Job Searching in a Pandemic and How To Prepare

If you’re looking for a job during the COVID-19 era, you’re probably eager for things to get back to “normal,” whatever that may look like. The global crisis has had a massive impact on the job market. Unemployment rates have spiked, some companies have shut down altogether, and many offices have transitioned to a completely virtual setup.

In June 2020, a poll found that approximately 42% of Americans were working remotely, 26% were working in-person, and 33% were not working. Regardless of what comes next, it’s clear there has been a significant shift in the workforce — and workplaces may never look the same.

Even if you feel anxious about employment, you shouldn’t give up hope. While the job market may be uncertain at the moment, new opportunities are emerging every day. Remote jobs, new career paths, and unexpected employment opportunities are out there — you just need to know how to find them.

Here are a few strategies you can use to make the most of your pandemic-era job search and prepare for the future of employment.

Navigating Your Job Search

Finding the right job is a challenge even in the best of times, and a pandemic can make it feel impossible. Searching for employment during these times may require changing your mindset and opening up to new possibilities. We have a few strategies that may help make your job search easier.

Look For New Opportunities

After COVID-19 hit, some industries started drying up. But even if a few opportunities fell through, new ones may have emerged due to the pandemic. Take a moment to consider what kinds of new roles are out there.

This might mean broadening your search and stepping out of your comfort zone. Job seekers are now more likely to transition to another industry than they were before the pandemic. We suggest reflecting on how your skills, experience, and interests could open up new possibilities in different roles — within your industry or even outside of it.

Expand Your Location Preferences

When expanding your job search, don’t forget about location. While the opportunities in your area might be scarce, the rise of remote work and work-from-home positions means that you don’t need to limit yourself to the local market.

Some companies may transition back to in-person work, but many organizations will likely embrace remote work permanently.

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on the news in your industry as the pandemic unfolds. Stay informed by reading news articles and online conversations, along with following leaders in your industry on social platforms like LinkedIn.

How are companies adapting to the pandemic and recession? While some businesses may suffer during COVID, others may be innovating and thriving. Knowing this information can help you find the right opportunity and market yourself as a valuable addition.

How To Prepare For a Virtual Interview

Just as many workplaces have gone completely online, interviews have also transitioned to the digital realm. This creates new challenges that force candidates to acclimate to the less-personal Zoom interview.

On top of technical issues, the lack of face-to-face connection can make it difficult to sell your skills and make a solid first impression. We’ve shared a few tips to help you land the job by phone or video chat.

Make the Right Digital Impression

In a digital interview, you won’t get the chance to make that in-person first impression. This means that your supporting documents need to be perfect. Refresh your resume and cover letter to make them sharp, engaging, and full of the right skills and keywords your potential employer is looking for.

Now that so much has shifted online, your internet presence is also more important than ever. Before the interview even starts, take another look at your LinkedIn and other social media profiles, to ensure your digital self is well-represented.

Improve Your Skills

In a job interview during or post-pandemic, an employer might ask what you’ve been doing during the lockdown. This is your chance to show them how you’ve been building up your skillset, whether this means taking classes, keeping up with industry news, or teaching yourself new skills.

Practice Your Interview Presence

One of the challenges of the virtual interview is that you might appear distanced from the employer. You can’t make eye contact, give them a handshake, or demonstrate the engaged and attentive presence you might normally.

Do your best to present yourself as you would in a normal interview. Practice your questions ahead of time, focus on sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back, and make eye contact with the camera.

Check Your Connection & Devices

The last thing you want in an interview is a lagging internet connection or a sudden technical malfunction. Make sure your laptop is fully charged and that your Wi-Fi is working properly.

Pick an area free of distractions with a clean and simple background. We suggest dressing professionally from head to toe, even if you’re only visible from waist up.

A few minutes before the interview, pull up your Zoom camera to double-check your posture and make sure you’re centered on the screen.

Moving Forward With Your Search

While things may seem difficult right now, it won’t feel that way for long. With the distribution of the vaccine, more businesses will likely start hiring again, creating more job openings and reviving industries.

Even as things start to improve, some recent shifts might be here to stay, like remote work opportunities. As you move forward in your job search, look toward the future and embrace the new opportunities that are headed your way.

Looking to step up your resume for the next stage of your job search? In an increasingly competitive market, a professional resume service can help you stand out from the crowd. Take a look at Capstone’s services and schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can take your resume to the next level.