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Securing Employment in the Age of COVID-19

COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way we live and work, and has unfortunately left 20 million-plus people unemployed and anxious about their financial situation. 

Soon-to-be college graduates are entering the toughest job market since the 2008 recession. Many are now left with questions surrounding how to go about finding a job. And while COVID-19 does add a layer of complexity to the job hunt, there are still ways to successfully go about securing employment amidst these uncertain times. 

Opportunities are still out there and companies are still hiring, the key is to be open and creative in how you go about your job search. 

 

I’ve lost my job, now what? 

If you happen to be one of the millions whose job has been impacted by COVID-19, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Job seekers and employers alike are all working to navigate these uncharted waters. 

Here are five things to keep in mind when searching for a new job amidst COVID-19: 

1. Keep those applications coming: Continue to submit applications to current job openings that match your skills, experience and qualifications. Set a daily schedule for when you will take time to fill out applications and work to maintain it. Similar to work hours, the structure will help keep you on track. Set an application goal and don’t forget to reward yourself once you have reached it. Do not be surprised if it takes a bit longer for employers to respond, as they too are managing their current workforce and making decisions that could impact conversations with candidates. 

2. Continue to reevaluate: As you are applying for jobs, be sure to read each description carefully to ensure the role is a good fit for you, and update your cover letter and resume before applying. When evaluating, ask yourself the following questions: 

        • Are the jobs I’m applying for a good fit for my skills, background and level of experience?
        • Is my resume enticing to employers based on their job postings?
        • Does my cover letter expand on my most relevant experiences and qualities as it pertains to each specific job?

3. Tailor your resume and cover letter: One of the best habits to enforce when looking for a job is to make sure you customize your resume and cover letter for each job application. When updating your resume, make sure you are highlighting your skills that directly apply to the job description. You don’t need to rewrite a new resume for every job application, but highlighting those specific skills will help your resume stand out with hiring managers. If the job posting requires a cover letter, it is important to be as detailed as possible in your letter to show that you are interested in the role and have done the appropriate research to ensure you are a good fit. 

4. Continue networking, virtually: While social distancing prevents us from connecting in person, that doesn’t mean you can’t network. You can, you just may have to switch-up the format a bit. Reach out to friends, associates and colleagues as you normally would, and organize a virtual coffee meeting rather than meeting in person. Many organizations are also now hosting virtual networking events through Zoom, so be sure to keep your eyes open for opportunities to connect. 

5. Utilize COVID-19 resources: As unemployment numbers continue to climb due to COVID-19, many organizations, state/local governments and nonprofits are looking to help and are doing so by developing free resources, such as virtual career coaching, webinars and virtual hiring events, to help those whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic. 

 

Soon-to-be college graduates 

As noted above, this year’s college graduates are in a rather precarious position. They are about to begin their careers in one of the toughest job markets we’ve seen recently. They will likely have a much different experience than previous grads, especially in terms of timing. It will likely take this year’s class a bit longer to secure a job, but that is no reason to be discouraged. New grads need to be patient and remember there are still an abundance of opportunities out there, it just may take a bit more creative thinking on their part. 

Yes, the labor market is tough and job openings are harder to come by, but they are still there. While most industries have been impacted, there are companies out there hiring and posting available jobs online. While your ideal role may not be feasible right now, take this time to explore. Here are a few pieces of advice for college graduates seeking jobs right now:

1. Try something new: Think about an opportunity in a different field. It may not align with your plans from a couple months ago, but you have to start somewhere. This new path may lead to something you enjoy and would never have considered otherwise. 

2. Volunteer: Consider a volunteer opportunity in the interim. If a full-time position or internship is not currently available in your field, volunteering is a great option. Not only does it provide you with transferable skills for work down the road, it’s a great resume booster and a simple way to give back to your community during this time. 

3. Utilize your network: In addition to utilizing job posting sites, make sure to reach out to your peers, professors and faculty to see if they know of any openings or  internships, or have any insights into opportunities that may be worth looking into. Word of mouth is a great way to suss out new roles from people who know you and your strengths best. And remember to continue networking virtually. 

When it comes to looking for a job during the COVID-19 pandemic, the No. 1 thing to remember is to not be hard on yourself. Practice patience and know that while there are still unknowns, things will eventually work themselves out, it just may take a bit longer. And if you are currently employed but worried about job security, there’s no harm in searching now. I always recommend that people keep a steady pulse on the jobs available for their skill set, even if they aren’t actively looking for a job. 

For more information on job hunting during COVID-19, check out our Here to Help resource guide on Indeed.com.

 


 

Paul Wold Indeed for Crunchbase

Paul Wolfe serves as senior vice president of human resources for Indeed, with a focus on growing, developing and engaging Indeed’s talent and nurturing the company culture. In this role, he oversees a multidisciplined HR group that includes HR Business Partners, Talent Attraction, Employee Development, Total Rewards, Inclusion, HR Analytics, HR Operations and Employee Experience. Wolfe sets the talent strategy at Indeed to ensure all current and future business needs are met. He is passionate about creating an environment in which the business can thrive and where employees can be their true, authentic selves each day.

Prior to Indeed, Wolfe served as a vice president and senior vice president of a number of well-known companies, including Match.com, Orbitz, Conde Nast and Ticketmaster. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He lives in New York with his husband and their dogs.