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Coronavirus and job search. Should you just stop?

Amanda Datchens // March 26 // 0 Comments

Are you wondering whether it is still worth applying for jobs and sending out your resume in these uncertain times?  The answer is yes, keep going, and here’s why.


These are truly are unprecedented times. In truth, we don’t really know what or who to believe anymore.

But here’s something you can know…

Recruitment is still happening for certain roles and professions that are essential and/or able to transition to a remote model. Other companies may be putting their current job openings on hold and not advertising new opportunities but in a few months’ time, things could – and hopefully will - be very different.

There are so many things we can’t control at the moment but there are also a lot of things we can.

When things change – and they will – you’ll need to be prepared to hit the ground running and that starts from now.

This is the wrong time to stop your job search activities but you do need to approach it in a different way.

Here are 7 ways to navigate through our new reality so that you can be ready for your future.


Keep going

Some jobs are still available and being filled but the Coronavirus has meant that most employed people are simply not applying because they are fearful of losing what they already have. This provides you with a distinct advantage as your competition will be greatly reduced.

Whichever industry or profession you are in, it makes sense to keep applying, however frustrating it is, because you may get an interview. At the very least your resume will be out there for consideration should a company decide to place a position on hold.

In other words, get in there now because when it officially opens again, you’ll be in before your competition that will naturally be vast.

So, it makes no sense to stop now and, let’s face it, you have never had so much time on your hands to concentrate on job search.


Take stock

You certainly haven’t chosen to be in this situation but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get something positive from the experience.

In Stephen Covey’s 1988 best seller ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ he suggests that whatever we do, we should always “start with the end in mind” and this is crucial when it comes to job search.

Think of where you are now, the career choices you have made and whether you need or want to take this opportunity to go in a different direction.

Ask yourself if you really should be applying for the same roles you always have or try looking for something different?

“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” 

Stephen R Covey - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Normally we are too busy to stop and think about this so now is a great time to consider other options or directions.


Conduct research

Whether you are changing direction or not, make a list of companies you would like to work for and do some research to find others that you didn’t know existed.

Set up Google alerts for these companies so that you know when and who to send speculative resumes to when things start to move.

Again, most people won’t be doing this so if you can find unadvertised jobs before others this will give you a huge advantage.

The other benefit of conducting research is that when you are interviewed at a later date you can impress them with your company knowledge and use it to convince them you are the perfect fit for their role.


Be - or get - tech savvy

Coronovirus means that events will be cancelled for the foreseeable future so you will need to be comfortable and confident with technology regarding both networking and interviews.

The obvious platform for networking is of course LinkedIn where you can find professional groups to join and work on expanding your connections.

Don’t underestimate Facebook, Twitter and Instagram though because you never know who may know someone, who knows someone, who knows of the perfect opportunity for you.

Part of your job search efforts should also include becoming familiar and comfortable with different platforms being used for interviewing. It is essential that your interview preparation now includes researching the app or software that will be used.

If you are offered a telephone interview, get a friend to ask you questions and get their feedback on how you handled them so you can get it right on the day.

If it’s a virtual or visual medium such as Zoom or Skype, ensure that you know how to angle your camera so that your whole face will be captured and not just your forehead!

Ensure any filters are switched off and your family and friends know to keep away at the right time too.


Keep control of your job search

We know these are unusual times so we also know that you will be applying for far more jobs than normal.

This means that it will be very easy to lose track and not know where you applied and who you talked to which causes many problems.

If a friend or colleague gives you a lead and you don’t chase it up, they will be unlikely to give you more, especially if it was a personal connection.

You may see a position advertised and truly believe that you have already applied when in reality you haven’t and you miss out altogether.

Get and keep control by setting up some kind of system now. If you are comfortable with Excel spreadsheets, set one up and update it every time you apply or hear about a job.

If that’s not your thing, try my personal favourite Trello. It’s free, so easy to set up and the KanBan style is perfect for keeping track of all your applications


Target your resumes & cover letters

One of the biggest obstacles job seekers usually face is having the time to create and target a resume and cover letter for each position they apply for.

This has always been vital to get the best results but now it is crucial as competition will be so intense.

The good news is that now you do have the time to get this right. You need to make sure that your resume is designed to both get through Applicant Tracking Systems and have the content hirers and recruiters are looking for.  Try this mini course to get you started now.

You also need to perfect your social resume to make sure it doesn’t trip you up. If you have one or more active social media accounts, then this is crucial. Competition is fierce and will be for some time, so you don’t want anything to let you down.


And finally, help others

This is probably the most important thing you can and should do with your job search going forwards.

If you put into practice all of the above, it’s likely that you will get leads and information on jobs that would be great for a friend or colleague. This is absolutely the right time to practice pass it forward.

Good things happen when you treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself and someone out there may know of the perfect job for you right now.

“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”

Mary Angelou

I know its not a cure but it’s a pretty potent antidote to try in the meantime to get us all through.

Stay safe, stay well and please share if you found this useful.

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About the Author

A career coach, headhunter, and entrepreneur, Amanda has founded and been involved in developing multiple companies known for innovative HR and recruitment solutions. Originally from London but now in Queensland, Australia, she is the co-founder of Real Life Career Advice and Hi Vis Jobs

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