Tuesday, January 26, 2021

6 Practical Tips For Job Seekers In The Pandemic


Lisa Rowan

If you’re looking for a job right now, you’re probably anxious for things to get back to whatever version of “normal” comes after the pandemic. And if you don’t like the job you have, you might feel guilty about thinking about changing companies during this global crisis.

Rest assured, there are millions of people in your same situation. Last spring, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic led to the highest unemployment rate ever witnessed in American history. And a lot of places are nowhere near a full recovery from that initial shock. 

“There are more people looking for jobs right now than there are actual job openings,” said Kevin Harrington, CEO of job search platform Joblist. “That’s not going to change overnight.”

But even if you’re feeling desperate about your employment options, you shouldn’t give up trying to find a job. Here are a few pandemic-era strategies you can adopt to make the most of your job search.


1. Prepare to be Flexible

Not seeing a lot of jobs in your field? It may be time to broaden your search.

A recent Joblist survey found that 65% of job seekers are now more likely to take a position outside their industry than they were before the pandemic, and 42% are more open to a part-time, gig or contract position. 

“Job switching is more common and accepted now than ever before,” Harrington said, advising people in need of work to consider short-term stopgaps while they seek stable long-term employment. “There’s going to be significant understanding from employers as you shift back into a full-time role.”

That particularly goes for people working in leisure and hospitality, fields that have been hit especially hard by the economic impact of the pandemic. During the height of the economic shutdown in April, nearly 40% of job losses came from these two industries. And many of those businesses are still trying to figure out paths to stability. 

“A lot of skills in hospitality are widely applicable to other jobs that may have had a surge in hiring,” Harrington said, like customer support and ecommerce logistics roles that rely on skills like organization, clear communication, and multitasking.

If you’re starting to look for jobs that are outside of your role or industry, you may want to ask for help preparing for the process. Cynthia Hayward, director of coaching and career transition services at CBIZ Inc., recommended tapping into your local community college, as most offer some sort of career coaching or resume review assistance at no cost. 

Hayward said that part-time jobs and temporary gigs can help you gain entry into an industry you’re interested in—plus, it can give you a sense of purpose while you look for a long-term role.


3. Lean on Your Network

Industry meetups and in-person networking happy hours may be on hold for now, but it’s still important to share your employment goals with others. 

Although you may be suffering from Zoom fatigue, it’s worth setting up informational phone or video-chat meetings as if you were asking someone in your network to meet for a cup of coffee. 

“Seventy to 75% of jobs aren’t published anywhere,” Hayward said. “Look out into your network, identify employers you admire, and network with people you know there. You may discover some inroads to new roles.” 

In another time and place you might have felt embarrassed to admit you were out of work or were looking for a new job. But in a strange pandemic economy, the more people who know you’re open to opportunities, the better your chances of getting your resume in front of a hiring manager.


5. Get Ready for Zoom Interviews

Before you get a job, you’ll likely have to complete at least a couple interviews. And unless you’re preparing to work on the front lines during this pandemic, most interviews will be remote. You’ll need to sell your skills by phone or video chat.

“You don’t get to make that handshake impression,” when you participate in virtual or phone interviews, Hayward said. “So you’ve got to make sure the rest of your stuff is bulletproof.” That means updating and reviewing your resume, LinkedIn and social media profiles. 

It also means preparing for the technological requirements of a virtual interview. Recruit a friend to test your settings with you prior to a video interview to make sure your connection is strong and you’ve picked out a distraction-free spot to take the meeting. “Those first few minutes are critical,” Hayward said, so make sure your interview starts strong—not with technical difficulties.

See all 6 tips and the complete Forbes article.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

5 tips for finding and landing a new job in 2021, according to Glassdoor’s CEO

 Courtney Connley@classicalycourt

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the economy, millions of Americans are starting the year off unemployed and in search of new job opportunities.

When looking at weekly jobless claims for the week ending Jan. 2, 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, a number that is four times that of the pre-pandemic average. In total, roughly 19.2 million Americans are receiving unemployment compensation today.

