Job Hunting Amid The Pandemic? 8 Key Tips For A Successful Job Search

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Just when you thought job hunting couldn’t get any harder, COVID-19 happened. 

Whether you’re newly out of work due to the recession caused by the pandemic or have been job searching since before the outbreak took place, you’re probably asking yourself the same question: Is it even possible to land a job right now? 

The answer is yes, but with certain conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic decline that’s come with it has turned many aspects of job search upside down. Businesses are going through such a difficult time. With this, you need to change your way of reaching out. 

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To set your job search off to a good start, here are 8 key reminders to keep in mind.

1. Ask yourself: How urgent is your need for a job? 

While many industries were and will continue to be hit hard by the pandemic, other industries that weren’t adversely affected are still hiring. The question is, how badly do you need to get a job right now? 

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Depending on your sense of urgency, you can either adjust your job goals and pursue career opportunities that are currently available or use the downtime to lay the groundwork for your future job search. 

2. Be flexible with your career plans

If you can afford to put your job hunting on hold, it might be best to wait for better days to come. Just do everything to retain your current job and make it more bearable for you. It’s quite challenging to get on a hiring manager’s radar right now since many businesses are struggling to even make it out alive. 

Buf you’re unemployed and need a steady income to put food on the table or pay rent, look wherever else you can find an opportunity that makes sense for you – well at least in the meantime. 

Be strategic and focus on organizations that are actively posting about their new job listings. Consider freelance jobs and gig works to tide you over. Think of a passion or a potential side job you can utilize to earn. 

3. Strengthen your connections through networking

Just because no one’s posting job vacancies doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to land a job. This downtime is the perfect opportunity to tap into your networks, which might include friends, old colleagues, professional mentors, and other like-minded professionals. 

Spark conversations and see if they know an organization or two that’s currently hiring. Ask about virtual events. You may also make yourself visible to professional groups, like LinkedIn and Facebook, to expand your network and job opportunities.

According to Danielle Beauparlant Moser, managing director and executive coach with bltCareers in Asheville, NC, companies might not be hiring at the moment but they’ll start hiring eventually. And the people who continue to build relationships and share their ideas will be in a better position when companies start accepting applicants. 

4. Stay in touch

Let’s say you had a promising interview before COVID-19 happened, and a job offer seemed to be on the horizon. However, the company you recently applied for has moved to remote work and you haven’t heard from the HR services.  

Don’t lose hope. Check in with the hiring manager via e-mail but make sure you’re demonstrating an empathetic attitude. Acknowledge that they might be scrambling to empower employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic and help their team get used to the new setup. 

Wrap up the email with “I’m looking forward to learning more when it’s convenient for your organization.”

5. Be compassionate 

Make sure you’re not blindly sending out resumes through e-mail, with generic and half-hearted subjects and messages. Whether you’re sending a cover letter through e-mail or chatting with an old colleague, demonstrate a genuine and empathetic attitude, recognizing that this unprecedented time isn’t easy for everyone.

Try to make your messages personalized and conversational. Start every email with sincere questions about them and their loved ones, and an acknowledgment of the difficult time we’re going through. Ask about how they’re doing. The simple remark “I hope you and your family are safe and healthy” can go a long way. 

Instead of asking them to help you, focus on how you can be of great help to their company. 

6. Revamp your resume and online profiles

Turn this downtime into an opportunity to polish your resume and online profiles. Highlight your current career accomplishments, education, and skills. You can also create a website that can provide information about your career trajectory as well as your past successful projects, to give employers a sense of your vision and mission. 

7. Take online courses to boost your skills

Expand your professional toolkit by taking online courses that are in line with your career path. Aside from honing your skills, you can also take online courses to learn new skills which may also be relevant to the job you’re planning to get. 

Having a few certifications under your belt will give you an advantage when the job market picks up again. 

8. Be a little patient and have faith

This isn’t the best time to pressure people over slow responses. Recognize that employers, like you, are adapting to this so-called “new normal”. Create a realistic timeline and move on if you don’t get a response after a week or two of waiting. 

Lastly, be patient with yourself. When you recognize that processes will go slower than usual, you can adjust your expectations and career goals efficiently while keeping your sanity. 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a creative writer for HR Dept Australia, a provider of affordable and pragmatic HR services and employment law advice in Australia. Writing about helpful career management solutions for both employees and employers is her cup of tea.

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