COVID-19 or coronavirus hit the job markets in an unprecedented way. Many lost their jobs; some got their offer letters canceled, while others are facing a tremendous challenge to get hired. If you are one of them we would suggest, don’t panic—and don’t give up. Even if it can be challenging, there are certain ways to seek work during the ongoing pandemic. Note that while some industries are laying-off, some are hiring. Once on the job sites search by keywords like “urgently hiring” or “hiring immediately” along with your location to get to know about immediate openings. You can also use hashtags like #nowhiring or “hiring” on social media sites. This will make you understand the type of jobs that are in demand.
Tips for job hunting during the pandemic
Prior to looking for job, make sure that you get the job loss benefits you’re entitled to. Confirm with your HR for details on what’s offered.
Prepare for job search
Update the existing resume and also your LinkedIn profile. If you are looking for work after long, be meticulous in updating the resume and LinkedIn, tweak resume for the positions every time you apply.
Write an effective cover letter
Take the time to write a proper cover letter every time you apply for a job. This increases your chance to get noticed, while not writing any cover letter might damage your chances of getting hired. Available reports show that 10% of employers agree that not including a cover letter happens to be an instant deal-breaker. A survey of 200 hiring managers from ResumeLab, a resume advice site, says 83% of HR professionals are of the opinion that “a great cover letter can make me decide to interview a candidate, even if I don’t think their resume is good enough.”
Most hiring managers believe cover letters are a crucial cog in hiring decisions, and many prefer candidates who write one, even though they are optional on the application form. A cover letter that is written as the body of the email must be one page and should be of about 400 words. Remember it is not a summary of the resume.
Here is an effective format for writing cover letter
- Name of hiring manager, recruiter etc. Dept. Name, company name, address
- Which role you are applying for, personal attributes that make you a suitable candidate for the position.
- Referring the core competencies and achievement section of your resume, answering the job needs.
- Cite three details of the organisation and describe why they appeal to you, then write how you can add value to the company.
- Thank the manager for the time and say that you have attached your resume for their perusal.
- Sign off:
Understand the job market
It is very important to understand that all sectors are not badly affected. Industries like travel, food services, hospitality, and event planning are particularly in a bad shape. Also areas, where the pandemic has hit severely, are also in a bad shape hiring wise. Alternatively, the healthcare sector is hiring, and so are grocery stores and cleaning and hygiene services.
Explore the best job sites
While searching use keywords like “work at home,” “freelance,” or “telecommute” into the job sites. Think of exploring remote, niche, and gig job websites for instance like FlexJobs. Sites like Torch Capital Talent Connect enable you to add your profile to the database of people looking for work and also give you the right to use job listings for out of job workers. Again the site like HelpOneBillion has more than 500,000 job postings from companies keen to take into service quickly to fill their existing positions. Check out the top AI-powered job search sites for the Indian job market.
Be prepared to offer solutions
In today’s time the challenge is for the employers as well. Under this backdrop those who can prove to have formulae for a company’s succeed, will have their chances of getting hired, hugely enhanced. Consider the problems that companies might be experiencing and try to figure out how you can solve them. In whatever sector you are applying for a job, the key to get hired is to exhibit to the potential employer that you are armed with the necessary skills. Interpret the job listing carefully and highlight your most prized qualifications in the cover letter, profile section of resume, and also during interviews.
Know how to ace interviews
Make sure to know everything about video interviews. Rehearse interviewing through camera. If you’ve never been interviewed via Skype or Zoom, it’s time you learn the tricks. This article on how to prepare for Zoom interviews will be of help.
Do extensive networking
Networking doesn’t need face to face encounters anymore. We now live in the times of LinkedIn, Facebook, and numerous other social media, and it is not required to shake hands to impress someone.
Now most of us have extra time at hand, and it’s smart to make use of this gratuitous time in upgrading skills. Explore the online platforms that offer courses in skill-building, including LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Udemy and such others to learn new skills. Check out the best-curated list of online courses for upskilling.
Learn to be patient and kind
The pandemic has affected several aspects of daily life along with the job market. Under these circumstances you might not hear back on jobs as fast as you want. However, learn not to give any knee jerk action but to be tolerant and kind to the hiring manager and the networking connections. Everyone is facing some issue or other in dealing with these tough times but is trying to do the best. Keep in mind that during the pandemic hiring procedure might be longer and different from the usual. Once you hear from them, make sure that you send a thanking message to everyone who helped you in your job search.
According to LinkedIn data referral method is highly effective as 70% professionals get hired at organisations where they have personal connections. That said millennials are known for avoiding this as they are at ease to reach out to their connections for referrals, and often avoid this step during job search. More and more organisations are now depending on applicant tracking systems, and AI software to evaluate candidates. The algorithms of these software tools scan resumes for specific words and phrases around work history, responsibilities, skills and accomplishments to classify the ones that go well with the job requirement. Hence, you can see that resumes, and how well they’re drafted, matter the most.
Recommendations for resumes that make past the bots
Use standard file types. Tring to stand out by using unique font is passé.
Check grammar and spelling. Though this may sound obvious, many do not do it till today.
Clearly list the skills and make it lucid to understand. Mention the years of experience for each skill.
Think of part-time work
In most countries supermarkets and retailers are on a hiring spree to manage the increased demand. This has resulted in a faster tracking of applications, immediate hiring and next-day inductions. You can give it a shot but remember that these jobs will bring you to close contact with many people regularly. Hence, think about your safety and also of the people living with you, especially the elderly and other vulnerable persons.
A lot of local volunteering opportunities are now open; such an experience would add value to your resume, post pandemic. But make sure that you have taken all possible measures to remain safe.
List of companies that are now hiring
- Essential retail
- Banking and finance
- Customer service
- Public health and government
- Engineering and architecture
- Search engineering jobs
- News and publishing
- Remote meeting and communication companies: Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams