Navigating a job search in challenging times
Updated: Mar 18, 2020
Finding a new role is stressful at the best of times; however, combining it with a worldwide crisis will add to an already anxiety-ridden process.
So, faced with a different landscape, what can you do to navigate the job market successfully?
First, and foremost, don't stop your job search. Yes, it will be tougher and slower, but people still get hired in challenging times.
Maintaining your job search strategy will give you the edge over those who have stopped searching. Yes, the landscape is undeniably different, and you will need to adjust to it.
"You can't win the lottery if you don't have a ticket."
Nothing lasts forever and sitting back and waiting for life to return to normal will mean that you have lost valuable time. Thinking about the things you can affect (your words, your feelings and your actions) puts you in the driver's seat and back in control! Own it and make it happen!
Sharpen your CV
It's a great time to strengthen your CV. So many CV's that I review are not fully optimised. If I can't see the value you can bring in the top half of your CV, then your CV needs some attention.
Optimise your LinkedIn Profile
While your previous employment dates need to match your CV, it shouldn't look like your CV. Your profile is an excellent opportunity to showcase your personality. Ensure it portrays the type of role you wish to attract and optimise your keywords too as it will make you easier to find. Also, gather recommendations from relevant influencers who will increase your attractiveness rating!
You may be confined to the four walls of your home, but what better time to build your online network. LinkedIn is not only a place to make great connections, but it's also a place to learn. Comment on posts, write an article and join relevant groups where you can increase your knowledge and meet thought leaders.
Get in front of your target audience
While networking in person at the moment is not an option, strategically increase your online network instead. Run searches on LinkedIn on your target industries and focus on people with mutual connections as opposed to attempting to connect with your target contact directly. You are more likely to be successful if you personalise a message to them using your mutuality to your advantage. Ask them if they would mind introducing you to your target connection.
With social distancing recommended, attending a gym or fitness class may not be at the top of your list or even achievable. Allowing yourself to let off steam through exercise will put you in the right mindset to tackle your job search strategy, so ensure you make time to achieve it. Create a space in your lounge and turn on The Body Coach on YouTube!
Consider temporary work
With the need to increase resources of essential must-have items and services to the general public, there will be industries ramping up their temporary recruitment activity. While you may be nervous about working in an environment with other people, employers are going to great lengths to ensure their employee's safety; some are even offering home working. It's a personal decision; however, if you are willing to consider temporary work lookout for relevant job advertisements and register with a recruitment agency.
Increase your skills
In a skills-based economy, plug your skills gaps through online learning and webinars. If you have brushed up your knowledge when the crisis comes to an end, you will be much more valuable.
Prepare for Video Interviews
While many hirers work from home, many will be continuing the recruitment process through the use of technology. Video interviews are different from face-to-face meetings. Dress to impress, position yourself in good lighting and prepare yourself as thoroughly as you would a face-to-face interview.
Many companies have put their jobs on hold while they come up with contingency plans to enable their teams to work from home and to deal with current issues, so bear with them. If you are taking part in a hiring process and undertaking an online interview, expect delays with potential start dates while the employer sorts out your on boarding. Patience will be crucial.
Find a buddy
Job searching is lonely. Connecting with someone who is in the same position as you can make a world of difference. If you can bounce ideas off each other, keep one another positive when motivation falters and hold each other accountable, then the journey will not be as arduous.
Remember, the challenging times we are finding ourselves in will pass. It may look different when we come out the other side, but companies will need people and, they will be keen to recover as quickly as possible.