7 Ways to Boost your Job Search During COVID-19

Looking for work is challenging enough, but when you throw a global pandemic into the mix, it can be significantly more difficult. Whether you’re taking this time to plan your next career move or you are a current student or a new grad, remember to persevere!  

The good news is that companies are still operating and still hiring. While many have slowed hiring practices as they re-calibrate the way they’re doing business, employers across various industries are still looking for people.

1. Prepare for virtual job fairs 

Like a lot of gatherings right now, job fairs are turning virtual. But just as in-person job fairs, if you want them to be useful, you must be prepared. Here are a few tips to ensure you get the most out of a virtual job fair: 

  • Do your research on the employers who’ll be in attendance, and the ones you’re interested in. Why do you want to work for them? What can you offer? Prior to the job fair, take a look at the Careers page on their website and decide if there are any postings you are suitable for. 
  • Prepare a 30-second elevator pitch. They’re your opportunity to tell people who you are, what you’ve done and where you’d like to be – all in about 30 seconds. 
  • Consider your background and environment. What will the employer see behind you? Make sure you’re not sitting in front of a bright window, so you can be seen easily. If you can, try and make sure your background is a neutral wall, and that you’re in a quiet environment with minimal background noise.  

2. Be kind to yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help 

Looking for work is hard to do alone at any time, let alone when it feels like the world has shut down. Remember that no matter how fabulous you were in your last job, it’s normal to struggle as you flex your skills for interviewing, cover letter writing and networking.  

Successful job seekers don’t hesitate to reach out for support. The New Job Bootcamp was created to make job seeking better for you. To transform the way you typically search for jobs, you can learn more here.

3. Diversify your job search

Given the varying impact of COVID-19, consider looking beyond the sectors that you have previously worked in focusing on your transferable skills. Many occupations exist across multiple sectors. Using some online research determine what kind of roles companies are hiring for, or letting go of, to inform your job search- it’s completely fine to customize your resume for different job applications, emphasizing your skills and experience that best apply.

4. Get ready for phone and/or video interviews 

Don’t be fooled – successfully handling a phone or video interview takes just as much preparation as an in-person interview. Check out these blogs on how to succeed at phone interviews, and how to prepare for video interviews

5. Use the Time to Reflect

Job seekers often jump at the first available opportunity or go into their search without fully considering what they want to do next. Take advantage of the slowing job market by getting clarity about where you want to work and the type of role and title you’re seeking. Be prepared to think about your role more broadly and possibly pivot to an adjacent position that would also make use of your experience and skills. For instance, you might have been targeting a marketing role but with fewer people spending money, the company might be more inclined to hire someone for a communications role during this crisis.

6. Boost Your Skills

Now is the perfect time to work on bolstering your qualifications. Analyze job descriptions by listing each required skill and experience. Then consider whether you have that exact skill, if you have the skill but haven’t used it in a few years, or if you’re lacking the skill entirely. Use that information to determine what you need to brush up on to make yourself an even better candidate when the job market picks up again.

For instance, if you’re applying for social media or marketing specialist positions, the listing will likely require experience with Google Analytics – being certified would make your resume stand out.

7. Create your job search schedule 

It is a challenging time for everyone, including job seekers and employers. Be patient and acknowledge the current situation. While there are some things beyond our control, we can remain focused on what we can do right now. Create your schedule and follow-through, focus on your career development, but also pay attention to your mental health.

  • Set up goals, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. Focus on your efforts, not how many interviews you get. Examples “I will connect with five professionals every week on LinkedIn,”and “I will spend one hour on skill development through online learning every day.”
  • Review your progress regularly, recognize your efforts and reward yourself with a treat. It’s easy to lose confidence and feel frustrated in the process of job searching. Have a positive mindset and building confidence is essential. 

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