How to Keep Your Career On Track During Covid-19
Tips you can use to ensure that you keep your career on track and make progress during COVID-19
COVID-19 or also known as Coronavirus has profoundly affected companies and professionals all around the globe. As the global virus pandemic continues and as different industries have implemented certain measures to help the country fight the outbreak, some actions have threatened the sustainability of businesses and jobs and has affected the long-term livelihoods of millions.
In light of everything going on during this global pandemic, keeping your career on track can be challenging. Not only are employed professionals vulnerable, job seekers are too due to the negative impact the pandemic has had on the hiring activities of many companies. Yes, this is a difficult time for many people, but job seekers can still make progress amidst everything that is going on.
If you are a job seeker here are some tips you can use to ensure that you keep your career on track and make progress during COVID-19:
1. Work on your Self-Marketing Materials: Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Profile
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This is a prime opportunity to use the additional time that you have to really work on your marketing materials. These materials are what is going to be on the front line marketing you to your potential employer. With the masses of people applying online and employers having limited time on their hands trying to fill positions, you have to be sure that your resume, your cover letter and your LinkedIn profile stand out and that they catch the eye of the hiring manager.
You have a prime opportunity to really hone in and work on those self-marketing materials to effectively sell yourself. Within a few seconds of getting hold of your Resume, the hiring manager should be able to see that you are the perfect candidate for the job
- Resume - Include your key skills and key work experiences that match the job description and that showcases that you are the best person for that position. Less is more
- Cover Letter - Show that you are a great cultural fit for that position and why you want to work there. What can you contribute?
- LinkedIn Profile- Be sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and optimized. Now is the prime opportunity for every job seeker and professional to be on LinkedIn. Not only can you be found by recruiters, employers who are hiring right now will also use your LinkedIn profile as a way to screen you as a candidate.
2. Practice your video interviewing skills
Everything is turning to a remote and virtual environment to avoid human contact. Hiring managers and employers will be utilizing video interviews to screen candidates. You have to be able to effectively sell yourself through a video interview. To nail your video interview, you have to practice beforehand! Don't wait until you get called in for a video interview to start practicing. You can do this by:
- Recording yourself to feel more confident in front of a camera.
- Speaking directly to the camera; observing your gestures and how you communicate
- Replaying the recording back to yourself to pinpoint areas in which you can improve
We don't know for how long everything will be virtual. Now is the right time to strengthen your video interviewing skills and ensure that you're able to effectively sell yourself on video.
3. Build your network
Professional networks and connections are so important within your job search. LinkedIn is a great place to start. Now is a great opportunity for you to get on LinkedIn and grow your network, connect with people from your dream companies or ideal employers, and foster existing relationships and professional networks that you have.
Some employers don't always post their job openings on boards like LinkedIn or Indeed, some let their professional connections know about the fact that they're hiring. That is the way people find out about job openings. If you are building and growing your professional connections and especially connecting with people from your dream or ideal companies, you're able to find out about information that is not readily available to all job seekers.
If you are a job seeker or if you have recently been laid off as a result of COVID-19, here are the things you should do to get you moving:
1. Take a moment to breathe, reflect on what has happened, and process your emotions
The current situation is overwhelming, and getting laid off as a result of the outbreak can add up to your distress. The first thing you have in mind is to find a way to bounce back, but before you move forward to the next steps in applying for more jobs it is important to take the time to recoup and to process what has happened and to deal with your emotions before you move forward. You want to enter your job search with a clear mind— confident and ready and so take the time to process what has happened before moving forward.
2. Seek unemployment insurance or benefits early
You'll be financially affected by your current career status, and you want to make sure that your finances are in check. Before you start applying for more jobs, make sure that your current finances are in check by seeking unemployment insurance or benefits if needed.
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3. Apply for jobs that are in demand
Apply for jobs that are in demand right now in order to quickly get back into employment. There are many companies that are hiring right now, and if you look online at the jobs that were very recently posted, within a few days up to 1-2 weeks, you can find jobs that employers are hiring for right now. Remember that the longer dated a job posting is, the less likely they are still hiring or have not already filled the position. If you search online for jobs that are actually in demand right now, you have a better chance of landing employment as soon as possible.
Here is a list of companies that are hiring right now, both in the US, and here's the Live Database of companies hiring, hiring freezes, and layoffs.
4. Look for remote or contractual work opportunities
There are platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer for contractual jobs online. If you have a skill that could be done remotely or virtually, utilize that and apply for jobs that are contractually based and allow you to take on small projects at a time to keep your income flowing and to keep you on track. Remote and contractual opportunities are a great way for you to utilize your skills but also to earn an income at the same time.
Remember that the most important thing that you can do right now is to not give up. It can be a difficult time, but now is also an opportunity for you to make progress in your career .The people that come up on the other side of this successful are those that don't neglect this time, but take it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and make the most of the circumstance, no matter how difficult it is.
Keep positive, keep your mind in the right place, work hard right now to advance your career and you will see progress down the line.