Five Tips for a Job Search During a Pandemic
These five (5) success tips will help you as you conduct your job search during the pandemic
Success Tips For Job Searching During the Pandemic
Not everything has changed. If you experienced success with your job search strategies before the pandemic, you should still implement them. For example, if you are good at writing Thank You letters of if you are good at following-up, you should still practice your success techniques.
Focus on Your Strengths
Companies hire employees who can solve problems for them. Sales people create revenue. Accountants ensure compliance with regulations and provide financial data that can be used for decision-making. Customer service staff help answer questions, keeping customers happy. Beyond what you do for a company, what is the impact that you have on the organization?
It’s even more important to highlight accomplishments on your résumé, LinkedIn profile, and career documents in a competitive job market.
Change careers, if necessary, to a new field. Assess your work history and identify older skills and/or experience you can leverage. Seek out opportunities for additional training and learning.
Be Clear on What You Need
The more specific you can be about the opportunity that you’re seeking, the more likely you will find it. Take some time to define what you’re looking for in your next job. Are you looking for a position that allows you to work remotely? Do you have a specific schedule you need — for example, because your children are engaging in remote schooling? Having a list of criteria like this can help you identify whether a position will be a good fit — or not.
Look For Companies That are Hiring or In Need
Be aware of which industries are holding steady or growing during the pandemic, and which ones are struggling. Focus on essential companies that are not affected by government shutdowns. Create a target list of companies. Researching your prospective employer is even more critical — be aware of changes affecting the company due to the pandemic. Set up Google Alerts to get informed about news affecting your ideal employers. Follow your target companies on LinkedIn. Subscribe to the company’s emails, blog, and social media channels.
Nurture Your Network
Networking is even more important for a job search during times of high unemployment. Meeting face-to-face or for coffee may not be an option right now, but you can connect virtually. Stay in touch through social media, phone calls, Zoom or FaceTime, email, text, and LinkedIn messages.
Adapt to the New Needs of the Job Search
Prepare for an online job interview. Set up a specific space for the interview. Make sure it’s someplace quiet with no distractions. Conduct a practice session with a friend on Zoom. When it’s time for the actual interview, dress like you’re going to an in-person interview (head to toe!).
Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from the interviewer right away. Be patient. The hiring process will likely take even longer than normal. That’s true even if the company initially seemed in a hurry to hire. Do follow up, but don’t be a pest. Ask how the person is doing, and if there’s anything they need from you to move the process along.
If you do have a job offer that is put on hold, consider asking if you could work in a contract or temporary role in the meantime. For example, one national furniture rental company is currently in a hiring freeze, but they are staffing with contract/temporary workers in the meantime.
One advantage of job searching during a pandemic is that it may be easier to interview because remote interviews can be done at any time. You don’t have to drive somewhere and wait in an office for the interviewer. You can have your notes in front of you that you can reference easily. And, if the interview is by phone (and not by Zoom or Skype), you don’t have to dress up or worry that you’re making sufficient eye contact with the interviewer.
Companies that are hiring are pivoting to meet jobseekers where they are. Most job fairs have gone online, allowing you to participate remotely. Some companies are doing Zoom “meet and greets,” allowing prospective employees to interact with company representatives virtually.
Should you be searching for a new job now? If you’re in an industry affected by the pandemic, the answer is likely yes. If you’re in an industry that is currently in a hiring freeze, lay the groundwork so you’re prepared to make a change once the pandemic ends.
Even if you’re not interested in changing jobs right now, create a plan for the future. Some things about the job search — for example, virtual job interviews — are likely to stick around long after COVID-19 is gone.
Job Searching During a Pandemic
How to find a job fast
Unemployment numbers are expected to continue to fluctuate through the end of 2020 and into 2021. While the pandemic is new, looking for work in a challenging job market is not. You can supplement some of the “tried and true” job search techniques with special strategies that are necessary because of COVID-19. But there are no hard and fast rules for a job search in a pandemic, so be flexible!
Even if you are currently employed now, some companies have announced further layoffs and furloughs as the pandemic stretches into late 2020. It’s important to be prepared for what’s next. This means updating your résumé and LinkedIn profile and taking the time to track and document your accomplishments.
