If you’re currently looking for a job (or just about to), you probably have a lot of questions.
Should I put my job search on hold due to the coronavirus? Do I have to change my job search strategy? Should I say yes to whatever jobs I get? And the list goes on.
To assist you with your job search, we’ve listed the top eight most frequently asked questions from job seekers in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll also try to provide helpful answers to them.
Will the coronavirus affect my job search?
Unfortunately, yes. COVID-19 has impacted a lot of things right now, including the way we search and apply for jobs.
Firstly, your resume and cover letter now matter more than ever. If ever you passed the initial screening, your interview might take place online.
Secondly, it’s a bit more challenging to find a job. But it’s possible. It depends on your target industry and the type of roles you’re intending to apply for. Which brings us to…
How can I find a job now?
Consider applying for roles in companies that are least likely to struggle for survival in the succeeding months.
Or focus on companies that are currently hiring. These include e-commerce/online, pharmacies, healthcare, software and IT support, supermarkets and department stores.
Don’t be afraid to change your career path for the time being to supplement your income. Sure, this is not ideal. But you need to get out of your comfort zone and adapt in this unusual situation. Here’s a guide on how to write a career change resume to help you out.
Should I make changes to my job search strategy?
The first step is to enhance your resume for the COVID-19 pandemic. How do you do it?
Focus on technical proficiency, highlight your remote or telecommuting experience (if you have any), mention your flexibility and self-motivation, and enhance your resume with new skills. More tips on preparing your resume for a global pandemic can be found here.
Next, prepare your cover letter. Since some interviews will be conducted remotely, your cover letter will now play a key role in the initial screenings.
If you’ve never prepared a cover letter, this is the right time to do so.
You need to customise your cover letter to the job requirements. Provide specific details on how you meet the requirements. Research the role and the company to become familiar with their objectives. This could help you communicate why you want to work there and how you align with their objectives.
Learn how to write a cover letter that makes an impact here.
Lastly, enhance your online presence by creating and/or your LinkedIn profile. Even with relaxed restrictions, some applicant screening will still be conducted virtually, and oftentimes, with the use of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn profile has the potential to network you with people who can offer you a new job or lead you to find a new career. Based on our experience, our clients who invested in a LinkedIn profile during their job search were hired 2x faster than those who don’t have an optimised profile.
Should I put my job search on hold?
Absolutely not! You might be tempted to cocoon yourself and wait until the coronavirus ceases, but we don’t know when it will happen even with relaxed restrictions across Australia.
Ultimately, there are still several companies that are hiring even in hard times like these.
These roles may not be the positions you would have chosen before this crisis, but trying times require increased flexibility.
Is it ok to have gaps in my work history on my resume due to the coronavirus?
Absolutely. Hiring managers and recruiters are more understanding these days. And if you meet an employer who won’t understand the employment gap, you probably wouldn’t want to work for such an organisation anyway.
Don’t be afraid to mention your employment gap due to COVID-19 on your resume. But show potential employers that you have spent these times productively by taking online courses, acquiring new skills or volunteering. This will make a much better impression with hiring managers.
How can I find jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic if I’m a new graduate?
Uncertainty about job opportunities can make an already-stressful job search even more challenging for recent graduates. While it may be challenging, there are measures you can take right now to help you navigate this situation to the best of your ability.
First, new graduates can apply for state or local relief efforts. Example of support efforts are financial aid, delayed rent or mortgage payments, food and meal support, and deferred student loan and debt repayment. Reach out to your local representatives or University officials for information and stay updated on the latest government measures.
Depending on your financial situation, you can also consider short-term work or work outside your area of expertise while employers are still adjusting to the coronavirus. These jobs may not be the type of work you may have anticipated, but having an income can help you navigate this uncertainty after graduation with more confidence.
If you’re able to work during these uncertain times, adding experience to your resume could give you an advantage in the long-run. When looking for job opportunities, prioritise transferrable and soft skills that could support you in your chose career path. Even if the position is not in your ideal industry, there may be opportunities to develop your soft skills, such as problem-solving, communication and teamwork.
Will job offers be rescinded due to the coronavirus?
Some jobs have already been rescinded, especially those in services, tourism, airline, travel and hospitality sectors. Some companies also had to freeze their hiring for the time being.
But stay positive. Even though several companies have already stopped or reduced hiring, many companies still continue their recruitment efforts. We still receive emails from our clients about getting hired. That alone proves it’s still possible.
If you don’t get hired in the end, there’s nothing to worry about. Keep in touch with these companies, but don’t pester them. They’ll surely communicate when they make the decision. You never know. You might get the role once the circumstances change for the better.
Should I accept a job that doesn’t meet my expectations?
In this turbulent economy, think short-term. Think about what you can do today, or during the next 30, 60 and 90 days.
This is not about forever, but it’s about right now.
That being said, no one will penalise you for accepting roles outside your field or career path or those that don’t meet your expectations. As mentioned, Hiring Managers will understand and it may even make you more marketable when the crisis is over.
It’s also better to be working and earning money instead of feeling desperate and having employment gaps. In the meantime, you can start looking for a job you truly want.
While you may be tempted to put your job search on hold, don’t do that. Since things have changed, you may need to adjust your job search strategies too. Also, it may take a bit longer to land a job than normal.
But in spite of all these, you can still land a good job. Even if it seems difficult now, there are many opportunities out there.
Looking for more job search tips? Click here.