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Guide to Coronavirus Pandemic Job Search

By Susan P. Joyce

Guide to Coronavirus Pandemic Job SearchThe 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.

If you currently have a job, do your best to keep it until you find a new one (read our Guide to Stealth Job Search for finding a job while employed)! Voluntarily leaving your job, even during the pandemic, will likely disqualify you from receiving unemployment compensation.

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 During This Pandemic

These articles will help you address many aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic job search:

  •   5 Steps to Successful Job Search During the COVID-19 Pandemic  

    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.
  •   5 Keys to Successfully Working with Recruiters During Your Coronavirus Pandemic Job Search  

    The pandemic has impacted the hiring process for "the other side," too -- for the employers and recruiters. New technologies are being used, and the length of time required has likely also changed.

    In this article, top recruiter Jeff Lipschultz explains 5 things to keep in mind when you are working with recruiters. Understand how and what has changed for recruiters so you can work more successfully with them during (and after) the Coronavirus pandemic.
  •   Interview Questions in a COVID Pandemic World  

    The pandemic created new concerns and requirements for employers, particularly related to employees working remotely. For job seekers, the pandemic also created concerns about how the employer managed, and is managing, this extraordinary situation.

    Former HR executive Barbara Schultz shares 9 questions for you to be prepared to answer, related to how effectively you work remotely, and also 9 questions for you to ask the employer to understand how they treated employees during this situation and how they are moving forward.
  •   How Hiring Happens During This Pandemic Quarantine  

    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.
  •   How to Job Search Effectively for Remote Jobs  

    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.
  •   Effective Job Search Networking During the COVID-19 Pandemic  

    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.
  •   Pandemic Income Recovery Examples  

    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.
  •   Key Coronavirus Pandemic Network Building Strategies  

    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.
  •   How Boomers Can Shore Up Their Personal Brand During the Pandemic  

    While COVID-19 has not been kind to boomers, the pandemic actually gives boomers a chance to shore up our personal brands by blazing a virtual trail online to prove we are up-to-date and good job candidates.

    A strong personal brand is an essential part of our careers and successful job search today. Boomer Job Search Contributor Wendy Marx shares 5 ways boomers can leverage the pandemic to improve their personal brands and visibility.
  •   5 Powerful Ways to Stand Out in the Pandemic Job Market  

    With so much competition in today's job market, you must stand out from the crowd to succeed. Job Search Expert (and former HR executive) Barbara Schultz compares the pandemic job search to competing for investors on the TV show "Shark Tank."

    Learn how successful “Shark Tank” contestants win the attention and investments of the "Sharks." Barbara shares how you can apply 5 of those powerful tactics to be more successful in today's job market.
  •   Successful COVID-19 Pandemic Career Change  

    The pandemic has turned many employers and careers upside down. While some careers may never recover, others are becoming more popular and important. If your career is one of the casualties of this situation, you are probably interested in changing your career because you need to continue earning your income.

    In this article, Career Change Expert Virginia Franco shares 7 steps to find a new career that will be a good fit for you and will, hopefully, keep you happily and successfully employed for many years.
  •   3 Great Examples of Coronavirus Pandemic Income Recovery  

    When the pandemic hit, these 3 people had their careers totally trashed, but they recovered with creative and smart responses: building a side hustle, working virtually, and doing a more traditional job search. In this article, Mid-Career Expert Barbara Schultz shares the process how these people succeeded and the learnings from their successes.
  •   MORE Great Examples of Coronavirus Pandemic Income Recovery  

    In spite of the pandemic, job seekers are still succeeding in finding new jobs, even with a major career change. In this article, Mid-Career Expert Barbara Schultz shares how 3 job seekers adapted to the new environment, succeeded in finding great new jobs inspite of the pandemic, and the learnings from their successes.
  •   Top 100 Employers Hiring Right 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 1,130,00 jobs open, based on my research using and the employer's websites on September 25, 2020.

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:

  •   How to Ace Your Video Interview  

    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.
  •   12 Keys to One-Way Video Interview Success  

    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 succeeding 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  

The federal programs will likely change as new laws are passed and the rules and regulations are modified.

  • 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 most potential employers, and, usually, explaining job loss and employment gaps can be an 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:

This situation will likely not change very quickly, unfortunately. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date and help you be successful in your pandemic job search.

More About Coronavirus / COVID-19 Job Search

Susan P. Joyce 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 Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn.
More about this author...

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Guide to Coronavirus Income and Career Recovery


Coronavirus Job Interviews:

Moving on to a New Career:

Recovering from Job Loss:

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