Proactivity! Tips and tools to use to look for a job during the COVID19 era

Companies are moving to remote work to fight the coronavirus pandemic and an increasing number of workers are being laid off or furloughed. You might be wondering if you should continue to look for a job or an internship position or simply assuming that no one is hiring for the foreseeable future.

Even if economist are predicting a recession on the other hand career experts say that this is not the moment to stop looking around and to keep networking and applying, the secret to not lose hope is to change your approach to these uncertain times. Even if you see job position opened, be putted on hold or disappear, that doesn’t mean they won’t open up again in a few months. 

“Companies might not be hiring today, because they’re trying to figure out how to do business virtually, but they will be hiring,”says Danielle Beauparlant Moser, managing director and executive coach with bltCareers in Asheville, NC but the people who continue to relationship-build and share their ideas will be in a better position when companies start hiring.”

With all that said, you can still be actively working on your job search. These tips will help you navigate the process during this period of slow down.

1. Be flexible

It could be challenging to get on a hiring manager’s radar right now, so don’t think about only getting a stable full-time position at the moment, don’t think strictly of your next job as the perfect job or as the job of your life, because it might be a short term or a freelance one, consider looking wherever else you can find an opportunity that makes sense for you, enrich you with experience —and pays the rent and puts food on the table—in the meantime. 

2. Get Comfortable Networking Online

Events will be cancelled for a while, so you’ll need to find a new networking strategy. Seek out for online and ask about virtual events, Rome Business School usually organize them as well (webinars, workshop, talks…). Look for professional groups to join on Facebook and LinkedIn. Both platforms offer a wide range of options with groups for every profession. Try to join a conversation, post and comment, make yourself visible. Just be sure to keep a professional and open-minded image by posting relevant articles on topics that allow you to demonstrate your expertise. 

Get ready to ace a virtual informational interview or to network. Practice it with a friend ask him or her to give you feedbacks on your delivery. Make sure you always check first the angle the camera so the person you’re meeting with can see your entire face, not just your forehead or your left eye. Once you’ve understood the technology, you are ready to invite professional contacts to meet for a virtual coffee. 

3. Stay In Touch

Maybe you recently had a promising interview but now the company has moved to remote work . What should you do? Kingly check in with the hiring manager by email, for instance, your email could say: “I’m looking forward to learning more when it makes sense for your organization.” This conveys that you know this is an extraordinary circumstance that isn’t easy for people. Make sure you also demonstrate a thoughtful attitude. Rather than asking them to help you, ask if there is anything you can assist them with. The idea is to connect with people on a human level. 

Your email sample can simply say: “I wanted to reach out to see if there’s anything I can do for you.” If you have a specific skill a hiring manager might be able to tap into, mention it. You might say: “Given that I’ve led virtual teams, I might have some ideas to share on how to keep your employees feeling connected when they’re not in the office.”

Letting the needs of the company drive your actions and how your “superpowers” can match them, is an opportunity to demonstrate what type of employee you would be.  Find other ways to stay on top of mind, in addition to email connect with people on LinkedIncomment posts with topics that you have valuable insight to contribute. 

4. Gather Intel

The COVID-19 situation can provide a unique glimpse into a company culture. Take note of how leadership deals with this emergency and treats its employees by following the company on social media and watching for any media coverage, set up Google alerts for the companies you want to work for and listen to investor calls. When you do have a chance to interview, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you understand the concerns leadership has and the threats the company faces from this pandemic, she says. You can mention what you read and listened to and use your specific knowledge to drive home how you could help the company achieve its goals if hired.

5. Use the Time to Reflect

Take this time to think about your future and to reflect on where you really want to be, what you really like and what really makes you feel happy. Maybe there is something you would like to change or to improve, this will help you in the future to not jump at the first available opportunity or going into the job searching without fully considering what you want to do next. Take advantage of the slowing job market by getting clarity about where you want to work and the type of role and title you’re seeking. 

Create a one-page document that lists your target industry, companies, job titles, and anything in particular you’re looking for. It goes without saying that you should apply to every posting you see that hits some or all of your criteria. But beyond job openings, you can also focus on which companies you want to work for and who you can reach out to at those companies. (The company might not have an open role yet but you can use your network to help you start making connections now.) 

Be prepared to think about your role more broadly and possibly pivot to an adjacent position that would also make use of your experience and skills. 

6. Boost Your Skills

Now is the perfect time to work on bolstering your qualifications. Analyze job descriptions by listing each required skill and experience. Then consider whether you have that exact skill, if you have the skill but haven’t used it in a few years, or if you’re lacking the skill entirely. Use that information to determine what you need to refresh to make yourself an even better candidate when the job market picks up again. There are plenty of online course, check out Rome Business School ones, that could help you improving your skills and knowledge.

During this economic slowdown is important to focus on what you can control – improving your skills and reaching out to your network. “You can lay the groundwork now so that when the crisis is over you have opened doors and rekindled relationships”

Be proactive!