With the coronavirus effectively putting the world on lockdown, job seekers now face a new challenge – how to search in times of uncertainty. What can be done to keep a job search going strong during this time?
At the moment, moving forward in any way careerwise seems complicated at best. But while the economic and social implications of COVID-19 have caused employment numbers to take a hit, there’s still a wide variety of companies that are hiring and there are certainly still ways to get the attention of those companies.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while job searching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Practice Patience The name of the game is patience. As frustrating as it can be to sit around waiting for an answer when it comes to getting a job, things are most likely moving slowly right now. In fact, most companies are still trying to figure out what the coronavirus means for their business. However, while some companies may have hiring freezes in place, many are still interviewing for their open positions—they just may not be moving as fast as originally planned. Make sure to show understanding and do not interpret delayed responses as lack of interest.
Additionally, it’s important to keep patience in mind when communicating with hiring managers. At the end of the day it’s very difficult to know what companies or employees are dealing with, so it is best to lead with empathy. If you recently interviewed with a company and have not heard back, it’s okay to reach out to the recruiter. However, candidates should consider waiting at least two weeks before following up. A good practice would be to preface the email by acknowledging the situation as well as checking to see if there’s anything further they need from you. Then, give them breathing room to respond at their own pace.
Expand Your Network Now is the time to leverage your professional network. LinkedIn has more than 500 million users—and many recruiters, including Paradigm, use social networking to source new talent, so make sure your profile is updated and complete. Connecting with professionals in your line of work and reestablishing relationships with colleagues from previous jobs, your alma mater, and even social acquaintances can open up opportunities you might not have considered.
Post ideas, articles, and other content that will attract and engage your target audience—specifically recruiters. You can also introduce yourself to recruiters at companies you admire via InMail or email. But do your research first. Spend time on their career site to learn what they’re about and if they’re currently hiring.
Many companies are updating their sites to reflect how they’re handling business during the pandemic, including work-from-home policies, virtual interviews, and other essential FAQs.
Refine your Work-From-Home Routine The stark reality is that 88% of organizations have encouraged or required employees to work from home in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Gartner’s latest research. Although telecommuting was steadily increasing before the pandemic, embracing and optimizing remote work is no longer an option—it’s a necessity.
As we’ve talked about in previous blog posts, working from home is a skill in and of itself. And while the length of this pandemic is unknown, it’s important to stay productive since every project you complete is more crucial to your company’s bottom line. So maintain regular hours and treat your day as you would if you were going into the office. Create a dedicated space for your work, set ground rules with family members, schedule breaks, and try to stay consistent.
After this health crisis, it’s possible the number of remote workers will increase. If you’re able to demonstrate your effectiveness during this time, you’ll increase your odds of being one of them. At the very least, you’ll have another valuable skill to add to your résumé.
Allow yourself to be frustrated It’s a fact - these times are frustrating and stressful. Allow yourself to be frustrated, but don’t wallow in that feeling. Step away for a few minutes and exercise, meditate, call a friend, or whatever calms you down. Then get back to work.
During this time, job seekers should absolutely keep applying to jobs. The most successful people are the ones who persevere during a challenge. And, in time, this too shall pass.