Job search has always been complicated and often daunting. Post-COVID-19 job search is even more so.
Everyone involved is scrambling to adjust to the new challenges that have come with the pandemic.
I’ve pulled together resources and advice from various experts in different aspects of job search.
Below you’ll find some specific advice.
Post-COVID-19 Job Search: What’s Changing
Social Media Is More Important Than Ever
According to research by Jobvite, cited by Scott Steinberg in a CNBC article:
“84% of recruiters are currently adapting their hiring processes to facilitate remote exchanges. Of them, 58% are now using social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram to connect with potential hires, while nearly half are increasing the number of postings that they make on these services to advertise open positions.
A growing army of recruiters are likewise turning to videoconferencing solutions to screen and interview candidates as well, with as many as 8 in 10 now making it a key part of the hiring process. Digital communications tools such as artificially intelligent job outreach programs and text messaging are also increasingly being implemented as a means of connecting with candidates. But 55% of recruiters are also falling back on phone calls to source potential hires.”
I offered 4 LinkedIn things you should be doing to keep your personal brand top-of-mind:
- Posting updates regularly
- Uploading videos to your updates and adding videos to your profile
- Updating the content in your profile regularly
- Staying active with LinkedIn Groups
For more strategies to use LinkedIn well, see my top 10 LinkedIn posts for personal branding and job search.
Video Conferencing and Video Interviewing are the Thing
Tech columnist for USA TODAY Jefferson Graham says that, just like in in-person meetings, “for video meetings, the eyes have it.”
People often are not aware of how poorly they come across:
“We think we’re making eye contact in a video meeting because we’re looking at the faces on our screens and responding accordingly. But the camera isn’t on the screen, it’s usually above it, and sometimes even below.
Neither is flattering, and the bottom approach, seen on some laptops, is about as unflattering as they come. Laptop magazine referred to the camera on some of these models as a “nose cam,” Horror film directors have used the technique in films like “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” to scare the “yell” out of you.”
To overcome this predicament, videographer Larry Becker notes in the article what he does to stay focused correctly:
“He makes a small sticky note with the topics he wants to cover from the call and pastes it right atop the webcam. He makes sure that it’s a small sticky note, ‘so I’m not breaking eye contact and obviously looking away. ‘The bigger the sticky note, the more obvious it is you’re looking away.'”
Job Interviewing Looks and Works Differently
As noted above, you’ll need to prepare for video interviewing, and learn best practices.
Not only will you need to prepare to answer the traditional interview questions, and know what questions YOU should ask. You’ll also need good answers to the workplace challenges COVID 19 has brought.
Career coach Barbara Schultz advises that you check the company websites where you’re interviewing. You should find details on how they conduct job interviews now. And familiarize yourself with CDC guidelines.
She also suggests that, in interviews, you position yourself as someone who can help the employer solve some of the problems associated with the pandemic.
Here are some job interview questions she says you can expect to be asked now:
- Have you ever worked remotely? If so, what changes did you make to adapt to an at-home work environment?
- What aspects about working from home did you enjoy, and which did you find most challenging?
- When working remotely, how do you organize your day?
- What ways would you communicate with your manager and co-workers in a remote setting?
- What are your thoughts on how our teams can collaborate? And how can we interact with clients safely once we return to work?
- How have you handled the stress of Coronavirus?
- What would you personally do to maintain safety in the workplace?
- What life lessons have you learned during the pandemic?
- Will you be willing to work in an office again when/if working remotely is no longer required?
Post Corona Job Search Tips for 50 Somethings
In an article with tips for 50+ job seekers, career coach Dorothy Dalton put it plainly:
“One of the most vulnerable groups in this, or any other, recession is the 50 somethings . . . they are simply more expensive than junior employees. Severing a few senior execs or older employees can make an instant and positive impact on any organisation’s salary bill. Additionally, at this level employees are also costly in terms of perks and benefits, with company cars, phones, laptops, health and pension plans and longer holidays etc, all contributing to reducing a company’s overheads when they no longer work for the organisation.”
She detailed a number of things 50+ job seekers should consider:
- Get emotional support
- Set up coping strategies
- Take stock
- Update your resume
- Identify your transferable skills
- Update/upgrade your professional skills
- Take interim assignments
- Tap into your network
- Get comfortable with social media
- Assess your physical image
- Stay fit and healthy
- Prepare for the new kind of interviews
- Be willing to relocate
- Do some volunteer work
- Become an expert
- Determine whether self-employment is right for you
- Be willing to change tactics
Allow Yourself to Grieve for What Was Lost
Clinical psychologist Dr. Claire Nicogossian notes:
“Across the globe, we are collectively grieving the loss of what we once knew or expected in our world.”
She reminds us of the 5 steps of grieving:
1. Shock/disbelief: which can show up in your life as wanting to avoid situations or information, feeling confused, having fears, emotionally isolating, or shutting down.
2. Anger: This can show up as irritability, frustration, and anxiety and having a short fuse for activities you once were able to handle with ease. Anger serves the purpose of pushing down other feelings, such as sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness, perhaps too overwhelming to deal with at the moment.
3. Bargaining: This shows up in the form of wanting and needing to gain some mechanism of control over what you are experiencing. Thoughts and feelings in the bargaining stage may show up in the form of ‘what if I had done this…’ or, ‘if only I had said…’ And can come in the form of wishing or wanting a part of the past to be different or altered with thoughts of different actions/behaviors.
4. Depression: This is the stage in grief-filled with a sense of hopelessness, overwhelm and helplessness, believing actions and behaviors may not have an impact or don’t matter
5. Acceptance: This is the stage of embracing the change and loss, even with uncertainty. This can take the form of making a plan to cope with loss, exploring options on how to heal after loss, and taking the steps to actively manage and move through the loss.