Thursday, January 28, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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.
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.”
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.