Though the growing number of job losses may cause many job seekers to lose hope amid their search, data shows that the top of the year could be more promising as January and February are the most popular months to look for work. In January specifically, job searching site Glassdoor has historically seen 20% more U.S. job applications started on its platform than in any other month. And while the pandemic has certainly impacted the pace of hiring for employers, Glassdoor economist Daniel Zhao says he still believes we will see an uptick in job search activity.

“With millions unemployed in 2020, the drive to start 2021 on a better note may further drive interest in new jobs in January,” he writes in a Glassdoor post, while noting that Glassdoor’s latest analysis shows that there are roughly 5.4 million job openings available right now in the United States.

CNBC Make It spoke to Glassdoor CEO Christian Sutherland-Wong to get his insight on what workers need to do today to take advantage of these openings and land a new job in 2021.

3. Update and personalize your resume

Once you’ve got an idea of the job openings that align with your interests, the next important step to landing a job is to update and personalize your resume so that hiring managers know just how qualified you are for the role.

On your resume, you should include a “unique personal summary” that focuses on the skills that are important to the job, says Sutherland-Wong. And, he adds that rather than just listing out your experiences, you should be sure to “quantify your success” on your resume by using growth metrics and percentages that show just how much value you can add to a company.

4. Apply

After personalizing your resume, Sutherland-Wong says that you should apply to the job formally and then use social media to connect with someone who works at the company to see if they can help your resume get noticed.

For example, he says LinkedIn is a great way to see the professional profiles of different individuals and to leverage the people you’re already connected to as well as the people your friends are connected to. And, he says, it’s completely appropriate to reach out to a hiring manager or recruiter to let them know that you’ve applied to a job at their company.

“That’s something I’ve seen with people applying to Glassdoor,” she says. “It’s perceived very well and it shows initiative. It shows that you really want to work at my company and I appreciate that and I think a lot of other leaders and hiring managers have a very similar sentiment.”

5. Network

In addition to using social media to connect with people who are tied specifically to the job you’re seeking, Sutherland-Wong urges job seekers to take advantage of today’s virtual networking opportunities by connecting with other people in their industry and attending virtual events.

“Identify who you know and who you don’t know, but want to know,” he says. And then, “ask for help [and] let your network know what you’re looking for.”

Ultimately, he says, “a job is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make in your life” and following these steps will help you to land the position that is perfect for you.

See tips 1 and 2 plus the full CNBC article



Tuesday, December 15, 2020

5 Reasons You Should Continue Your Job Search During The Holidays

Planning to hold off on your job search during the holiday season, believing that no one hires at this time of year? You could be missing lucrative opportunities to snag a great new role.

Most professionals assume that the holidays are a time of parties, year-end vacations, and relaxation—and they're right. The holiday season, however, is also a time in which candidates can easily locate new contacts and even find themselves approached by employers for a prime position.

Here are five key reasons to put aside the common myths surrounding a holiday job search:

2. You'll Enjoy The Advantage Of Less Competition 

While you're eyeing prospective employers and actively collaborating with recruiters, other job seekers may have decided to lay low during the holiday season. Because of the diminished volume of competition (including the fact that some candidates are unreachable during the holidays), you could quickly be next in line for a call from an employer with an immediate need.

You may also find, when applying to an online job posting, that fewer candidates are reaching out to employers during this time. Be sure to use this to your advantage, stating in your cover letter that you're "eager to hear about their needs" and look forward to discussing how your skills and expertise can help them achieve their goals in the new year.

3. It's A Great Time To Rekindle Former Contacts 

Failed to stay in touch with former colleagues or bosses? The holidays are a great time to reach out and drop a note to your circle, asking them if they'd like to stay in touch and perhaps get together for coffee or hop on a Zoom call.

Most people enjoy hearing from a past co-worker or supervisor, especially if it means they have the opportunity to catch up on personal or work details. Even though it's best to avoid asking for a favor (especially if you've dropped out of sight for a few years), you can still show an interest in their lives and cultivate a strong relationship that can last long after the holiday season.