In addition, it may be useful to take some time to analyze your transferable skills and experience, particularly if you are in a declining industry or an industry that has been negatively affected by the pandemic.
Some things about the job search are the same:
However, some things are different in a job search during the pandemic:
One important thing to remember: Don’t automatically discard the things that worked for you before in your job search. If you have had success previously with a specific tactic — for example, working with recruiters, or tapping into the hidden job market, don’t write them off just because there is a pandemic.
“No One Is Hiring”
Your mindset is especially important when looking for a job during a pandemic. Companies are still hiring new employees. Want proof? Search for openings on job aggregator sites like Indeed.com, SimplyHired, or Monster. Check out the “Jobs on Facebook” feature (https://www.facebook.com/jobs/) or LinkedIn Jobs (https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/). You’ll see hundreds of open opportunities.
Companies in the shipping/delivery field are hiring, as are grocery stores and many healthcare facilities, including pharmacies. Information technology and technical support positions are also in high demand, as employees need more assistance with their computers and other devices when working from home.
Look for companies that are meeting pandemic-specific needs. These companies are now hiring for temporary, part-time, and short-term opportunities.
However, some industries are struggling. For example, hospitality companies — restaurants, airlines, resorts, hotels, and conference centers. Almost everything related to the entertainment industry has been affected. Colleges and universities are facing budget cuts as students defer returning to campus until the pandemic ends. Government organizations — often some of the steadiest employers — are also facing shortfalls affecting employment and hiring.
Even in companies that are hiring, there may still be uncertainty. The hiring timeline has grown longer in some cases. If the company is conducting multi-person interviews, it may take time to coordinate schedules so all the panelists are available at the same time. Some job openings may be put on hold temporarily as situations change in the business. You may even have a job offer rescinded if a company’s fortunes suddenly change.
If you’re suddenly unemployed, your next job may not be a full-time or permanent position. It may not be your dream job. But a short-term or temporary position may make it easier for you to weather the pandemic and be in a position to get a new role in the future. It’s often easier to get a job when you already have one. And some temporary and short-term roles may turn into permanent positions once the economy ramps back up again.
You may also find yourself going through a career change during the pandemic. Is there a way you can use your existing skills in a new industry in the short term? For example, if you were a Server in a restaurant, can you use your communication skills to work a remote customer service job? Or if you were an Event Coordinator for a hotel/conference center, could you use your project management capabilities to manage scheduling for a hospital?
If You’re Furloughed
The pandemic caused a number of companies to furlough employees. Many of these companies continue to pay employee benefits (such as health insurance) but the furlough allows workers to apply for unemployment.
If you’re still on furlough, develop a job search strategy in case your position is permanently eliminated. Start working now on updating your job search documents (résumé, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, etc.). so you can immediately start applying for positions if you find yourself without a job.
With the end of the enhanced unemployment benefits, if you are still furloughed, you may be considering short-term or part-time work. Research your state’s unemployment benefit requirements to determine how this work may affect your benefits.
Simple Networking Ideas To Find A New Job
We’ve all heard that the best way to find a job is through networking. While this is true, some of us just don’t seem to have that social-butterfly gene.
Here are some simple ways to let the world know that you’re ready, willing, and able to help their company.
Create a profile on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is like the professional’s version of Facebook. Use the tools to create a profile and contact others who you already know on there. You never know who is connected to your friends and colleagues!
Create a Meetup profile.
Find Meetup gatherings in your area that pertain to your interests and objectives. You will meet amazing local people. When you sign up at a few Meetup groups, you will run into some of the same people at different gatherings. It's very easy to make new connections this way. Do this effectively and consistently a few weeks in a row. Watch opportunities knock at your door.
Set a Facebook profile.
Don’t use your personal profile if you already have one. Set up a profile specifically for your professional career. Post your resume and befriend everyone that looks like they might be able to help.
Get on Nextdoor.
Nextdoor is one of the fastest growing social platforms. You will be surprised at how many doors it can open. People seem to have welcomed and embraced Nextdoor into their daily lives faster than expected. Get active! Connect with your neighbors. People love to help.
Get a Twitter account.
Follow everyone in your field. Follow everyone you can in the geographic location you wish to work. Tweet away.
Always carry business cards.
You never know when you’re going to meet someone that might have the ability to help in your job search.
Blog about your profession.
