The issue may not be obvious at first and it may have nothing to do with the novel coronavirus. So, you should try to come across as someone who can tackle a challenge - any challenge. As you're drafting your résume and throughout the hiring process, put your thinking cap on and show that you're a problem-solver. Flaunt your expertise and prove your experience with real-life examples that the company can relate to.
Embrace New Networking
Water cooler gossip is quickly becoming a thing of the past. But don't, for a minute, think that this is the end of networking as you know it. This may be a lockdown and we may all be practicing social distancing rules. But who's to say you can't reach out to those same pals you had a sip of coffee within the boardroom, office, or hallway? With no commute, no phones ringing off the hook, and no bosses peeping their heads through the door, people working from home have so much more time on their hands
It may not all be happening on Zoom, though. Be ready to get in touch with human resources, recruiters, and professionals in your field on LinkedIn. Go across borders and reach out to people globally. Look up companies in your area and field of activity, and check if any of your acquaintances live there, in case you need them to put in a good word for you. Plenty of people post and start trending on LinkedIn, and especially now that everyone's stuck at home.
If you're willing to share your insights, write articles and post them on LinkedIn or your own blog, so that you come across as the expert in your niche.
As people come to terms with this COVID19 pandemic, tech companies are pulling out all the stops with their networking software. So, if you're just killing time, make the most of it and reach out to your friends in the business, reconnect with people from previous jobs, let your ex-boss know you may be needing a recommendation soon. Sniff out new jobs and throw ideas back and forth with fellow job seekers.
Adapt and Follow Up
The COVID19 pandemic is changing the face of networking. As tech and people adapt, interviewing will change too. Video and audio interviews will replace face-to-face interactions, at least for the time being. Not everyone feels comfortable with video interviews, but if you put your best foot forward and show your true value, there's nothing to worry about. Find ways to work around your prospective employer's schedule, be punctual when it's time for the interview, business attire is “de rigeur,” reach out to the interviewer after the chat to thank them for their time, and follow up without being too persistent.
With everything going on in the world today, you'd be thinking your chances of landing a good job now are slim, but don't let the COVID 19 pandemic push you toward a career break you don't want to have.
The novel coronavirus outbreak gave you a surprise present - the gift of time. Use it to your advantage, show your true self, and make the time you spend on a job search count. After all, the kind of drive you bring into this new endeavor is the same kind of drive that brings about change in any industry; and change is what the world needs most right now.