How to Advance Your Job Search During the COVID-19 Crisis

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

The tips below are adapted from a presentation by Bridgepath Career Advisors and hosted by Jill Huggett on March 24, 2020.

Focus on what you can control:

  • Tip #1: Self-care is a priority
  • Tip #2: Check assumptions
  • Tip #3: Realistic optimism
  • Tip #4: Habits and routine give certainty
  • Tip #5: Prepare and practice now
  • Tip #6: Virtual informational networking

Self-Care:

  • Wash your hands: breaks down fat and protein
  • Maintain your immune system: exercise, nutrition, emotional (socialize at a distance, not isolation)
  • Shift your mindset: meditate (calm anxiety, increase focus), gratitude, manage information (check assumptions)

Checking Assumptions:

1) Myth: Companies stopped hiring; Reality: Various industries are still hiring

  • Shipping and delivery companies
  • Online learning companies
  • Pharmacies, grocery stores, home delivery meal services
  • IT
  • Remote communication and meeting services
  • Social media
  • Medical/Pharmaceutical
  • Public sector
  • Working from home/families in need of childcare

2) What do we know?

  • Times are changing – it will not be over in 3 months
  • Impacts the job market, delays in hiring, uncertainty

3) What do we also know?

  • Remote and interim positions
  • Use the time to prepare/ Explain the gap
  • Transferable skills impact your resume
  • “Out of the box” search
  • Be opportunistic by adapting

Companies need candidates with:

  • Adaptability, transferable skills, dynamic leader, strategic thinkers
  • Shift our minds to focus on what we can control

Work space/focus on the environment:

  • Limit distractions (Disable Wi-Fi, exposure to the news, find a quiet space)
  • Time Management: Set up your routine/schedule
    • What is your perfect day?
    • When are you most productive?
    • Reverse engineer your tasks for productivity
    • Habit formation – avoid decision fatigue/automatism

Career strategy/path:

  • Plan A: Your Ideal Path
  • Plan B: The Path of Least Resistance – Acceptance

Develop your foundational work:

  • Direction of the Job Search
    • Find your current situation – current skills
    • Determine destination – what you want
    • Plan/Navigate your journey – online courses, trainings, webinars
  • Personal Branding
  • Stories

Building a pipeline:

  • Resume, LinkedIn, networking, interviewing

Personal Brand – Product positioning statement:

  • What information do you need to differentiate yourself?
  • What are your key skills and competencies?
  • What makes you good at your job?
  • How will your experience provide a foundation for your next role?
  • What’s your competitive advantage(s)?
  • Which stories illustrate your skills?

Remember:

  • The combination of skills is what makes you unique
  • Transferable skills are more important than ever
  • Adaptability is key

Networking:

  • 75% – Jobs gotten through networking
  • How do you network efficiently? The informational interview!
  • Most effective networking approach: Informational interviews
    • Gather information/research
    • Broaden your network/who knows you
    • Obtain more contacts
    • Find the hidden jobs

Global Pandemic and Your Job Search:

  • You are not alone
  • Use support available, especially financial
  • Keep preparing, build pipeline
  • Have a backup plan – Plan B
  • It’s temporary
  • Explaining the gap