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4 Truths About Job Searching During a Pandemic

Know the facts!

by Janna Kefalas in Interviews, Job Search, LinkedIn, Resumes
4 truths about job searching during a pandemic (1)

If job searching wasn’t tough enough already, we’re now attempting it during a global pandemic and a tanking economy.

Whether you’ve personally been laid off or know people who have been, it’s understandable that we’re all feeling stressed, saddened and incredibly pessimistic about the future.

In fact, you might be thinking, is there any point looking for a job right now? Is anyone hiring? Isn’t the market flooded with job seekers?

I’m here to tell you that despite all the terrible news, there are some rays of hope. And there are several concrete steps you can take today to increase your chances of getting hired, even in this tumultuous climate.

But I want to give it to you straight, so you know what you’re in for. Here are the 4 job search truths you should keep in mind.

Job Search Truth #1 – Companies are hiring, even if it doesn’t feel that way

With layoffs happening all around, it’s easy to assume hiring has come to a screeching halt.

And yes, depending where you live, there are number of industries that have been hit the hardest: hospitality & travel, live art & entertainment, brick and mortar businesses and services that can’t operate online (bars, gyms, massage therapy, etc.).

The associated job losses are real, and my heart goes out to all who are suffering.

But, there are actually thousands of companies currently hiring across the globe, many with 100% remote opportunities. It’s even common for one company to be doing layoffs in one department and hiring in another.

This excellent real-time, online resource by Jobscan shows the hiring status of thousands of companies around the world: Companies Hiring. You can filter by location, department, etc.

When thinking about industries that have generally survived (and even thrived) during the pandemic, some obvious ones come to mind:

▸ Pharmaceutical & medical supplies
▸ Telecommunications (video conferencing, streaming, internet security, work-from-home solutions, etc.)
▸ Supply chains & logistics
▸ Online wellness (therapy, coaching, stress management, online fitness, etc.)
▸ Online education & home schooling

Regardless how you approach your industry research, just know that there are more opportunities out there than the dire economic news might suggest.

Job Search Truth #2 – The hiring process is moving way slower than normal

Now, just because there are lots of companies still hiring, it doesn’t mean that they’re doing so quickly. In fact, the hiring process can feel like a game of Red Light – Green Light.

With such an unpredicatable market, I’ve personally seen companies create job openings, then put them on hold for several weeks, and then open them back up again.

Meanwhile, you as the candidate could have a first round interview and then not have the second scheduled till weeks or months later. It can feel so frustrating!

So during these times of uncertainty, it’s crucial to practice patience, keep a positive mindset, and try not to take delays in communication from employers personally. They’re probably doing the best they can given the circumstances.

So don’t feel shy about following up in a friendly, professional manner. And definitely don’t put all your eggs in one basket and play the waiting game with one given company. Keep moving forward and exploring multiple opportunities.

Job Search Truth #3 – Standing out from the competition is easier than you might think

With more job seekers entering the market, it’s natural to assume it’ll be impossible to stand out amongst the crowd. But as a recruiter, I can definitely tell you that more candidates don’t necessarily equal the RIGHT candidates.

In a panic, many job seekers will apply for hundreds of jobs, the vast majority ones they’re not remotely qualified for. Trust me, I see it every day! So being strategic and thoughtful in your applications will easily allow you to put your best foot forward.

Get really clear on the roles you’re best suited for and craft your resume(s), cover letter(s) and LinkedIn profile in the most targeted way, highlighting your most relevant skills and achievements.

Job Search Truth  #4 – Your professional network is your biggest asset

If you’ve recently been laid off, it’s easy to use all of this self isolation as an excuse to hide from your network. It’s definitely common to feel shame and embarrassment in these difficult times.

But remember, we’re all going through turmoil right now, regardless of our employment status. No one will judge you for trying to find a new job quickly in the midst of this crisis.

So reach out to former colleagues, alumni, friends and family to learn about potential opportunities. Hiring surveys show that you’re anywhere between 5-15 times more likely to be hired as a referral than as an unknown applicant.

Also, people are feeling more generous and helpful than ever these days. And don’t worry, you’ll definitely be able to return the favor in the future.

Summing it Up

Keeping these 4 job search truths in mind will help you maintain the right mindset as you continue your hunt. Though this pandemic and economic crisis has posed major challenges to finding a job, people are still getting hired every day. And you will to!