The Pandemic appears to be winding down in many parts of the United States as I write this in June, 2021. As a result, you may be ready to restart your career after a break, or move on from a job you held onto throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Either way, here are some things to consider. Read through them for reminders or new ideas even if you have already reviewed many job search articles, attended events and programs for job seekers, or have searched successfully several times in your career.
Among other things, we recommend that you:
- Prepare for what’s next, whether it’s promotion opportunities or layoffs,
- Analyze your transferable skills,
- Remember that some aspects of the job search remain the same,
- Keep in contact with your network,
- Adjust your mindset, and
- Consider a “day job” while searching for that “dream job”.
Be prepared for whatever is next.
The volatile job market makes it prudent to prepare for change. Less than six months ago, in January 2021, businesses in many industries were closed or were unable to offer any onsite services. Their employees were furloughed or out of work entirely. Now, as we discussed a few weeks ago in “4 Reasons You Should Take that Job—or not—to Reboot Your Career”, local businesses are desperate to hire front-line customer service workers, and other employees, too.
A mentor once told me “the only constant in this organization is change.” That seems to be axiomatic everywhere in the economy now, so make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Track and document your accomplishments. This information, I’ve found, comes in handy for internal annual assessment conversations, in addition to promotion and lateral transfer applications, as well as for resumes and LinkedIn profiles. It’s also, quite honestly, something most of us do not track unless we are in a sales role or have direct profit-and-loss (P&L) responsibility.
Analyze your transferrable skills and experience.
Early in my career, I learned the value of transferrable skills. For example, I told an interviewer that I was especially good at taking copious notes in class, and that other students sought me out when preparing for exams. This, I told the hiring manager, meant I would be able to prepare the detailed documentation required at audit interviews and meetings on the job. I was hired.
A client transferred her persuasive legal and lobbying skills into an emergency Pandemic role where she led a team that bought more $1M in PPE for client agencies while the press reported no PPE was available.
It will not always be easy to convince hiring managers your skills will transfer from a completely different sector to the role available, so think about your transferrable skills in advance.
Some aspects of job search have not changed.
Surprisingly, sweeping technological, economic, and social change has not impacted certain aspects of finding a job. For example, companies still want to hire problem-solvers. After all, the problem call will come to you when your company website’s chat bot cannot respond to a question.
An expression I’ve picked up from recruiters is that “people hire people, not ATS systems.” Your network of industry and professional contacts can help you identify opportunities, and having an accomplishment-focused resume and LinkedIn profile can help you secure interviews.
Keep in contact with your network.
Since “people hire people”, your network can be a vital part of your job search. Stay in touch with people you know through social media, phone calls, Zoom, FaceTime, or even in-person when face-to-face gatherings are okay in your geographic area.
Include your phone number, email address, and a link to an online calendar (there are several free ones) so it is easy for others to reach you.
Be prepared for virtual interviews.
Zoom and other forms of online interviews became common during the Pandemic, according to recruiters. The practice may continue to some extent because it is fast and cost-effective. Practice for virtual interviews through Zoom meetings with friends and family if you do not regularly participate in virtual meetings on the job. Professional association meetings, or meetings related to your hobby or pastime are also great for this purpose.
Remember to wear interview attire for virtual meetings with recruiters and hiring managers. A recruiter recently told me some of her candidates have been asked to stand up when they speak at their virtual interviews. The final interview and onboarding process may take place in the “real world” as more companies reopen, so it’s a good idea to have your full wardrobe ready.
Adjust your mindset.
As we discussed at some length in “3 Ideas that Will Make a Difference in Your Post-COVID Job Search”, a positive mindset is one of your most important assets. No one wants to hire or work with “downers”. Look for reasons to feel that you will get the job, although you should be prepared for moving on to the next opportunity if you don’t land. Pursue several opportunities at once so there are other things to work on if one falls through.
Get a “day job” while searching for your “dream job”.
Many job seekers may want to get a short-term or temporary job while looking for a long-term job in their field. It’s a good idea on many levels. A friend helped teach a marketing class while looking for a job in his field. He hated marketing—and still does—but told me recently that the experience has served him well because one of his jobs today is to help the PR manager at his current job explain the work of his laboratory to the public.
It can be a challenge to fit “day jobs”, including temp, contract, and consulting roles into a resume and LinkedIn profile. Don’t worry. There is usually a way to do it! The experience goes with you, though, even if it is not explicitly reflected in your career marketing materials.Contact us today.We’ll devise ways a career marketing strategy that will feature your transferrable skills, grow and maintain your network, guide your interviews, reflect your positive attitude, and integrate your short-term roles into your career story.