Navigating The Job Hunt During The COVID-19 Period

COVID-19 is hurting more than human health. Its implications on daily life, including the strict social distancing regulations in many areas, are making it harder for companies to remain profitable.

Layoffs are increasing, and unemployment is at record heights. It is difficult to continue your job search in the turbulent environment caused by a global pandemic. However, adopting a robust strategy should help turn the circumstances into your favor.

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Set Realistic Expectations

Companies will likely reduce costs by limiting their workforce, given that the coronavirus’s economic impacts are compromising many revenue streams. The world is at significant risk of a recession.

Even large multinational companies feel the pandemic’s effects, and the risk of bankruptcy is even more burdensome for small and medium enterprises.

Many will have to layoff employees and freeze or slow down their talent acquisition processes for businesses to survive. They may even rescind offers given to applicants who already completed the hiring process.

The next few months will be difficult. There’s no assurance that you’ll get hired, even if you desperately need the income. Even people with top-notch skills and qualifications don’t have the guarantee of getting the job they want.

The key to approaching the job hunt is to pause and reflect. If you can live for a few months without a job, don’t be ashamed to postpone the search and wait for the economy to recover. Use the time to hone your skills, to cultivate your network, and to make plans for what you’ll do once jobs open up again.

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Otherwise, be prepared to take jobs that you might not normally consider. Accept that the next post you’ll get might be far from ideal and that you might have to leave it once better opportunities come.

Prepare And Plan

Given that COVID-19 is heavily impacting the job market, you need to look at your options carefully. Find ways to capitalize on opportunities that you have right now.

Check your long-term goals and investigate what you can get with each opening to help you get there. For example, an aspiring researcher in data science might still benefit from working as a business analyst for a pharmaceutical company.

You must build a portfolio that presents employers with the best version of yourself. Work on your resumes and cover letters to ensure that you’re highlighting aspects of yourself that are relevant for the job posting.

You have more time than ever, so tailor each document for each job opening and make sure that they are error-free.

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Practice Virtual Tools

Nearly all applications will utilize online tools to reduce physical contact and virus transmission. Hence, you need to be familiar with using virtual technologies like video conferencing and online collaborative tools.

You will also use your browser a lot to search for openings and to get information on companies. Knowing shortcut keys or using utility extensions can make you more efficient at research. Now’s also the time to use websites like LinkedIn and online job boards to collect info on employers and opportunities.

It’s a different experience to be in a remote interview versus being face-to-face with other people, and it’s more difficult to communicate using non-verbal cues.

To compensate, you need to be more clear and concise with your words. Practice helps a lot, mainly if you’re not used to online conferencing, so use the time you have to hone your communication skills.

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Be Patient

The typical job hunt experience before the pandemic was varied. Some people can apply for a job and get hired on the same day. Others might have to wait for months before their application gets a verdict. 

However, COVID-19 will undoubtedly make it harder for hiring managers and their teams to make hiring decisions. Don’t fret if you don’t receive timely updates on the status of your application. If you annoy companies too much, you might leave an impression of being impatient and insensitive.

With an uncertain business environment, it’s almost sure that you’ll face at least a few rejections. According to Mark Leary, Ph.D., “very often we have that one rejection, maybe we didn’t get hired for this job we really wanted, and it makes us feel just lousy about our capabilities and ourselves in general.”

Acknowledge that you will get emotionally hurt. However, instead of sulking over these setbacks, move on quickly and continue to pursue opportunities. Persistence eventually pays off, and people who don’t give up are most likely to surpass the career obstacles of COVID-19. 

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