Job Search During a Pandemic: Employers Are Hiring!
Updated: Oct 13
Unemployment numbers are expected to continue to fluctuate through the end of 2020 and into 2021. Remember, that there are no hard and fast rules for a job search in a pandemic, so be flexible!
Even if you are currently employed now, some companies have announced further layoffs and restructurings as the pandemic stretches into late 2020. It’s important to be prepared for what’s next. This means that updating your résumé and LinkedIn profile and taking the time to track and document your accomplishments will be an integral step to moving forward. In addition, take some time to analyze your transferable skills and experience, particularly if you are in an industry that has been negatively affected by the pandemic.
What remains the same about job search right now?
• Companies are still looking to hire problem solvers.
• It’s important to leverage your network in your job search, as your contacts can help you identify unadvertised job opportunities and connect with hiring managers.
• Having an accomplishment-focused, updated résumé and LinkedIn profile can help you secure interviews.
What has changed?
• Interviews for job opportunities are more likely to be virtual (rather than in person) so this is a great time to invest in virtual interview coaching.
• Human resources staffers are likely to be working remotely, and coordinating the hiring process can take more time than it did before the pandemic.
• Opportunities for remote work are increasing, and if you can work remotely, there are even more opportunities, especially outside your current geographic area.
• Temporary and short-term positions are abundant, Companies may be wary of taking on permanent, full-time employees when their future is uncertain, but they still have strategic needs and goals to fulfill.
What You Need to Remember
Don’t automatically discard the things that worked before in your job search. If you have had success previously with a specific tactic — for example, working with recruiters, or leveraging the hidden job market, don’t write them off just because there is a pandemic.
Dispel the “No One Is Hiring” Myth
Your mindset is especially important when searching for a job during a pandemic. Stay optimistic and believe in your value! Companies are still hiring new employees. Simply search for openings on job aggregator sites like Indeed.com, SimplyHired, or Monster. Check out the “Jobs on Facebook” feature (https://www.facebook.com/jobs/) or LinkedIn Jobs (https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/). You’ll see hundreds of open opportunities!
The Latest Labour Market Trends
Companies in the shipping/delivery field are hiring, as are grocery stores and many healthcare facilities, including pharmacies. Information technology and technical support positions are also in high demand, as employees need more assistance with their computers and other devices when working from home.
Keep your eye on labour market trends through social media or also your local newspaper, HRDC, and Statistics Canada. Look for companies that are meeting pandemic-specific needs. These companies are now hiring for temporary, part-time, and short-term opportunities.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box and explore all your options!
However, some industries are struggling. For example, hospitality companies — restaurants, airlines, resorts, hotels, and conference centers. Almost everything related to the entertainment industry has been affected. Colleges and universities are facing budget cuts as students defer returning to campus until the pandemic ends. Government organizations — often some of the steadiest employers — are also facing shortfalls that are affecting employment and hiring.
Even in companies that are hiring, there may still be uncertainty. The hiring timeline has grown longer in some cases. If the company is conducting multi-person interviews, it may take time to coordinate schedules so all the panelists are available at the same time. Some jobs openings may be put on hold temporarily as situations change in the business. You may even have a job offer rescinded if a company’s fortunes suddenly change.
If you’re currently unemployed, your next job may not be a full-time or permanent position. It may not be your dream job. But a short-term or temporary position may make it easier for you to navigate the pandemic and be in a position to find a new role in the future. It’s often easier to secure a job when you already have one. And some temporary and short-term roles may turn into permanent positions once the economy ramps back up again.
You may also find yourself temporarily changing fields during the pandemic. Is there a way you can use your existing skills in a new industry in the short term? For example, if you were a server in a restaurant, can you use your communication skills to work a remote customer service job? Or if you were an event coordinator for a hotel/conference center, could you use your project management capabilities to manage scheduling for a hospital?
What If You Have Been Furloughed?
The pandemic caused a number of companies to furlough employees. Many of these companies continue to pay employee benefits (such as health insurance) ,but the furlough allows workers to apply for unemployment.
If you have been furloughed, develop a job search strategy in case your position is permanently eliminated. Start working now on updating your job search documents (résumé, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, etc.). so you can immediately start applying for positions if you find yourself without a job.
With the end of the enhanced unemployment benefits, if you are still furloughed, you may be considering short-term or part-time work. Research your local unemployment benefit requirements to determine how this work may affect your benefits.
The key is to be prepared, proactive, and positive!
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