You’ll attract people in the same field and also demonstrate your expertise.
Follow blogs in the same industry.
Subscribe to the blog and leave comments. Ask if you can write some content for them. It’s another way to get your name and experience out in the public eye.
Let all your friends know.
You might think you don’t know that many people. But if you think about all the people your friends know as well, you’ll see the numbers climb rapidly. Tell everyone what you’re looking for; you might be surprised who can help.
Let everyone know.
Your neighbors, members of any clubs to which you belong, your mail carrier, the bus driver, and more could all be helpful. Don’t be bashful.
Have your elevator pitch ready.
You should be able to fire off your elevator pitch in 30 seconds who you are, what you do, and what problems you can solve.
Get a professional email address.
Super.firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t sound very professional. John.Smith@xxxxxx.com sounds better.
Finding a new job is about as much fun as getting a root canal. The best solution is to use as many tools at your disposal to find a job as quickly as possible.
There is someone out there looking for someone exactly like you; you just have to find them. Use the ideas above and be creative; these are just the tip of the iceberg. Good Luck!
Productivity at Work: 6 Tips That Increase Your Efficiency
Productivity seems to be a hot topic while people are still adjusting to the changes in work and lifestyle due to the new work-at-home culture and paradigm shifts.
To begin, it's important to look up Productivity Definition before discussing it here. Dictionary.com defines productivity as follows:
1. The quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services:
The productivity of the group's effort surprised everyone.
2. Economics. The rate at which goods and services having exchange value are brought forth or produced:
Productivity increased dramatically last year.
3, Grammar. The ability to form new words using established patterns and discrete linguistic elements, as the derivational affixes -ness and -ity.
Parallel meanings are offered by Thesaurus.com as productivity synonyms. They are as follows:
Thesaurs.com offers the following under Productivity Synonym:
Productivity Economics Definition
The more I read the second productivity definition from Dictionary.com (The "rate" at which goods and service exchange value....), I know that for the most part they mean the rate of time: The "rate of time" at which.... Of course, that's for the productivity economics definition.
Managers are also trying to maintain their teams' productivity remotely while searching for new apps and tools to use for remote productivity measurement. Time is incredibly important, and unfortunately, it is impossible to magically add more minutes to the day.
If you find yourself getting distracted throughout the workday, you’re likely to waste those precious minutes.
On the other hand, when you become more productive, not only will you shine at work, but you’ll also have more time for the things you enjoy doing!
How To Be More Productive
The key to be more productive is to start with Time Management. Start by building time management skills. It's the most important thing you can do. Next, supercharge your To-Do Lists and split your time into manageable chunks using the Pomodoro system. Learn about project management tools, use time tracking software, and of course, build healthy habits. A little easier said than done!
Labor Productivity Formula
Investopedia.com offers a great explanation of the importance of measuring labor productivity and using labor productivity formula. Basically, once must figure out the results or the total output. Next, divide the total output by the total number of labor hours.
So, what can you do to be more productive?
Keep these tips in mind to become more efficient with your time at work. You’ll get more done at work, which will make your boss happy and give you more spare time to enjoy doing the things that you love.
What is Hope and Why Does it Matter?
...One of those things that people don’t always understand well, though oddly enough, we all need it to live a happy, healthy life. After all, hope is what helps you see your situation and then shows you the way out.
HOPE IS NOT....
...Some warm fluffy bit of happiness, nor is it a Pollyanna dose of enthusiasm, though it might contain both emotions. Hope is instead a goal that includes the desire to get there, and the feeling that you can.
What is hope?
According to the dictionary, hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Hope sees the potential in a situation. But it does more than that.
Take a look at the first 15 words listed under Hope Synonym by Thesaurus.com in alphabetical order:
Why Does Hope Matter?
The thing to realize is that hope is necessary to live. Without it, we not only stagnate, but we also lose our will to live entirely. Hope matters. Here’s why:
Hope gets caught up in the interconnectedness of things. We need hope to realize our dreams, but as a group, our communities likewise need hope to survive. Hope shows us what we live for, and what we fight for.
Other benefits of hope
The best thing about hope
It’s contagious. If you go out into the world full of hope and enthusiasm, you can be sure to find that reflected at you by those around you, by those who have learned how to hope because you first showed them the way.
Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.