It is an understatement to say that things in the U.S. have gotten a bit chaotic. It feels much like someone flipped the table and we are all now scrambling to gather the floating papers. The sudden shift to quarantine has left many employees and job seekers without solid footing. While the foreseeable future is quite foggy, there are several things you can do to get on track and gain some order. Whether you are in fear of losing your job, already have or were in the middle of a job search, these tips can help.
Keep an Eye on the Changing Market During the Pandemic
The majority of workers are feeling the effects of pandemic and expecting a 2020 recession. However, don’t fall into the trap of fear. Follow reputable resources to find facts on the current job market. Industries like travel, hospitality, manufacturing, food service and sports are hurting greatly during COVID-19 quarantine. However, grocery stores, food delivery, mail services, online learning, streaming services and tech are hiring in mass. Best of all, many of these jobs can be done from home in quarantine.
Create a Career Plan During the COVID-19 Quarantine
There is no better period to use the extra alone time we have gained to make a plan for your future. While it can be hard to plan more than a few steps ahead because of our current state of uncertainty, remaining flexible will be key. Figure out what your goals are and flesh them out. Perhaps it is time to make a career move? Maybe COVID-19 has given you no other option than changing industries to keep your family afloat. If you are already working from home, this might be a time to maximize your income with the extra opportunities that are available. Once you know what direction you want to move in, consider what your next three steps are.
Get Your Resume into Gear
Use the extra time to get your resume into gear. Even if you are not going to use it in the next two weeks, experts are expecting unemployment rates to rise once the dust settles. Having a resume that stands out in the stack, is full of keywords and is eye-catching will be a game changer. Hiring an expert to take care of the task is an option, as well. While it will be an investment, it can be a complete game-changer. A professional resume writer will have keyword insight to help you get past the Applicant Tracking Systems. They will also provide a resume that is unique to you both visually and in verbiage.
Reach Out to Your Network
In today’s market, a large majority of available jobs are not listed. Networking to gain a new job is much better than simply applying to jobs online. With the number of job seekers vastly outweighing the available jobs, reaching out to your network of contacts can improve your chances of landing an interview. First of all, employers are currently having a hard time finding talent. Secondly, they are becoming more choosy because of the sheer amount of resources interviewing takes. Instead of simply posting a job online, they are reaching inward and looking for personal recommendations from employees.
During this specific time of hardship, you can email a few colleagues or previous classmates or bosses and let them know the trouble you are facing due to COVID-19. They probably have a similar story to tell and can relate. Simply letting those around you know you are looking for your next career move can create a positive buzz and can even mean finding out about job opportunities.
Spend Time on LinkedIn
Get on LinkedIn twice a day. This is a professional social network rich with opportunity and information. If you are fairly new to LinkedIn, start looking for and connecting with people you know. Watch for what kind of information they post on the wall. Be sure to pinpoint a few companies that might be on your dream job list and follow them. If you want insider career tips find a few resume writers or career coaches to follow.
Once you have made some solid connections, be sure to send a quick message saying hello. This is a great way to remind people you are around. This may cause them to visit your profile page. If you get a good conversation going you can ask them for a recommendation or endorsement. This should only be done if you have worked together and they can honestly vouch for your work ethic.
Be sure to get active on the network as well. Post interesting articles. Like and comment on others’ posts and articles. All of this activity becomes part of your profile page. If you use this in a serious manner it can give recruiters insight into your interests and qualifications.
Take Online Courses
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and self-quarantine going on, many online learning companies are offering amazing discounts on their courses. This is a great time to brush up on some skills or learn a thing or two. You can use your extra time to add some certifications to your resume or get an edge on the competition with new skills.
Don’t Fall into Despair
Above all, we can’t stress enough, don’t fall into fear. Remember that the vast majority of workers and job seekers are in the same situation. Instead use your time wisely and have a solid plan in place. Use this time to get ahead of the competition and remain ready for upcoming job openings!
Alexine Garcia, Founder of El Paso Professional Resumes, has been writing resumes for 9 years and started her business in 2017 to help jobseekers gain enjoyable, meaningful employment. Alexine understands all too well the hard task of translating years of experience and accomplishment into two pages.