March 24th, 2020, I found myself in a difficult situation. I had just landed a new job with a great company when a global pandemic hit. Amidst COVID-19, I was reassured I would be able to start my new position remotely. Unfortunately, days before I was about to begin, I received the dreaded phone call that my position had been put on hold for the foreseeable future. With hiring freezes, lay-offs and furloughs across multiple industries, I was worried about how I would find my next opportunity.
Thankfully, I got an offer at Solving IT and couldn’t be happier with how things aligned. I took effective steps in my job search during the pandemic, and so can you. Based on my experience, here are the steps you can take to land your next opportunity.
Revamp Your Resume
This may seem like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised how many stick to one specific industry or job title. Start to look for roles which have an overlap from a skill and experience standpoint and use this as an opportunity to push yourself out of the role and title you thought you needed.
Consider taking time to revamp your resume. If you’re like me and your industry has been impacted by COVID-19, take an internal assessment of your strongest skills and experience. Tailor your resume to highlight those skills which are most relevant to the role you are applying for. You’ll be surprised to find that you can apply those skills to a multitude of different sectors. Once you’ve broadened the search, make a few tweaks to your resume, then start applying!
So little in our present world is normal, so breaking out of the “norm” is important. This pandemic has forced us to appreciate our social interactions. While we cannot network in person, we must embrace virtual networking. Virtual networking can sometimes build stronger ties than face to face interactions. A lot of companies are introducing virtual coffees and happy hours to keep both candidates and employees engaged.
While using your network to find your next opportunity, make sure you have done your research and have a clear purpose. While I don’t necessarily recommend outright asking your contacts for a job, you should certainly feel comfortable asking them to put you in contact with people in their network (and vice versa). With so much out of our control in today’s world, helping people make meaningful and valuable connections is something we all should be focusing on. Additionally, I found it important to continue having meaningful conversations with my network to keep my skills and experiences fresh in my mind. I sent out emails with my resume attached to people that I had been referred to. Throughout the process, make sure to stay in touch with your network and to continue to cultivate your relationships.
Know that there is a lot of uncertainty out there and you are not alone. More than 36 million Americans have filed for initial unemployment benefits. Take advantage of the downtime to learn a new skill or take a class. There are many free resources such as seminars and courses being offered right now due to COVID-19. Whether it is a skill that will enhance your resume, or a hobby you’ve been meaning to pick up. Stay persistent and invest in yourself throughout this process.
Hang in there! Remember, we are all in uncharted waters together. Job hunting is challenging, and it’s easy to get discouraged, especially during a global pandemic. Make sure to stay consistent and have a positive attitude. Maybe you’re just a step away from having the job you’ve always dreamed of!
WRITTEN BY RABIA HAMIDANI