A survey from the beginning of 2021 questioned 1,000 unemployed Canadians and found 30% were unemployed due to COVID-19-related reasons. 62% stated that COVID-19 was the reason why they’ve remained unemployed.
The pandemic has hit many hard. Even those who remain safe from the illness are wrapped up in economic or mental health issues resulting from the pandemic. If you’re currently looking for a job, it could be challenging as many businesses are just trying to remain afloat.
In this article, we provide some tips to better your job search process during the pandemic.
Consider the COVID-19 winners and losers
The pandemic has caused some industries to sink and others to prosper. Although the airline and cruise industries aren’t faring well, cleaning and delivery businesses are reaching all-time highs. If you came from one of the industries hard hit by COVID, continuing to look for jobs in such an industry could be banging your head against a wall. These industries likely won’t return to normal any time soon. Instead, try to pivot your skills and expertise to a different industry thriving during this time. The COVID “winners” are likely hiring in the boatloads as demand for their services continues to go up.
Part-time and freelance work
As companies search for ways to budget their resources, some are looking to contractors who don’t need full-time hours. Thus, starting your own freelance practice could be a solution to your job search.
Freelancing also has many advantages over the traditional nine-to-five. It can mean multiple income sources from various clients. Instead of one company paying you a monthly salary, you can have various businesses purchase your service. If one client ends or downgrades their contract, your life won’t turn to shambles as you have other paying clients remaining. Freelancing also provides flexibility (i.e., working on your own schedule) and the opportunity to be your own boss.
If you find a full-time job, your freelance work can continue as a source of extra income.
Video interviews are the new normal
Due to safety concerns, most interviews are conducted via video conferencing these days. Although video interviews are like their in-person counterpart, they come with their own challenges. If you have an upcoming interview via video, consider the following:
- Find a quiet space with a clean and minimal background
- Ensure you have a strong internet connection
- Understand how to use the videoconferencing tool of choice
- Ensure your video and audio equipment is working
These steps can make sure your interview goes smoothly. Although hiccups happen, these issues can cause anxiety to the already stressful process. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them.
As well, don’t forget standard interview best practices such as preparing stories to reflect on your experiences, dressing appropriately (even waist down), making good eye contact, and coming with a positive attitude!
Highlight your tech skills
COVID-19 has pushed every business into a digital transformation. Some companies were smart or lucky enough to have remote work ready before the pandemic. Others got a grasp of the situation as it came.
Highlighting your tech skills and communicating that you know your way around different software programs, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Sheet, can prove to a potential employer that you’re ready to adapt to whatever tools they have in place.
LinkedIn is even more important
Pre-pandemic, we had job fairs, networking events, and in-person coffee chats. Now, networking consists primarily of phone or video calls and LinkedIn. But to get to a call, it’s anticipated that you’ll have to reach out via LinkedIn, as there’s little-to-no opportunity to meet others in the real world.
For these reasons—and simply due to the overall importance of LinkedIn for job searching—having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is a must. Activities such as sharing content or engaging with others on the platform can further your reach even more.
COVID-19 has taken a toll on the job market. Whether it’s finding a new industry or way of working, it’s vital to adapt during this time. What’s more, an ability to use technology and social media will increase your chances of successfully finding a job during this pandemic.