“Should I keep looking for a new job with all of this going on?”
If this thought has crossed your mind at some point since the coronavirus pandemic began, you’re not alone. In the middle of all the chaos, fear and uncertainty, it’s normal to wonder if you should put your job search on hold or keep looking.
But, now is not the time to pause the breaks.
While hiring may slow down, companies are still hiring. Sure, every company may not continue to hire. But there are still so many companies looking to bring on great talent to alleviate problems and solve frustrating challenges.
But, less hiring does mean a more competitive search. So, it’s even more important to know how to stand out and show up as the person companies are looking for now so that you bypass the competition and land the job offer.
Here are five steps to help you navigate your job search and land a new role during the coronavirus pandemic:
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Shift your mindset
If you allow fear to make you feel like there aren’t any opportunities out there for you, then you will not find any opportunities. If you focus on all the reasons getting a new job is no longer possible for you, getting a new job will not be possible for you. You have to shift your mindset. Even if it feels weird or too optimistic during this time, thinking positively and tapping into an abundance mindset will keep you focused on finding the right opportunities rather than settling or not finding anything at all because you’ve convinced yourself that it’s impossible to land a new job right now.
Stop playing the numbers game
Contrary to what everyone else might be saying, this is not the time to send your resume to every job opening you see online. It’s not about how many applications you’re sending out. It’s about making sure the applications you are sending out communicate the best version of you. You need to prioritize quality over quantity.
Because, even when job openings are popping up left and right, only a handful of jobs are truly great fits. In a slow job market, there are even fewer opportunities that align with your experience, values, and career goals. So, instead of wasting your time applying to as many jobs as you can in one day, consider spending more time crafting quality applications so that you stand out for the right jobs you do want.
Show that you can solve problems
Jobs open because a company needs to solve a problem. Maybe an employee recently left and they need to fill the position as quickly as possible. Maybe they’re having trouble with a new product and need a fresh strategy. Maybe a specific team is overworked and they need more hands to get things done more efficiently. The list goes on and on.
But whatever the problem is, if you want to stand out in a slow job market, it’s important to show employers that you can alleviate their frustrations and tackle their challenges. Be the problem solver companies are looking for by consistently conveying, at every step of the hiring process, that you have the experience and expertise necessary to be successful in the role. But don’t just tell them, show them using clear and specific examples.
Find alternative ways to network
Just because we’re all practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and network with people in your industry. But, of course, networking will look a little different. Instead of meeting up for coffee, you may have to have a virtual chat or a conversation over the phone, but it can still be done. If networking during this time feels strange or insensitive, consider how many people you know are bored at home. Or, with all the free time you have, think about how happy and productive you would feel if someone reached out to you with a thoughtful note wanting to jump on the phone for a quick chat.
During this downtime, with everyone at home killing time, it’s a perfect chance to make new authentic connections and to revive old ones. Doing so will put you in a more favorable position to find out about new roles quicker.
Be adaptable and persistent
Just like networking will look different during this time, so will interviewing. With offices closed and employees working from home, in-person interviews will be on-hold and recruiters and hiring managers will be using other means to interview candidates. This will result in more phone interviews and video interviews. But you shouldn’t let the idea of more phone or video interviews intimidate you, remain confident and focus on showing your value.
With so much unknown because of the coronavirus pandemic, hiring processes may be a little slower as employers navigate the best way to interview during this time. Be patient but also don’t be afraid to follow-up. And, please don’t be that person who waits days to respond when you do hear back because you don’t want to look too available. Show employers that you’re ready and excited to move forward. If you’re willing to be adaptable and persistent, you’ll demonstrate to your future employer that you’re serious about the role and can handle changes in an uncertain climate.
Although we don’t know much about how things will pan out over the next few months, you can choose hope over fear. Companies are still hiring and if you use the gift of time we’ve all been given and follow these steps, you’ll be much more equipped to come out of this with so much more clarity, confidence and direction in your career.
Source: Adunola Adeshola via Forbes