For many Americans, job hunting during the pandemic has become a necessity. Though it's always tough to look for work during a recession, finding a job during COVID isn't an impossibility.
Our tips for job seekers will have you ready to find a career, even in the most challenging job market. Keep reading to learn effective ways to thrive in getting a job even in these tough times.
Format a strong but simple resume
When resume writing, remember that your resume will likely be looked at by a computer. It's a good idea to ensure search engines' bots can read it, so it's recommended that you avoid fancy formattings, such as columns and tables. Keep your resume simple, but remember to add all the information that makes it strong.
Highlight your strengths
Before adding information on your resume, consider all of the hard and soft skills that make you a viable candidate. A helpful exercise is to list each one, and ponder why each is important. If you worked in the food industry before the pandemic, you might think that your skills are limited. However, your talents most likely include problem-solving, time management, teamwork, and face-to-face interaction.
On your resume, use the same language used in your skillset that is also used on the job listing. If between the skills you list and the job description skills match strongly, your resume will rise to the computer algorithms' top. Once you land a job interview, explain what you can bring to the table and why you would make a valuable addition to a potential employer's team.
Fill out your application thoroughly
When you're filling an application for a position you desire, you're most likely to get a call for an interview if you fill out the entire form. Ensure that all the information on your resume and your profile matches with each other. List two or more examples of past employers. Small improvements on your resume will go a long way.
Timing is everything
If at all possible, be among the first to apply to a job listing. This will help if you limit your search to a particular geographical area or specialty of job that matches your specific skillsets. If you're browsing job sites, restrict your search to jobs posted within the last five or ten days. During a recession, applying soon after an opening is announced is usually paramount to scoring a job interview. According to statistics, applications viewed within the first seven days have a 50% higher likelihood of being read by an employer.
Develop popular skills
If you've had time off due to being furloughed or laid off, you may have recently had some time to invest in learning new skills. The financial cost of doing so is lower than ever before. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many online platforms have made it free to enroll in online courses while completing various certifications. There are more reasons than ever before to take some time to do this.
If an employer is looking at a stack of resumes for one position that all look the same, objective criteria like certifications and courses could help them differentiate between candidates. Now that many in-person recruiting efforts are on-hold at the moment due to the pandemic, employers and recruiters need to be able to evaluate you on paper. Actual certifications go a much longer way than merely saying that you're great at something. For example, showing a Microsoft Excel certificate is much more valuable at this point than just listing that you have "Excel skills."
Focus on expanding industries
While no one has a crystal ball to the future, it's a good idea to look at industries growing and expanding despite the pandemic. While the sectors growing at this time might not be what you imagined yourself going into, they could be an excellent stepping stone into an exciting future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the sectors growing the most during this time are health care and social assistance, professional and business services, and information technology. Think about the skills you currently have and how they can be transferred over to any new job. If you make yourself flexible, an opportunity will come.
Stay positive during your search
You know the old saying, "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again." The same goes for the job application process. If the first approach doesn't work, try another one. Come up with a daily goal, a target number of applications to turn in, and do your best daily to meet that quota. Below are some tips to consider when you're trying to remain positive during the search.
- Mix up your strategy every few days. This can help keep your search exciting and fresh, while also helping you expand it if need be.
- Search for employers with an immediate need. When you're looking, search "urgent need" under the search bar. Employers who need to fill a post immediately are more likely to respond to you quickly and more likely to agree to immediate start date.
- Search for companies described in the industry as "fastest-growing" or "top-rated." Not only will you maybe have the opportunity to get in on something great, but you'll be with a motivated team from day one.
- When searching for jobs, you can always search for household names that you know of. Large companies are always looking to hire for a wide range of roles within their organization.
- Temporary unemployment could be your way to turn passion into a career if you use this time to make it so. Do you love music? Animals? Nature? Making podcasts? If you put the work in, you never know how your passion could become a career.
It's important to remember through this pandemic how dynamic the U.S. labor market is. Even during the worst month of the COVID-19 crisis, April, companies in the States reported five million job openings. They also hired four million people. With the right resume, search strategy, skill set, and attitude, you have the opportunity to find good jobs in this economy while getting strong offers.
At Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we support your journey through this transitional phase. We're proud to help connect the right people to the right jobs, and we want to do the same for you. Contact us to get started on your new career journey today.