5. Downtime From Work Can Provide More Time To Formulate Your Brand Message 

If you haven't spent significant time and effort building your personal brand, holiday vacation time can give you a breather to work on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

No matter if you're writing job hunting documents (resume, cover letter, biography, and reference dossier) or online identity components (social media profiles, blogs, or online articles), you'll benefit from taking a closer look at your top achievements and gathering information about your career contributions.

Start building a strong brand message by answering these questions:

  • What important projects were you involved in at work? Can you obtain news releases or other media features on the impact of these initiatives?
  • How many times have you been promoted or earned an award for your work? What accolades or kudos did you receive in the process?
  • How has your work affected the bottom line? What metrics can you use that point to cost savings, revenue increases, productivity improvements, or other benefits to your employers?
  • What type of work are you consistently sought for—that distinguishes you among other team members or executives?
  • What do others say when asked about the quality or impact of your work?

By gathering answers to these questions, you'll have a wealth of information from which to draw for your personal brand—ensuring that your reputation, professional achievements, and strengths take center stage during your job search.

Read all 5 reasons and the complete WorkItDaily article







Thursday, December 10, 2020

These are the 7 tips you need for recruiters to make you their first call

Sarah Dillon

Navigating a competitive job market in your chosen field can be a daunting task.

Luckily, recruiting firms are a wonderful asset to keep in your back pocket for your next job hunt. They can help provide you with the right resources and industry connections to aid you in your climb to the top of “desired new hires” at the company of your dreams.

TopResume released a list of helpful hints to get the most out of your working relationship with a recruiter. How else can you make a recruiter work for you while in turn fostering a career long-lasting symbiotic relationship? Experts at TopResume share the following helpful advice.

“When you’re searching for a new job, working with a skilled recruiter can make all the difference. A recruiter can help open doors to your dream company, provide input on your marketing materials, and coach you on what works and doesn’t work during interviews for a specific client — all things that can be extremely valuable during your job search.

You may seek out a recruiter yourself or a recruiter may seek you out if you seem like a fit for one of their job openings. No matter how you end up working with a recruiter, the following tips are intended to guide you on how to foster a positive relationship and get the most out of your partnership.”

Let’s look at some more expert tips.

1. Update your resume frequently

Most recruiting firms don’t contact you before seeing a current resume. You may want to hop on over to LinkedIn to make sure your resume reflects your most up to date career milestones. This will make it easier for recruiters to sell your strengths for the position you’re going for. TopResume even offers professional resume writers to ensure you get noticed.

4. Offer transparency to help recruiters help you

Be completely upfront about your entire work history. Recruiters serve as the middleman to help you bridge any confusing gaps in your work history to help you appear more desirable to the client they are working with. Keep in mind the more they know, the more of your marketable skills they can capitalize on to improve your optics and secure your next lucrative career move.

6. Ask for constructive criticism

Don’t be afraid to ask recruiters for advice on how to better market your strengths and where you could use some improvement. This will only help serve you in the long run since most recruiters are veterans in understanding the markets you’re trying to break into. If you have problem areas to polish in your career they can most likely guide you to seminars, classes, or other folks in the field that could give you some sound advice. Connect with them on LinkedIn and check out their career path to see where you can pick up some valuable new skills based on their career trajectory. Fostering relationships with professionals in your desired field is invaluable.

See all 7 tips and the complete Ladders article





Tuesday, December 8, 2020

10 ways social media can help your job search based on data that shows employers use social media to assess applicants and candidates.


Many job seekers want to keep their private lives private. But what if you could improve your chances of being the selected candidate by using social media? Companies are checking you out online, so why not use these tools to enhance your qualifications?

Consider this:

Where Employers Look

In 2020, Jobvite Recruiter Nation reported that these are the most used social media channels for recruiting:

jobvite social media 2020
  • 72% use LinkedIn
  • 60% use Facebook
  • 38% use Twitter
  • 37% use Instagram
  • 36% use Glassdoor
  • 27% use Youtube

And according to research by CareerBuilder 2018

  • 70% of employers use social networks to evaluate candidates
  • 66% use search engines to search for candidates

What Are Employers Looking For?

So what exactly are employers looking for when they check you out on social media?

