Amid a health and economic crisis where businesses left and right are shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, recent graduates are finding themselves facing cancelled job interviews, hiring freeze notices, and postponed work opportunities. Graduates who were previously looking forward to transitioning from student to career life, are now stuck at home and uncertain on how to get their careers off the ground.
In an economic crisis like this one, it is important to get creative and to look into unconventional ways in searching for jobs. In this post, we will look at some useful strategies to help you increase your employability despite the ongoing pandemic.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic is Affecting Business Operations and Recruitment
Before we dive deeper into the job search strategies, it is imperative that you are aware of the shift in how businesses are being run these days. While it is true that millions of workers and employees were laid off or furloughed due to the social distancing orders from the government, not all businesses are totally shut down. Moreover, many companies from different industries that were previously closed are now slowly reopening their businesses again.
With social distancing measures still in place, companies are now utilizing virtual application processes, as well as remote learning/training as they adopt virtual or work-from-home work setup. This can mean job opportunities for those who are willing to innovate and adjust to the current pandemic business landscapes.
Types of Remote Work to Consider
For those who have very little background on what remote work is, the term covers a multitude of online occupations from different industries including but not limited to:
- Online Customer Support
- Online Education
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Manager
- Online Marketing
- Medical Transcription
- Financial, Accounting, and Bookkeeping
These, among other virtual jobs not listed above, have been proven to have the potential to increase career value and are viable sources of income. The best part about these online jobs is that they have been in demand even before the pandemic happened. Plus, with the increasing demand and need for remote work set-up, we can expect companies to invest more in technology, infrastructure, and processes which will all be beneficial for the employees, old and new.
How New Grads Can Make Themselves More Employable During a Pandemic
Make a Careful Assessment of Your Career Skills
This is one of the most important things that you need to do when searching for a job. Make a list of all your skills and then match them with current job postings. This way, you can easily target job openings that you are most likely qualified for. Also, by doing a skill check, you can identify and discuss your match to the role during interviews by telling them how you can use these skills to bring value to the job.
So, make sure you carefully analyze the job listing so you know exactly what the companies are looking for and prepare how you can use the information to your advantage.
Upskill or Reskill to Increase Your Market Value
With lockdowns and social distancing in place, there is a big chance that you have more time on your hands right now. How you use this extra time can ether make or break the outcome of your job search. As soon as you identify in-demand jobs during your research, check the skills that the companies are looking for, then identify those that you still need to acquire or can improve on. The internet is not lacking in virtual trainings these days so make use of your free time by taking advantage of these online classes to acquire or upgrade a skill.
Improve Your Resume
Aside from keeping it up to date with newly acquired skills, make it a habit to tailor your professional resume for every application that you send. This takes very little time but can create an impact to the receiving end. By highlighting skills and qualifications that are more important to that certain company, it can help you stand out among the many applicants vying for the job. Lastly, do not forget to add past accomplishments that are relevant to the role. Remember that application of knowledge and skills can speak louder than a bunch of course certifications.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Networking
Although we have to adhere to social distancing measures, stay connected with colleagues, professors, and people from the same industry via social media and email. Networking can create a big impact on your career if used wisely. Make sure you maintain a professional social presence and stay updated with current industry trends and news. This also means connecting with potential employers and business partners. With hiring processes going virtual, companies are now utilizing their social media platforms more than ever to look for applicants. You want to be in the forefront when that happens.
Be Open to both Long-Term and Short-Term Positions
With so the many on-going discussions and mitigating measures happening around the world, one thing is still uncertain, when will the pandemic end. With this in mind, you may want to consider short-term jobs while you continually look for long-term employment. These short-term employments can still be beneficial in your career journey and can even help you gain skills along the way.
It is, without a doubt a tough time for everyone around the world whether employed or not. We are all going through challenges in many aspects in both our personal and career lives. A lot of things are still at a halt, and the other half moving at a turtle-pace, so it is understandable that we all feel anxious about it. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself, have a clear focus of the future, and still be productive despite a worldwide crisis. That alone will speak volumes about you in the future.
Recognize that you have the capacity to look at this as an ideal time for personal growth, a time to find ways to gain more confidence, so that you can have more clarity as you move forward to the future.
Angela Young is a writer and a content contributor to contentcampfire.com. She is interested in writing anything about job searching and career development in hopes to provide helpful and credible information for people who are job hunting and changing careers.