The harsh impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on businesses is not over yet, but likely to last for months post-retreat, till organizations get enough time to recover from the severe losses. As of now, it’s pretty clear that there will be job-cuts, layoffs, pay-cuts, and hiring-freeze. The economy has been sluggish even before the outbreak of coronavirus and now the pandemic has accelerated this negative growth. Now, with this continuing unprecedented situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, the job market will be even tougher. In this post, we will look at some useful tips on how to improve your job search and employability post-COVID-19 slowdown.
Millions of people around the world have lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 crisis. With the whole world at the brink of what could be the worst slowdown. Especially if you are a job-seeker, searching for a job in a recession will be an arduous task and you need a battle plan.
So, let’s check what measures can help you find the best opportunities:
The first thing is you need to analyze what you are looking for, and where do you want to find yourself at the other end of this unforeseen crisis. A recent survey claims that any working professional has on an average of four doors they can knock and find a passage through.
For example, if you have abilities in Sales you might look for opportunities as a Sales Manager, as a Product Trainer, as a Business Analyst or otherwise possibly a Sales Trainer. So, considering the wide scope you can avail, you may first filter your search and gather more information about fields you are more interested in.
The thought is to direct your energies towards a few quality job openings, the ones that stand out from the multitude of mediocre job openings. Do not try to spread yourself thin by applying anywhere and everywhere in the market.
The lockdown and post-COVID slowdown allow sufficient time to spare on your focused research. Research more about the market trends, the startup entries, and the giant exits, see ways to upskill to stay relevant and update to in the job market, your contenders, their products and prices, and anything and everything that may be relevant for you to talk about in a detailed interview and may virtually interest your future employer.
When jobs are limited, target businesses that are growing, hiring rapidly, or are recession-proof. Further within those, look at firms that have robust financials or clear growth plans. For instance, in startups, education technology players continue to hire and show growth currently.
Apart from edtech and online training online groceries, core tech, delivery & logistics, communication technologies, fintech, healthcare, biotechnology, etc. will also need employees.
The pain letter approach is a tried-and-tested method. It’s even more effective during the recession.
Hiring managers don’t just want somebody who can do the job. Ideally, they want people who will make their lives easier. People who can hit the ground running, who can go above and beyond the duties listed in the job description, and who can help the team or company hit its goals. During a recession, businesses will be even more cautious and strategic with hiring.
In a pain letter, you talk about the organization’s biggest problem(s) and how you, if hired, would plan to solve it. In doing so, you highlight not only your skillset and how it applies to the new position but also your knowledge of the company and your enthusiasm about coming in and making an instant impact on the job.
In other words, it’s kind of a sales pitch. In this case, you will be selling your skills (and expertise) to solve the pain points of the hiring manager and the organization.
To implement the pain letter approach, you have to invest some time and energy in researching the organization. It uses your knowledge of your function to advance a hypothesis — an educated guess about what might be troubling your hiring manager the most.
Out of all the applicants, 70% are rejected in the initial screening, and credit goes to the mind-boggling CVs that one has proudly set around. Resumes get often rejected due to lack of relevant information, unprofessional email ids, clumsy formats, and most essentially the needed ‘keywords’ not being included. So, we begin with the latest.
This is the age of the ‘search engine’. Anything and anyone, one may be looking for is just a search-bar away. The same applies to your employer too. As and when there is a position ready for hire, the initial screening happens as searches may be happening around with specific skill sets, roles, experience, domains, etc.
So, ensure you include all the relevant experience, skills, expertise, knowledge as ‘popular keywords’, in your field that you could be easily found with. Also try to include all testimonials, certifications, short-term courses, merit records that you may otherwise find insignificant. Multi-dimensional expertise is always preferred by employers and it also portrays your energy and passion.
Last, but not the least, use an advanced format that would make your CV look organized, informative, simple, and easy to read. Understand that no employer has more than 5 minutes to go through a resume.
Create a professional email id, choose a clear font, create headers & sub-headers, bolden any important information you would like your employer to focus upon, reduce sentences by limiting them to relevant information only, and include sections like ‘what role I am looking at?’ or ‘why hire me?’
Employers are professionally engaged on various networking sites as they may be hunting for various intelligence related to the industry, for useful resources, for increasing network or maybe trying to headhunt a good employee they might think suitable for certain significant roles. However, engaging yourself in any media platform is pretty outdated. It is time that you engage your employers rather.
So, let’s take a look at a few activities that can increasingly make you popular as everyone keeps an eye on the internet.
Everyone is looking for compelling cases from reality that can relate to or learn from. Understanding your audience, your particular domain that you may be targeting a bigger network in, you can post relative problem-solving posts sort of content to engage your visitor on any forum. It makes it interesting too, as anyone and everyone liked to advise, and once asked for it, there’s nothing like it.
Appreciate, congratulate, or send wishes wherever you think you may. Try to comment on any content you think you can take part in and talk about, share your viewpoints, and invite further considerations to make it more engaging. The more you connect with users on any particular subject, the better chances people remember you and want to see you again.
Post different learnings you found interesting in your field or maybe any field you find inspiring and might be looking to get into. It can also be very general to invite mass audience participation. Follow the reactions, and in case you are successfully able to make some of the aces turn their face around, allow them to share more of their experiences on the same. Show your interest in their opinions, and ask for more.
Leverage your LinkedIn profile to get noticed, set up meetings with your first and second-degree connections. Invest time in cold calls and reaching out to decision-makers who are not part of your network.
This is also a good time to invest in your potential strengths and intimidating weaknesses. Each of us is equipped with few extra-ordinary skills that make each professional individually different and exclusive.
However, expecting our employers to recognize those for us, appreciate, and value them doesn’t seem fair unless we get to recognize them ourselves.
So, think about what makes you add value to an organization and how you can prove yourself to be an asset.
Also, concurrently work on your weaknesses which might be taking the right decisions, carrying the right attitude towards work, handling customers, punctuality, time management, and language skills.
When the job market is down, the demand for jobs surpasses the supply. So, the salaries offered could be on the lower side. You need to be flexible and realistic in expectations from role and salary.
Also, don’t be rigid about job roles. It’s better to focus on the skill set rather than the major during your job search. However, don’t lose your resilience and self-belief. If the proposed salary is way too little or a job position is way below your skills and qualifications, don’t accept it.
Even before the economy got hit by COVID-19, a majority of the workforce around the world needed meaningful reskilling and upskilling. New-age technologies such as AI, automation, and lack of vital soft skills are expected to disrupt the global workforce with as many as 120 million workers around the world needing to be retrained or reskilled.
For years, it’s been a candidate-driven market—but the pandemic has created unique economic uncertainty. While it’s true many companies are in a hiring freeze and others are reducing staff, some industries are ramping up their recruiting efforts to fill critical positions.
As companies move to remote work to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for employees who are well-versed with technology would be on a rise.
So, it’s only wise to pick up the new-age skills. With the coronavirus outbreak, it will be very critical to leverage the online platforms and re skill and upskill yourself.
During the Great Recession (2008 – 2010), there were many cases where an advanced degree (MS or MBA) helped candidates to get a competitive edge.
This is not 2008. It could be worse – the COVID-19 recession could become a depression.
As a rule-of-thumb, when the job market is down, it could be a great time to opt for higher studies, and even in a foreign degree. By the time you finish your degree, the market will get relatively better.