With the coronavirus effectively putting the world on lockdown, job seekers now face a new challenge – how to search in times of uncertainty. What can be done to keep a job search going strong during this time?
Keep applying to jobs.
Your job search should continue as usual. Keep sending in your applications and polishing up your resume and cover letter. Even if the company needs to temporarily stop their search, chances are once things resume some sense of normalcy, they’ll still need to fill that position.
Don’t worry if the position doesn’t mention remote work.
New listings may reflect the changes many companies have made to transition their workforce to remote work, but existing listings won’t get updated. At this point, it’s very possible that even if the job listing doesn’t mention remote work, it’s a definite option. In states and cities with shelter in place orders and group gathering restrictions, many companies’ physical locations are closed, so remote work is the only option right now, whether or not the job posting mentions it.
Build your network.
Now, more than ever before, is the time to lean into your network and continue or start to build it. If you don’t have an active LinkedIn profile, you need one. LinkedIn is a goldmine of connections, advice, and job opportunities. Take advantage of that by not only updating your profile but engaging with your network by messaging people, joining in on discussions, and sharing content. Never be afraid to ask for help or advice – that’s what your network is there for.Today In: ForbesWomen
Engage with people.
With millions of people working from home, engagement in online communities has increased. Offline events have moved online, creating new ways for people to connect. There are hundreds of options to network virtually every day ranging from educational to social, so take full advantage of them. Find a balance between professional events and fun, social ones. A virtual happy hour can do wonders to boost your mood and help reduce stress during these tense and uncertain times.
Get comfortable with talking on the phone.
Video and phone calls are now the way that most companies will be conducting interviews. Expect the initial correspondence to be through email, then by phone, and as you progress, by video. If you aren’t comfortable talking on the phone, enlist a few friends to help you run through a few practice calls. Be sure that your voicemail is set up you’re using a professional voicemail greeting.
Ensure you have a clear spot to video chat from.
Video interviews will replace in person interviews, but they should be treated the same. Prepare the same way for a video interview as you would if you were meeting the hiring manager in their office. Dress professionally, be ready to go five minutes early, check all of your camera and audio settings ahead of time, and use headphones to you can both hear and be heard clearly.
The most important thing is to have a clear background. Hiring managers will allow for some leeway during this time since not everyone has the luxury of having a home office to work out of, but be sure to choose a spot in your home with an uncluttered background. Some platforms allow you to use a virtual background, but be sure to test it out before your interview to ensure it works properly.
Allow yourself to be frustrated.
These times are frustrating and stressful – that’s a fact. Allow yourself to be frustrated, but don’t wallow in that feeling. Step away for a few minutes and exercise, meditate, call a friend, or whatever calms you down. Then get back to work.
In short, job seekers should absolutely keep applying to jobs during this time. The most successful people are the ones who persevere during a challenge.