Back in the Saddle

How to Land a Job During COVID-19

By Sandra Bolan

You lost your job because it can’t be done remotely or the pandemic has forced your company to lay off and furlough people for an undetermined amount of time.   

Yes, it’s challenging to find another job in your field, but it’s imperative you don’t throw in the towel and give up.

Keep applying for those few-and-far between open jobs, but understand a hiring manager’s response time may be quite slow.

Tailor Your Cover Letter and Resume

To help get your resume on the top of the pile, which you know will be tall and filled with equally qualified candidates, tailor your cover letter and resume to that specific company and job.

That means you need to do your research – how is the pandemic affecting the company? Has it laid off a substantial number of people, or did it pivot to remote work? How is the company’s stock trading? 

Check out review websites such as Glassdoor and Fairygodboss to see what employees really think of the company. If none of what people have to say or how the company is faring scares you, then apply.

If you do get an interview, all of your research will come in handy because you can use that knowledge to show how you could help them achieve their goals.

Show how adaptable you are, that you’re a problem solver and most important, despite all that’s going on, you still have a positive attitude. These are soft skills all employers look for, especially now.

Be flexible in the type of position you’ll take. You no doubt want full-time, but the company may only offer you a part-time position or hire you as a freelancer or contractor. Take it because it may one day become full-time with benefits.

Tech Check

That interview will most likely be held remotely. Prep your space – keep your background clean and tidy, practice looking into the camera, as this is as close to in-person eye contact as you’re going to get. Sit up straight. Learn to light yourself in a flattering manner, and dress as if you’re meeting in person – that means proper shoes and pants, along with that top a makes you pop on screen. 

Your computer set up also needs to be top notch. There is nothing worse than your computer screen falling off a stack of books in mid-interview.

Consider doing mock interviews with your friends.

While career fairs are not taking place in person, they are being held online. Mingle and submit as many resumes as you can.

Another way to network online is through LinkedIn and Facebook. Follow companies you’re interested in working for, and keep an eye open for any job postings. Join conversations, post and comment. Make yourself visible, but keep it professional.

Career Change

Depending on your industry and how it will rebound post-pandemic, you may want to take this time to re-evaluate your career and where you will fit in.

Believe it or not, there are a number of industries that require more staff, and quickly. Those fields include: medical/health, computers/IT, customer service, education/training, sales and accounting, according to Flexjobs.

Are your skills transferable to any of these industries? 

The other option for you to consider is going back to school and re-entering the workforce with a completely new skillset.

Depending on your financial situation, you may have to take a job well below your capabilities. Think of it as a learning opportunity, and make the most out of everything your superiors offer you.

Yes, this is a tough time to hunt for a job, but with some patience and willingness to shift gears, if necessary, there are companies out there just waiting for someone with your particular skillset.

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