Your Pandemic Job Search: Tips for Success

Your Pandemic Job Search: Tips for Success

Your Pandemic Job Search: Tips for Success

Hunting for a job during COVID-19 can be stressful, but it isn’t hopeless. With the right attitude and efforts, you can still find an excellent job. Being assertive, keeping an open mind, and targeting your applications to the best companies will help you immensely.

The pandemic has been hard enough for those with secure employment. For those amid a job search, it’s been a nightmare.

If you were among the 20.6 million Americans who lost their job because of the crisis, it's time to move forward. Even those who’ve managed to remain employed should prepare for the worst. If 2020 proved anything, it’s that life can change in an instant. It’s smart to learn strategies that can help you get back on your feet in the event of a career disaster.

A Shifting World: How COVID-19 Changed the Job Search

It’s safe to say COVID-19 changed society in countless ways. We can observe one of the most noticeable pandemic-related shifts in the way we work.

Since the beginning of the pandemic:

  • 42% of the American labor force switched to work-from-home positions.
  • 26% of workers have continued working outside the home.
  • 33% have lost their jobs.</li>

Although the job losses have been devastating, we’ve also seen new careers rise from this disaster. Contract tracers, health monitors, and temperature takers are a few examples. Likewise, certain industries are thriving. For instance, there’s now a greater demand for cleaning crews that provide disinfecting services.

If you want a job right now, you’ll need to be open minded. Instead of looking at this situation as a burden and a problem, work on getting to see it as an opportunity. Is there anything you dreamed of doing that you never had the chance to do before?

It is important to find the balance between taking risks and being realistic. This probably isn’t the best time to set out to become a famous rock star. It’s more about looking at the skillset you have to offer and considering new ways you could use it.

Smart Networking During Hard Times: Tips for Finding Work

1. Do Your Research

Take an honest look at your skillset. Research the opportunities and find the companies that could use your strongest skills. The last thing you want to do is begin blindly applying anywhere with openings. Do your best to calm your emotions and avoid desperation. Your efforts will go much further if you target your job search to companies you want to work for.

2. Be Open Minded

When making your list of target companies, keep an open mind. It’s important to consider where your skillset could be thoroughly utilized. It’s just as important to think outside the box. There’s nothing wrong with going for your dream job. Nonetheless, consider whether there might be great opportunities you haven't yet considered.

3. Treat Your Job Hunt Like a Job

When you have a job, there’s a clear boundary between work time and leisure time. When unemployed, you lose that. This can result in spending either too much or too little time looking for work. You can avoid this imbalance by setting regular “work” hours each week and using them to look for jobs.

When you finish for the day, focus on relaxing and taking care of yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of refreshing the job listings every few minutes throughout the evening. Things won’t change that much over the course of a single day. Taking good care of yourself during your off hours will help you maintain stamina throughout the search.

4. Focus on Human Interaction

Until you meet hiring managers in person, you’re just another applicant. Meeting with people in person can be difficult at this time, but some form of human contact is important. Once you’ve figured out your target companies, do your best to call and talk to the hiring managers. Be friendly and assured, and show them why you stand out among the competition.

If you have a network to turn to, now is the time. Along with calling managers, consider contacting old colleagues and bosses for recommendations. Someone might know about an open position that isn’t listed.

5. Stay Organized

The longer a job hunt goes on, the more important it is to stay organized. You’ll likely be sending out a large number of applications, so keep lists and contact information handy. Write down the day you plan to call and check on each application. Note down any information you obtain from hiring managers. And always follow up on the conversations that you have.

Keep Hope Alive: Looking to the Future

While COVID-19 has shaken things up, it isn’t hopeless. A chaotic job market allows room for innovation. Historically, hard times have been excellent for business. Major companies like Disney, General Electric, and Hewlett-Packard started during the Great Depression. Humans are resilient creatures, and much as those from past generations succeeded, so you can too.

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