Job Hunting During a Pandemic

December 17, 2020

As we close out 2020, we still find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic with no real idea of when our world will return to normal. According to recent unemployment data by the Congressional Research Service, this pandemic “has had a significant effect on unemployment in every state, industry, and major demographic group in the United States.” While things are looking up from an employment perspective since April, there are still millions of Americans who need a job. The job search can feel relentless and never ending, but I have a few tips that can help you stand out in a sea of competition.

Cast a wide net and be flexible
As a job seeker, candidates tend to focus in on a career path without considering that there may be other potential industries/opportunities where they could thrive. Use this time to reflect on what is really important to you in your next role. Are there other industries you can move into where you can use transferrable skills? Is being remote after the pandemic a priority for you now? Take some time to sit down, write down what is most important to you in your next role, and rank them in terms of importance. This will provide clarity as you begin the job search process.

The next thing you need to consider is where you are willing to be flexible. Can you afford to be flexible in your salary/rate for the next year? What about other benefits? Are you willing to take a lesser title if the job functions are still of interest to you? Having an idea around where you can be flexible will be a leg up when you start speaking to recruiters and hiring managers about their open roles.

Put your best foot forward
Haven’t updated your resume in a while? Now is the time! Work with a recruiter or a professional resume writer/editor to make sure that your resume not only looks great but is truly showing your achievements in the best light. When you are applying for a role, use the website to boost your chances of getting an interview with a company. This website compares your resume to the job description and suggests some changes to get through Applicant Tracking Systems. This will allow you to customize your resume and increase your chances of getting hired.

Your LinkedIn profile can also come in handy when you are on the job hunt. Fill out your LinkedIn profile just as thoroughly as you would with your resume. Another pro tip for active job seekers is to make sure you are “Open to Work” on LinkedIn. This will let recruiters know that you are looking for something new. You can specify what types of roles/titles you are looking for, if you are open to contract/full time/remote work, as well as if you are open to relocate. This will increase your chances of getting reached out to by recruiters that specialize in your skillset.

Be persistent & apply often
The job search can feel never-ending. Especially when you feel like you have applied to hundreds of jobs with no luck. It is important to note that things will get better as we move through this pandemic/post-pandemic world. More companies will begin to hire and new jobs are getting approved and posted every day. If you are persistent with your application process, you will continue to up your chances of securing your next role. Don’t give up!

If you feel like you need advice, reach out to a recruiting agency that specializes in your field. Not only are they experts in the industry, but they may have access to roles you will never see online. And luckily for the candidate, working with a recruiting agency is a completely free service! Build a strong relationship with your recruiter, let them know all of the types of roles you are willing to consider, and keep in touch with them often so you stay top of mind.

In summary, the job search can be tough in and out of a pandemic, and these tips can be used for anyone that finds them self in the market for a new role. Reach out to your network, apply often, and maintain your confidence in your abilities and skills throughout the job search. Take the time to build relationships and know that your next role is right around the corner!