  • 58% are looking for information on social media that supports your qualifications for the job
  • 50% want to see your professional online persona
  • 34% are looking to see what other people have said about you online
  • 22% readily admit they are looking for a reason NOT to hire you

Deleting Your Social Media Profiles Won’t Help

If you are thinking about deleting all your social networking profiles or locking them down so no information is viewable, that’s a big mistake. Employers expect to see something. If they don’t find you online that is one more reason to reject a candidate according to 47% of employers.

10 Ways To Use Social Media To Help Your Job Search

If you’ve been avoiding social media during your job search, here are 10 reasons that may convince you to build a positive, professional online presence to help you stand apart from the average candidate. (based on the CareerBuilder study)

1. Your Personality Fits

Hiring managers and human resource professionals say that reviewing the candidates’ social media content provided a good sense of whether the candidate would be a fit within the company.

How often have you thought: ‘If only I could get in front of someone and prove I am a good fit”?

With social media, you can inject your style in status updates and even your LinkedIn About section. Sure, your skills and experience qualify you for jobs, but your personality is one more way to seal the deal.

2. You Are Who You Say You Are

When employers see how your background information supports your qualifications for the job, you look like the real deal. Employers liked the idea of being able to validate a candidate’s experience by checking them out on social media.

Make sure your LinkedIn and other social network profiles are consistent and closely match your resume.

7. You’ve Received Awards and Accolades

In your cover letter or resume, you may have said you were a top performer or gained recognition for your stellar accomplishments. Proof of awards or accolades online works in your favor.

So snap a photo or grab a screen shot to capture your success. Then share it for all to see, and embed it in your LinkedIn profile.

See all 10 ways and the complete Career Sherpa article


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

6 Tips I Learned From A Recruiting Specialist On Finding and Getting A Job

By Alicia

In my job search process at the beginning of this year, I had the opportunity to meet a recruitment specialist from a renowned business school. Although his usual work involves dealing with business students, he shared some valuable advice with me, which, I believe, could benefit any job seeker. Please note that the examples I will use for illustration in this article are tailored to my personal job hunt in data science but can be exchanged by other roles.

Tips for your resume


For every application you want to send out, copy the job description into a Word document or Google doc, and highlight every skill they are looking for in a candidate. Collect them in a list and re-phrase them in your own words with the help of a thesaurus. Try to implement most of those skills into your CV in either an “About me” section, as explained above, or your work experiences or skills section.

In the example below, I highlighted all skills needed for a Data Analyst job in the Finance and Accounting department. It is an artificial job description I wrote, so I won’t get in trouble with copyrights.

Image for post
Image for post
Hypothetical job description on an online job board. Image by author.

This is how you could cover two of the named skills in your work experience section in your CV:

Data Analyst at XYZ (2018–Now)

  • Created and updated 2–5 KPI reports per month using Tableau
  • Analyzed the lifetime journey of key customers and supported product owner with data insights to assist in decision making

When listing your previous work experience or project work (recommended if you haven’t got any relevant work experience), you should describe every role in one or two bullet points. The STAR or CAR method can help you sell your experience & skills more appealingly. Rather than just adding random bullet points, tell a coherent story that makes you stand out of the crowd. The STAR method stands for “Situation, Task, Activity, Result” and the CAR method for “Challenge, Activity, Result”.

When writing on your short descriptions, start with the

  1. Situation and Task or the Challenge you saw yourself exposed to. This could be a problem your company was facing, or you saw yourself confronted within your own project. Follow with the
  2. Action you took to solve the task or overcame the challenge. And finish it up with the
  3. Result you achieved by tackling the challenge

If possible, quantify the results or the added value for your company. This makes it very easy for recruiters to assess your achievements, value, and contributions to a company (or own project). For example:

Data Scientist at XYZ (Situation/Task)

  • Analyzed workforce tenure and developed a termination prediction model (Action), which resulted in a 5% reduction of employee turnover (Result)
  • Identified bottlenecks (Challenge) in the production process (Action) that contributed to reducing the overall production time by 30% (Result)

The CAR and STAR method can also be applied as a strategy when answering questions in an interview.

Read all 6 tips including tips for the job hunt and interviewing.