Job hunting in the midst of a pandemic
Whether you’ve been made redundant, are concerned about your job security, are looking for career progression or have simply decided it’s time to move on it is undoubtedly a tough time to be job hunting.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to redundancies for many and with so much uncertainty some businesses are understandably holding back on recruiting. With so many people sadly loosing their jobs the number of applicants for each job vacancy has risen sharply in recent months.
Competition is tough and in many cases the hiring process has changed. Interview by zoom anyone? However it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are still opportunities out there and we are hearing from businesses everyday who are looking to strengthen their teams, bring in new skills and recruit new staff.
If you’re currently wondering how to navigate the “new normal” (yes, we hate the expression too) and find the right role then rest assured many of the things that have always been important in job hunting haven’t changed. Here’s a quick overview of how to approach your job search at this time.
The application process
Applying for jobs requires time and effort but at the moment is it more important than ever to ensure you are focusing your efforts in the right way and improving your chances of the right role.
Some of the following might seem obvious but here is a quick overview of things you can do in order to improve your chances and to stand out from your job hunting competitors.
- Make sure you have a well written, well presented CV. It should be concise and where possible tailored to the role you are applying for.
- Dedicate time to your search. There are jobs out there but unless you have experience and skills in a shortage area this is not a time to sit back and hope that a job finds you.
- Each individual will be looking for something different. If you have a job but are looking for progression then you may want to be selective about which roles you apply for. If you’ve found yourself out of work then you might need to look at different options. Consider your skillset and experience and if your ideal roles aren’t being advertised it you could try speculative applications to employers you’d love to work for. You might also need to think about jobs you’d be good at but weren’t previously considering. Speaking to people and seeking advice can help too.
- Put yourself out there. Speak to friends, family, contacts, it may not be possible to do lots of physical networking but think carefully about the network you already have and how they might be be able to help you.
- Register with relevant recruitment agencies. Try and speak to a recruiter who specialises in recruiting for your industry, they’ll have a good idea of how much work is available and if you make a good impression on them they’ll want to help and put you forward for the right opportunities.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Depending on the type of work you are looking for LinkedIn and other social media platforms can be incredibly useful. Lots of companies now advertise vacancies on Facebook and there are local job groups you can join on Facebook too. Do look at all of your online profiles and your settings. Make sure you are portraying the right image to any potential new employer, if you apply via Facebook your profile picture will be the first thing they see so make sure it is appropriate.
At the moment video interviews via Zoom, Skype, Teams or other similar applications are proving popular and practical. There are certainly advantages. No worrying about finding the right building, public transport making you late, parking, issues or getting rained on on your way to the interview. A whole host of possible problems are avoided.
However, for those who are camera shy or not used to video conferencing the idea of this type of interview can be daunting.
Minimise nerves and concerns by preparing thoroughly.
- Do your research about the company and the role
- Be ready with relevant information about your skills, experience, suitability for the role and any transferable skills
- Think about any questions you might have
- Plan you are going to wear and get ready just as you would for a face to face interview
- Check your tech is all working as it should. Technical issues can happen anytime but the last thing you want is to logon for a video interview only to find your webcam or microphone isn’t working.
If your interview was direct with an employer or through an agency send a follow up email to the person who arranged the interview thanking them for their time. If you don’t know the outcome of the interview this is another opportunity to let them know how interested you are in the role.
If you don’t get the job remember there will be other opportunities. It can be difficult not to be disheartened during such strange and challenging times but stay focused. Maybe consider temporary work instead of only applying for permanent jobs. If you are considering a career change a temporary position can offer an opportunity to try a role and see if you enjoy it.
If you are currently looking for work, whatever your circumstances, then we’d love to hear from you. Send a CV or give us a call on 01244 456779 to have an informal initial chat about what you are looking for and how we can help.