7 tips for looking for a job in times of the coronavirus

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As a college graduate, you’ve likely seen your life turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have you had to adapt to virtual learning, but will graduate in a climate of intense economic uncertainty.

While it is normal to feel discouraged about your employment opportunities at this point, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a job – especially:

1. Look for growing industries
2. Be flexible
3. Rely on your network
4. Highlight your remote working skills
5. Revise your resume
6. Curate your online presence
7. Focus on the long game

1. Look for growing industries

As you near your graduation you may get stressed out over the news of mass layoffs and hiring freezes. But remember, not all companies are in trouble right now; In fact, some industries are growing.

“Many industries are busier than ever and need to hire to keep up with new demand, such as the remote work platforms Zoom and Slack or the grocery retailers Target and Safeway,” said Erin Lantz, a Seattle-based business director and graduate of Harvard School of business.

“Other industries, such as logistics and insurance, are taking new directions in the course of the digitization of their industries and need employees with different skills who help shape and shape their next chapter,” said Lantz.

Even if you may find it difficult to find work at the moment, for example in the travel or hospitality industry, you may find an above-average demand for positions such as health practitioner or e-commerce employee. When looking for a job, look out for industries that have more hires than layoffs this year.

2. Be flexible

Even if you have a specific idea of ​​what profession you will aspire to after graduating from high school, you may need to open up your search to adapt to these changing circumstances.

“In today’s economy, opportunities are harder to find,” said Ryan Miller, manager at career services company Employment BOOST. “I recommend being less selective about the position you are aiming for and focusing on finding a position where you can learn valuable skills so that you can become more valuable as a candidate.”

While you may not be interested in some of the positions on offer, don’t ignore an opportunity just because it looks different from what you imagined. Any number of roles can help you develop skills that you will apply throughout your career.

3. Rely on your network

Networking has always been an invaluable part of job hunting, and that is especially true in today’s competitive climate. According to career coach Cynthia Orduña, more than 80% of new hires come through referrals.

“Contact people in your network – professors, friends, and alumni – to develop your relationships and, ideally, get a referral for each position you want to apply for,” Orduña said.

Even though the coronavirus pandemic may keep you from attending job fairs or networking events in person, you can still expand your network online.

“Instead of protecting yourself inwardly during this unprecedented time of economic uncertainty and social distancing, reach out to your fellow graduates and connect with them,” said Ashley Stahl, a career expert at SoFi.

“Get together to exchange networking and industry connections, start your own sideline or form a group that you lead from like-minded people to support each other during this time,” said Stahl.

You can use LinkedIn, join alumni groups, tell friends and family that you are looking for a job, and use whatever other means you can think of to connect with others while you are looking for a job.

4. Highlight your remote working skills

In response to office closures, many companies have moved their processes online. If you can show the hiring managers that you have the skills to work remotely, you could be one step ahead of the competition.

“The digital change in traditionally personal categories such as buying a car or banking has accelerated,” said Lantz. “Companies are trying new things that they would never have thought of in the past, such as being 100 percent remote. This is sometimes a challenge, but it also creates new job and career opportunities. “

You can also search for freelance jobs online or part-time if it takes a while to find a full-time position. Freelance online marketplaces connect job seekers with job vacancies from around the world so you are not limited to job vacancies in your geographic location.

5. Revise your resume

You likely spend a lot of time at home these days, so make the most of it by revising your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and other job materials.

Be aware that, in general, it is better to tailor your resume for each position rather than sending a general resume out to all potential employers. Reflect on keywords from the job description on your resume – this not only shows that you’ve done your homework, but could also help your resume pass through an applicant tracking system, software some employers use to track applications check by scanning for keywords.

“Seventy-five percent of resumes are rejected by machines without ever being viewed by a person,” said Reza Handley-Namavar, entrepreneur and founder of the resume service provider Jobalytics.co. “Make sure you have the right keywords on your résumé and highlight your skills that match the positions you are applying for.”

Even if you don’t have a lot of professional experience, your involvement in school clubs, volunteering, internships or course projects could impress a HR manager.

6. Curate your online presence

You probably know that you need to delete any college party pictures that you don’t want a prospective employer to see. But besides cleaning up your social media, it’s also worth curating a professional online presence.

“The vast majority of recruiters (up to 95%) have reported using social media to review candidates,” said Stahl. “Consider spicing up your professional LinkedIn profile. This could look like collecting referrals, making your bullet points more performance-oriented under each job on your profile, or even blogging posts to boost your voice on LinkedIn and deepen your personal brand. “

Depending on your target job, you can also put together an online portfolio or website to showcase potential employers.

7. Focus on the long game

Even if you may be impatient when starting your career, remember that few graduates get their dream job right from the start. And unfortunately the job search can take longer than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnathan Sumpter, the director of the University of Dallas Advisory Center, encourages graduates not to lose hope.

“That too will pass,” said Sumpter. “There are constant ups and downs in the labor markets. The current setback is worldwide. Things look different, but that doesn’t mean they always will. “

In the meantime, you can keep your efforts focused and move forward, even if you put together side gigs or temporary work for the time being. While you may have even bigger goals in the future, these first few roles could be a stepping stone towards getting you closer to your goal.

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