5 tips to move forward in your job search during the COVID-19 crisis

With uncertain times comes a lot of insecurities, and it's only natural to feel anxious about the prospects of the job market right now.

 If you were amid job hunting when the pandemic hit, you might be considering to slow down or discontinue your job search. But I'd advise you to keep that job search going by applying different approaches to be successful during these uncertain times.

Companies might not be hiring today as they are spending time to adapt to the new ways of work, but when they do figure out their new business goals, it is better to be ready and set yourself up for winning that interview.

In the meanwhile, here are some strategies that you can apply to your job search during these next few uncertain months

Look for jobs in the right place

Besides the traditional way of hiring through job boards, it is advisable to be more current on the companies that are currently hiring. While looking for jobs through platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter that promote better search through hashtags, you can follow hashtags like #Coronavirushiring or #nowhiring for better insights.

As you continue to exercise a targeted search, relook at the industries and companies you shortlisted earlier. With most companies in the technology space like online learning, remote meeting and communication companies, digital entertainment & streaming services, gaming are still hiring. Follow them on LinkedIn or set a job alert on Google, so you don't miss out.  

Candor's Live Hiring Dashboard The awesome people over at Candor.co have put together a live, crowdsourced list of companies who are hiring and companies who have frozen the process. You can view the full dashboard through this link for the most up to date information.

Build your network, meet your connections online

With more time at home, make use of this time to the fullest; you no more have your boss or co-worker hovering over your workspace that would restrict you from looking at job sites, other company's career pages, or networking groups.  

Look for professional groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack communities and be more active. Like, comment and share to make yourself visible online. Connect with hiring managers of companies and industries that are hiring and conduct informational interviews. Also, keep an eye out of competitor companies of companies that are hiring currently - connect with individuals so you can be top of mind when they do start hiring.

While reaching out to professionals on LinkedIn, make sure to send in a personalised note and purpose of the connect. Set a virtual coffee with your new connection and prepare for the meeting in advance. List down questions that you would like to address during your chat. Keep it casual yet professional.

Resume & LinkedIn makeover and practise your video interviewing skills

Eliminate job experiences that are not relevant to your current job search. Also, include your reflections on 2019 and your vision to move forward. Make sure to add a section highlighting your accomplishments during the time of crisis. To make sure you have an optimised LinkedIn profile by the time this over, I am running a LinkedIn makeover challenge, I have released the Part I of the challenge and am due to release the Part II this coming week. An optimized Linkedin profile changes the game as you show up in recruiter searches and get invited to apply for a job.

Make sure you highlight your include ways how you contributed to your team and company during these crisis. Open statement with strong verbs that create an impact to the tasks you accomplished

- Transitioned 500 co-located employees to remote work

- Transformed key organisation initiatives to meet market needs by 75%  

To make sure you ace your video interview, you can follow these 8 tips. Be sure to dress professionally, present yourself and your story concisely, test technology in advance, eliminate distractions and sleep well before the interview, relax before the interview!

Get to know yourself in this chaos, self reflect

With the year things slowing down, it makes sense to reflect on highlights and low points during your professional life. It's common to see job-seekers to jump at the first or any opportunity that comes their way, to avoid making any hasty career decision, one must self-reflect. Each job you applied or interviewed you attended before the crisis should provide some takeaways and learnings. Summarising and reflecting on those will help you improve your job search. When you reflect on how your past months or year has been professionally, focus on the impact you have made, your personal and professional growth, and your areas of improvement. Then decide how to include your reflections in your profile (like CV and Linkedin) as well as your pitch or story during interviews.

Upskill through online courses

If you have an understanding of the skills you lack to land your dream job, it’s time to upskill. If you’ve established that you would like to pursue remote work but want to hone your remote working or remote leadership skills, you should take the opportunity to look into the accredited courses by Workplaceless or LinkedIn learning has all remote-ready trainings free for their users. Skill-based learning happens through various educational online platforms such as Udemy, Udacity or Skillcrush. LinkedIn employees are currently handing out 6 month LinkedIn learning memberships to professionals in need, so spend sometime in connecting with them.