Finding a Job During Coronavirus
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
It seems unthinkable to even start looking for work whilst we are still in lockdown but don't let the current pandemic situation hold you back from getting a job.
Companies, especially future-thinking and growing ones are still hiring, however, you ill have to be patient as they adapt their hiring practices to this new normal.
Firstly, let's establish why you are looking for a job - have you unfortunately been made redundant? Or did you choose to leave and you are regretting the timing of your choice? Perhaps you have been looking for a while now or have had time to think about where your career is heading and you wanted to make some changes?
Whatever the reasons are will determine your approach as will your financial situation. By that I mean, do you have savings to tide you over whilst you look and plan accordingly or is it time to hustle and just get work?
Either way, you will be up against a lot of job hunters - don't despair as the following tips will help you stand out from the crowd.
CV & LinkedIn
Now is the time to give these a thorough review and to ask yourself "do they show me off to my best ability?" If not then make some changes and quickly.
If you are not sure then consider asking someone who knows you who will be honest with you - this is not time to hear your Mum's proud praise - you need constructive critical feedback to help you get noticed. Perhaps a friend, an ex-colleague or ex-manager.
Think about who is reading your CV too - what do they need to know and what would the like to know? Consider tailoring it for different roles and please, please do the basics - spell check, grammar - make it easy to read.
With your credentials looking in top shape now is the time to start the search and don't forget about your existing network of contacts. Who do you know who may be able to help? Who do they know? I'm not suggesting you mass email your entire contacts list but have a think about who is in the line of work you are interested in or is in an industry you are keen to explore.
Reach out to them offering them your help - sounds strange but you have to give to receive and people are much more likely to help you, be generous with their time and recommendations if you have done them a favour.
Even before you have landed an interview, research the company and the role so you can write a kick-ass cover letter. Not all applications ask for this but it shows you have done your homework (as long as you do it well) and it proves that you are interested and dedicated.
Your second bout of research comes once you have an interview booked; who will you be meeting? what is their role? what do they need and want to know from and about you? what do you need to know from them?
A fantastic book to help with interview preparation is "Why You?" by James Reed - if you are concerned about interviews read this to help you understand why companies ask those seemingly random questions.
Awesome! You've got an interview and chances are it is a video call as we can't actually go anywhere.
Perfect as now you can rehearse.
That's right; you can now work out where you want to be interviewed in your home; where is there good light with a neutral backdrop? How can you manage noise and disturbances? Film yourself and practice what you are going to say so you can watch it back to review. Sounds super cringe, I'm not going to lie - it is. This was the one of the worst moments for me when I was a performer - having to watch myself but wow is it useful! You will be able to assess your body language, how much you smile, if your set up looks professional and how you are presenting yourself.
I've already mentioned preparation in terms of research, however, it goes without saying that you should prepare just as you would if you were to have a face to face interview - make bullet point notes you can quickly glance to, have some questions ready and now your CV inside out.
Finally, and this goes without saying, be professional - look smart - whatever role you are applying for it is much better to look a bit to smart compared to looking like you are probably wearing pyjamas from the waist down.
Have your phone on silent, get someone to watch your children / take the dog out / silence the parrot /open the door for deliveries and breathe.
If All Else Fails
Don't despair if your interview as cancelled - try to find out why to get an understanding of the situation and reiterate that you are still interested and ready to interview when they are.
Perhaps you got turned down - again don't panic - yes it is crap to not be chosen, but again, try to find out why and if you liked the company ask about any other or future roles they may consider you for.
Keep learning and improving your skills so that when that perfect role comes along you are ready. This will also keep you mind active, fill the time and look good on your CV rather than spending 3 months of playing World of Warcraft.
Good luck and if you want to work on a full career strategy get in touch to see how I can help you.