With unemployment still high in some parts of the country and potential recession on the minds of many, you may be wondering if you’ll be able to find another job after losing yours. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your job search.
Polish your resume with the “reader” in mind
According to the CEO of ZipRecruiter, 70% of resumes are read by artificial intelligence (AI) tools before they ever get to a human.* AI looks for key words matching those in the job description, so try to use the same language in your resume that is used in the job description.
Refine your LinkedIn profile and online presence
If there’s ever been a time to have a renewed focus on your social media presence, it’s now. Employers are looking at what you post, what you say and how you present yourself, so make sure you project a professional online image.
Network, a lot
There’s no better way to get a job than to find it through someone you know. Reach out to your friends and former colleagues and ask for referrals to others you can network with. Use social media, phone calls and video calls to get in front of people, explore ideas and ask about opportunities.
Acquire new skills
Look at the job descriptions you’re interested in. If you don’t have the complete skill set, consider taking online courses to boost your qualifications. If you’re not tech savvy, now is the time to get there. Consider LinkedIn Learning or any of the host of online classes available through Coursera, Udemy or other online platforms.
Think about how you can apply your skill set to other jobs or fields
Your previous job may not be the only one you’re qualified for. Consider how you could use your current skills in another job or even another field. Be prepared to discuss not only the transferrable skills, but how those skills would be useful in a new industry and how you’d apply them to a new job.
Research the employer’s brand
Get a feel for your prospective employer’s company culture. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, now is actually a good time to see what companies are made of, how they react to stressful situations and how they treat their employees. Does the “brand” they advertise align with what they’re doing now?
Embrace virtual interviews
For at least the foreseeable future, it’s likely job interviews will take place online, over some type of video platform. So, before you get an actual interview, start getting comfortable with the technology, if you’re not already. Practice video conferencing with your friends. Angle your camera to get a good view of your smiling face. And make sure your computer is set so you’ll be able to hear, see, be heard and seen.
Let’s face it. You’ll probably have a lot of competition for that job — and that’s okay. Do your best to make sure you’re one of the first applications in the virtual door. It’s reported applications submitted in the first 7 days are 50% more likely to be read by the employer.*
Consider freelance or temp work
If you don’t think your perfect full-time, permanent job is out there right now, explore what’s available for freelance or temporary work that might help you land that perfect job later.
If you’ve had a gap, be ready to discuss it
Especially these days, employers will be understanding if you’ve had a bit of a gap in employment. However, they will still want to know what you’ve been doing with your time. Were you catching up on your Netflix shows? Or were you doing something productive — volunteering, taking online courses or publishing articles?
Be prepared to answer, “Where do you see yourself in a year?”
With so many unemployed these days, employers want to make sure you actually want the job for the long term. Most won’t want to put in the time and money to train you unless you’re truly interested in staying. So, think about how you could grow in the job and be prepared to talk about it.