Millions of Americans have become unemployed due to the limited operations and closures of companies in several industries. You may be one of them or you may have been job hunting when the pandemic hit. Whatever your current situation, you should have hope that a job is just around the corner!
Of course, it will be more challenging to find a job considering the economic downturn. But keep in mind that while some industries are laying off their people, some industries are hiring. The latter’s products and services, after all, are in greater demand resulting in the need for more staff – and quickly, too.
Here are tips to make your job hunting easier and faster even in these challenging times.
1. Check Your Unemployment Benefits First
While you’re looking for a new job, you should have the money for your daily needs and bills. You must then check your unemployment benefits since these can be your fallback in the meantime. You will also need it for funding your training in case you will need it and for traveling expenses, among others.
You may be entitled to job loss benefits from your previous company so ask the human resources head or the manager about this matter. You should also ask about other unemployment benefits from the state and federal governments.
2. Be Prepared for Job Hunting in a New Environment
We live in a new normal where face masks are mandatory in many jurisdictions. You must then be prepared to adjust to the new normal in many offices if you want to last at your job.
There are also steps that you can make in preparing for a job hunt.
- Update your resume and cover letter as well as your social media and LinkedIn profiles. You should be careful about your postings and photos on social media because employers consider them.
- Change your resume and cover letter according to the job you’re applying for. You shouldn’t be lazy about it since employers actually read these documents during the screening process.
- Use the Internet to find jobs based on your preference, knowledge, and skills. You can even search for urgent hiring on Indeed by typing in relevant keywords (hiring immediately, urgently hiring) and your location. You may also use hashtags on social media and LinkedIn to find jobs in your area.
Keep in mind that job hunting in the best of times can be challenging, more so during a pandemic. You must then be prepared mentally and emotionally for the rejections. You should also be patient when waiting, kind to others, and persevere in the face of great odds.
In the end, job hunting isn’t just about finding a job but finding yourself!
3. Research the Job Market
Not every industry, company, and occupation will be affected by the pandemic in the same way. The travel, hospitality, and food services as well as event planning industries were among the hardest-hit. In contrast, the cleaning services, healthcare companies, and grocery stores are hiring due to the increased demand.
But don’t make assumptions about companies that are cutting back and companies that are hiring! You will do well to do your research on the industry in general and the company in particular. You can call the companies you’re interested in and ask directly, as well as read the classifieds and browse the online job sites.
Many companies are offering part-time and full-time positions to fill in the gap of their staffing needs. Amazon, for example, has announced 175,000 open positions in its delivery network and fulfillment centers. Walmart is also on the same path and its two-week hiring cycle has been reduced to just 24 hours.
4. Spend Your Time Productively
While you’re waiting for the replies, you should spend your time in a more productive manner. You may want to relax your mind by browsing Facebook, dancing on TikTok, and admiring Instagram stars. But you have to focus more on your personal and professional development!
- Spend more time on strengthening and expanding your network. You don’t even have to meet your contacts in person since LinkedIn and social media sites are strongly recommended at this time. You can ask your family and friends about their own efforts at job-hunting and exchange ideas about prospective employers.
- Adopt the golden rule. If you want people to lend a helping hand, you should also be willing to help them! Referrals to jobs that aren’t up your alley, LinkedIn recommendations, and proofreading other people’s resumes and cover letters are good ideas.
- Learn a new skill and upgrade your existing skills. With fiercer competition for jobs, the more relevant skills you have, the better your chances of getting the job over others. Just choose a new skill or an upgrade to your skill that will, indeed, be relevant to the types of jobs you’re applying for.
5. Take Your Job Hunt Online
There are two ways that taking your job hunt online can be interpreted. First, you can use the Internet to find jobs in your preferred industry and occupation. You can look for jobs on job sites like LinkedIn, social media, and the companies’ official websites.
Keep these tips in mind when on an online job hunt:
- Organize your job hunt by using a spreadsheet. You can then keep track of which companies you’ve sent resumes and cover letters to and which ones have responded.
- Set up job alerts. You will want to be among the first people to be notified about new jobs.
- Always be prepared for the possibility of an on-the-spot interview. You never know if that job will be yours even without a face-to-face interaction beforehand.
Second, you can look for work-from-home jobs. While many of these jobs don’t have the benefits of full-time employment in an office setting, these can also pay the bills and more! As with traditional job hunting, you should be prepared with your resume and cover letter as well as be prepared to impress the employer.
This may seem like the worst of times for job hunting but adopting a positive mindset can transform it into the best of times, sort of. If you still can’t find a job after your self-imposed timeframe, you may want to consider becoming an entrepreneur, too.
Check out these 50 LA Tech Companies Hiring During the COVID-19 Pandemic