COVID-19 has certainly thrown a sucker punch -- and a whole lot of anxiety -- into every single aspect of our everyday life.
Whether laid off or furloughed, or miserable in your role but feel like you must gut it out a while more -- all is not lost.
Below I have outlined seven steps to organize yourself, get the ball rolling, and maintain momentum during this challenging time.
It is OK to take a breath, collect your thoughts, and craft a job search plan. In fact, analysis and planning will likely make your job search shorter and, ultimately, more successful.
Today, a job search that does not have a target, that is "open" to anything, takes longer because the goal is not clear in the resumes, LinkedIn profile, and networking. ALL of those are more effective when focused.
Now is the time to figure out what you can cut, what you can put on credit, etc. The goal is to help your funds stretch as long and far as possible.
Just like during the 2008 Financial Crisis when those in banking, financial services, and real estate suffered a devastating blow, there is no shame in a gig of any sort to get you through this tough time and keep the lights on.
Grocery chains, delivery services, fast food, big box retail, healthcare, virtual teaching, remote communications companies, and Amazon are hiring, among many.
See Job-Hunt's list of the Top 100 Employers Hiring Now for a list of employers updated every week. Also check out the opportunities posted on sites like FlexJobs. LinkedIn’s editors are keeping a running list of companies adding new roles by the second.
Look at everything on an employer’s website to review press releases, learn about company benefits, products and services, executives and other staff members, and latest news.
For those who have a bit more breathing room, now is as great a time as any to do some deep dive research into roles and companies of interest. Go to Glassdoor and even Indeed to get reviews as well as sites like Bloomberg and Hoovers for private companies. While you must pay to get a full report at Hoovers, it’s free to check out who is on the board and uncover the company’s major competitors.
If you REALLY want intel, however, the best place in my view is to get it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Consider searching on LinkedIn and reaching out to people who work or have worked there. Check out Job-Hunt's Guide to Informational Interviews for more details.
If you feel strange about reaching out to a stranger about this, consider tapping into your university or corporate alum network (again – you can use LinkedIn’s search filters to identify people by school AND company).
Remember, an employer's favorite (and fastest) way to hire is through employee referrals. Check out Fast Track to a New Job: An Employee Referral for details on how they work.
Face to face interviews have gone by the wayside in favor of phone and video interviews. The upside of this is that you can practice using phone and video interviewing using recording software platforms like Zoom, Skype, UberConference, Google Hangouts or Meet, or even Facebook Video and iPhone Facetime to record and see first-hand how you sound and look.
A few tips:
This is an ideal time to make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are in great shape – which means they must be current in content, fresh in format and keyword optimized.
Harness tools like JobScan to ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile include the maximum number of keywords to give your documents their best shot at doing well when Applicant Tracking Software systems and algorithms are at play.
In our new COVID-19 shelter in place lock down, we are all spending more time online, and people online are likely to be more open to connecting.
This makes it a great time to reach out to who you know (former bosses, vendors, peers, customers), and also to those who you need or want to know.
This new #coronalife is stressful no matter how you look at it. With so much out of our control, focus on what is within our realm of influence – and try to uncover new opportunities where they did not exist before.
Things have changed with the Coronavirus pandemic, and some of those things have likely changed permanently. We can -- and must -- adapt to this new world, and we will succeed.
Career Change Expert Virginia Franco is a 4 times Certified Executive Resume Writer, LinkedIn Writer, Coach and Career Storyteller. Her experience in corporate communications, journalism, and social work offered her a unique understanding of how people read, communicate, and share information. Connect with Virginia via her website VirginiaFrancoResumes.com, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter at @VAFrancoResumes.