Guide to Coronavirus Pandemic Job Search
By Susan P. Joyce
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in major changes to all our lives.
Hundreds of thousands of employees have been furloughed or laid off as many businesses have shut down and most businesses have slowed down.
Consequently, unemployment claims have skyrocketed. With the nationwide rate many times higher than a "normal" 4%, it seems like everyone is scrambling to find a job.
Securing a new job during a global pandemic feels like the proverbial searching for a needle in a haystack.
During "normal" times, many people dread the job search process. Job seekers struggle with creating the perfect resume, applying (endlessly) for jobs online, marketing themselves, and networking to find their next role. Scary! NOT fun!
And these times are anything but normal.
Help with Your Job Search
These articles will help you address many aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic job search:
The impact of the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic has been astonishing -- not the best of times and definitely not the worst (although it feels that way). Sitting around and waiting for a job to land in your lap – or for the economy to rebound – is not an option. No one knows how long this will last.
To find your next opportunity in this environment, you need to create more opportunities by first focusing on the process and then thinking outside the box using the process described by careers and job search expert Stacey Hawley.
The COVID-19 pandemic and attendant quarantines are reshaping how -- and which -- employers hire. Quarantines and "social distancing" requirements have also eliminated most face-to-face meetings.
Consequently, what job seekers need to do to find their next opportunities under such circumstances has changed, too. In this article recruiter Ed Han shares how to find employers who are hiring and how to connect with them.
With COVID19 disrupting job markets around the world, many typical in-office jobs are being done remotely, at least temporarily. If you have decided to shift your job search to find a remote job, check out these great tips by Remote Job Search Expert Brie Reynolds.
To be successful when looking for a remote job, present yourself a bit differently than in the past, making your remote skills clear in addition to your qualifications for the job. These tips will help you succeed in your job search for a remote job.
Whether you were just laid off or were job searching prior to the epidemic, this is a great time to network online to find a new job. While many things have become more difficult for job seekers, this situation has also created some opportunities for you to succeed.
One of those opportunities the Coronavirus pandemic has created is online networking. Yes. Really! Job Search Expert Biron Clark shares how to reconnect with past colleagues, ask them how they are doing, or even reach out to new contacts.
Yes, while unemployment grew to record levels, those who have lost their jobs have found ways to recover their income. See these examples which include an organized and well-executed job search, starting a side hustle to supplement (or replace) her salary, and changing the job search target employers to convert to virtual employment.
Read how these successful job seekers adapted to our new reality and succeeded in this article by Barbara Schultz.
We all face special challenges today as a result of the COVID-19 infection, but networking is not optional for our mental health as well as our job search and careers. This can be a great time to build your network with everyone spending more time at home and on their computers.
Networking expert Beverly E. Jones describes 10 ways to build and strengthen your network, even now.
While many businesses and other organizations, like public libraries, are closed partially or completely, many other employers have jobs open and may even be growing!
Check out this list of 100 employers which have a total of over 750,000 jobs open, based on my research using Indeed.com and the employer's websites.
Technology-Based Pandemic Job Interviews
With the limitations on face-to-face interactions, the interviewing process foundation now leverages technology much more than in the past, particularly video. Pre-pandemic, most of us had limited experience interacting with others via Internet video.
Times have changed. "Adapt and overcome" to succeed. Here's how:
With the Coronavirus pandemic quarantines, "social distancing" requirements, and other health protection issues, video interviews are becoming a necessity. Video is considered the next best thing to in-person interviews by many employers.
Job interviews expert Laura DeCarlo shares the best strategies to use to succeed in your video interviews.
One-way video interviews is often a surprise to job seekers. As opposed to a conversation with the employer, this interview only requires the job seeker's presence. In the one-way video interview, the job seeker's answers to preset questions are recorded for the employer to see later.
The good news is that you can often tape the interview at your convenience and, possibly, review and re-record your answers. The bad news is that it feels impersonal. Job interviews expert Laura DeCarlo offers 12 great tips for succeedin in these interviews.
MORE: The Bad News AND the Good News
As usual, there are 2-sides of every situation.
The Bad News
- You are unemployed and no longer earning an income.
- With the pandemic, you are spending much more time at home, interacting in person with very few people outside of your immediate family. This can be very stressful as well as boring.
- You very likely need to land your new job from your home, by networking and interviewing virtually.
This bad news is not trivial by any means. In fact, it is usually terrifying, with the lack of a paycheck at the top of the scary things happening
The Good News - Financial Support
Fortunately, we currently have much good news to offset the bad and help you recover your income stream:
- Your state provides unemployment compensation for an extended period of time. To learn more, visit:
- Participation in your state's unemployment compensation has been extended for an additional 13 weeks of coverage, up to the end of 2020, if you need it.
- IF you qualify for your state's unemployment compensation, the US federal government should provide you with additional unemployment income and support:
- "Enhanced" unemployment payments of $600 per week, in addition to your state's standard unemployment compensation, will be funded by the US federal government through the end of July, 2020.
- If you are already receiving unemployment benefits through your state, you do not need to do any additional registrations.
- Not an "employee" of a company? Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation. "PUA" also extends benefits, including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits.
- Individuals covered under PUA include:
- The self-employed (e.g. independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities),
- Those seeking part-time employment,
- Individuals lacking sufficient work history,
- Those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.
- The US federal government also passed the CARES Act which will deposit a one-time payment or send a check to those who earned less than $75,000 in 2019 ($150,000 for couples):
- The one-time "stimulus" payment is $1,200 per person (or $2,400 for married couples) with an additional $500 for each child.
- For more detailed information, check out:
- For many people, you can earn income while working gigs "remotely" from your home and even land a new "remote" job where you work from home.
- You do not need to explain your COVID19-caused job loss or "employment gap" to potential employers, and, usually, explaining job loss and employment gaps are a big obstacle for unemployed job seekers.
- You can have face-to-face interactions with family, friends, and colleagues using Internet tools like Skype and Zoom, building your skills with those tools while seeing familiar faces. VERY good skills to have for video job interviews now and working "remotely" in the future!
- You can use this situation as a reason to reach out (via email, phone, Skype, Zoom, etc.) and to reconnect with people you have not been in touch with for a while -- checking in to make sure they are OK and catching up with what is happening in their lives.
- Many schools and businesses have made their training and other services available for lower cost or, even, free.
- You can leverage this time to take those free training courses to increase your qualifications for your next job.
So, while you are not currently receiving a standard paycheck, you are receiving a good weekly income that should help you cover many of your living expenses.
The Bottom Line:
The federal programs will likely change as new laws are passed and the rules and regulations are modified. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date.
More About Coronavirus / COVID-19 Job Search
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn.