Job Hunting in the COVID Era: What You Need to Know to Secure Your Next Role

January 27, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted workflows and led to a lot of changes in the hiring process. Unfortunately, it has also led to numerous job cuts as companies try to cut on costs. Whether you are new in the job market or you simply want to ascend the career ladder, you need to go about your job hunt the right way. Here are a few tips for job hunting during the COVID era to improve your chances of success.

1. Be Prepared for a Remote Interview

The social distancing measures during the pandemic have made remote working the norm. Hiring managers are also more likely to be working from home. If you send out job applications during the pandemic, you should expect and prepare for a remote interview. Rather than facing interviewers in person, you will conduct your interview online through platforms such as Zoom or Skype.

Practice taking video interviews by learning how to speak to the camera directly. Also, ensure that your microphone and camera are functional and that you have a good internet connection. Doing so helps you avoid common mishaps that may jeopardize your interview session. Practice by anticipating interview questions and answering them on camera to get a feel of a video interview. Last but not least—dress professionally, and choose a quiet and well-lit background.

2. Keep an Open Mind

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in demand for some skills. This has led to more opportunities in some fields and a drop in others. Therefore, keep an open mind when job hunting and consider vacancies outside your industry. Be flexible enough to pursue opportunities that align with your career objectives even if they are not available in your typical field.

As more companies cut down on labor costs, others such as retail stores, delivery companies, and pharmacies need extra help due to the stay-at-home policy. By being flexible, you are bound to find an opportunity that matches your skills. Always let recruiters know what you are looking for so they don't deny you great opportunities that seem outside your comfort zone.

3. Polish Your Resume and Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Polish up your resume by tailoring it to the current job needs. This means updating it to accommodate all your valuable experience and skills to show why you are the best candidate for the job. Whether you helped a business diversify, strategize, or cut costs, mention it in your resume. Supporting a company through a difficult time shows your long-term value.

Make a positive impression in a short time with your resume by using a concise headline that sells your skills. Also, outline skills that are relevant to the job post and ensure your grammar is perfect. Remember to optimize your resume for AI bots by using keywords relevant to your industry. For example, if you are looking for a digital development job, keywords such as SEO and Web development come in handy.

4. Take Up Certifications and Upskill

While you may be unemployed during the COVID-19 crisis, you can take the opportunity to upskill and focus on your career and personal development. Register for certification and acquire in-demand skills such as coding or economics that boost your career. You can also take up professional courses in your field to complement your qualifications.

Take a look at the skills employers expect from the job descriptions of what you are looking for. If you realize that you have a skill gap, make a point of filling it. You can find plenty of resources, both online and offline, that you can use to acquire the skills you need. With numerous tutors offering courses online, you are sure to find something that fits your career goals.

5. Be Patient and Stay Positive.

As you apply for jobs during the pandemic, remember to stay positive and be patient. The pandemic has made more recruiters and hiring managers work from home, which may slow the decision-making process when hiring. A large number of applications may also lengthen the shortlisting process. With this in mind, it is necessary to practice patience when it comes to follow-up emails.

However, establish how long you can wait depending on the role so that you don't waste valuable time waiting. Consider making a follow-up if you don’t receive a confirmation of receipt of your application. Note that you may have to wait longer before following up for jobs like graduate programs that require numerous steps, compared to a temporary or immediate-start position.

Proper planning and preparation is key to the success of your job search. With the above tips, you can improve your chances of landing a job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remember to always study the trends in the job market and adjust accordingly to remain relevant and meet current skill demands.

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