How to Handle A Job Hunt In The Midst Of A Pandemic

As if the year wasn’t bad enough, now you are on the hunt for a job. If you were thinking “could 2020 get any worse”, millions of workers have been laid off or furloughed to COVID-19. While economists are predicting a recession, those who are now jobless or were in the middle of a job hunt when the pandemic hit, might be feeling down in the dumps with the assumption that no one is hiring for the foreseeable future. Companies might not be hiring today and you would probably find yourself competing with hundreds of other potential candidates if a job opening does crop up,  it’s best to keep networking and applying, and looking at your job search as a valuable learning experience. Instead of admitting defeat, there are countless ways to successfully look for work during a pandemic. Here are a few tips for navigating the job hunting process during the pandemic.

Continue To Do Interviews

Don’t be dismayed if you have done several online interviews so far with zero results. We understand that online interviews can be downright torturous for most of us, let alone for those with social anxiety. It usually takes me a few days to recover from the emotional fallout, which is why I used to skimp on opportunities that seemed far-fetched. However, this is where I was making a mistake. Even if you feel like interviews are pointless and won’t get you anywhere in the midst of the pandemic, I suggest that you participate in as many as possible to gain valuable experience and hone your conversational skills. After all, who knows when an interview will lead to a job offer!

Don’t Assume That No One Is Hiring

Even though it does seem that way at the moment since plenty of organizations have enacted hiring freezes, countless others are still updating job postings and searching for new candidates. Remember that not every occupation and industry will be affected in the same way. On one hand, Companies in hospitality, food services, travel, and event planning have been especially hard hit, industries like online shopping and delivery and essential services like healthcare and warehousing are appearing on the horizon! You will just have to move to a different industry, so it’s important that you build some experience and hone your skills while things open up again. As long as there are listings out there, there is plenty of work for those willing to adapt!

Be Ready To Offer Solutions

Employers are as badly hit by the pandemic as employees. If you have some out-of-the-box solution which can help the company navigate the choppy seas, do sell the hiring manager on it. Before applying to a company, look up the most common problems the company might be facing and explain how you can help. The best way to get people to hire you during a pandemic is to show them that you have got just the skills that they need. Decode the job listing and highlight your most valuable qualifications in your cover letter, and also during job interviews. Even better, if you are comfortable working from home, you will have a better chance getting hired these days. Many businesses and professional services companies are having their employees work from home, and are even looking to hire new employees who have experience telecommuting.

Get the Word Out

Most jobs are found through recommendations and word-of-mouth. Networking starts with the contacts you have already created since these people are more likely to help you during these turbulent times. This is no time to feel shy; let your social media contacts know you are looking for a job. Know that you are not alone, many people are in the same boat. The more people you let know, even those who work in an entirely different industry or field, the higher your chances are of finding a suitable job. A global health crisis is exactly the right time to check in with the people you haven’t contacted in a long time. Express concern for how they are doing and then mention that you are currently job searching and if they happen to know of an opening. Remember that people are starved for any interaction, and chances of those people reciprocating your conversational attempt have never been higher.

Expand Your Network

Events will be cancelled for a while, so you will probably need to tweak your networking strategy. Seek out virtual events, look for professional groups to join on Facebook and LinkedIn pertinent to your field, Join in the conversation, post and comment, and make yourself visible. Make sure to keep the conversation professional by jumping into topics that allow you to demonstrate your expertise and posting relevant articles. Since everyone is stuck at home, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand your network online.

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