As businesses across sectors cope with the ‘new normal’ brought about by the Coronavirus outbreak across the globe, there seems to have been an obvious but unfortunate hit to the job market. Even companies that have been known to hire aggressively over the years have taken a step back to assess the situation, affecting existing and especially new jobs.
According to a report by the International Labour Organization, nearly 25 million jobs could be affected due to the pandemic. The 2008-09 global financial crisis, in comparison, resulted in the loss of nearly 22 million jobs.
This has created uncertainty amidst those doing a job search, with recent graduates facing the brunt of the unforeseen crisis. And while the situation is supposed to remain this way for at least the near future, you can follow some of these important steps to get a job during COVID.
Focus on Specific Sectors
Although the trickling down has been felt in most major sectors, there are some who have managed to find a silver lining.
From those who use technology to impart education, to healthtech finding renewed vigor from up top, businesses dealing in and around some of these industries have had to continue hiring to keep up with the sudden surge in demand. As per estimates put together by the ManpowerGroup, there were about 12,000 job vacancies for permanent roles in edtech companies in India, as of June.
With technology being an integral part of most of these aforementioned businesses, it is good news for software engineers. But the fact that the job market is in a state of flux should make one realize that their preferred sector or company may not be the right pick at the moment.
Survival must be the priority and that may include choosing a job that might not have crossed your mind before. Additionally, adding projects to your name during the time of a crisis or gaining skills in a sector you don’t already have expertise or experience in, can boost your chances. Talent never goes out of fashion.
Add Skills To Your Resume
This is a good time to understand and analyse the skills that have seen a surge in demand during the pandemic and focus on adding/getting better at those through online courses. As the world moves towards being more remote, those skilled in areas such as digital marketing, cloud infrastructure and multiple languages will fare well.
Someone who can don multiple hats had more appeal even during pre-COVID times, and with companies looking to build leaner, cost-effective business models, that appeal would be even more good forward.
Brushing up skills that are helpful during work-from-home and makes you look like a go-getter rather than depending on multiple people to sync can turn out to be just the thing that works for you during a recruitment process.
Build and Use Your Network
These are unprecedented times and it is important that we accept the reality of uncertainty.
The 500+ connections/followers on your LinkedIn and Twitter may be the mark of a good profile, but now is the right time to use that to your advantage. Posting about it and sending direct messages shouldn’t make you think twice given the circumstances.
Everyone understands the severity of all that is going on, and if you have your connections on your side, make sure that you let the recruiters in the right places know through the power of social networking.
For a techie, it is time to use platforms such as InterviewBit to gain exposure and network with those who, even if not recruiters themselves, can help you connect to those that are.
Set Fixed Goals and Persist
Job search during a pandemic can be a mentally taxing task, especially if you are facing a lot of rejections. It is only fair to feel dejected after companies don’t revert despite you having put in your best.
So you must fix goals for yourself. They could be daily, weekly or monthly depending on what suits you and these could include the number of people you are networking with each day, your progress in terms of acquiring new skills as well as applying to so-and-so number of jobs each day. This will help you have a tangible sense of progress.
Use online tools such as Trello and Toggl, that help you plan things and help keep track of your timings and tasks in a more efficient, easier manner.
Persisting with companies you have already applied for, but are yet to hear back from, is also important. They would be receiving an above-average number of applications now, and it is a good thing to put in a follow-up in such cases.
See If You Can Stay
This point is specific to those looking for a change of jobs. It is true that there are certain sectors that are doing better than the rest, and hiring, but think about the larger picture. Certain businesses may not be in the best of health right now, and if you work in one of them, your hesitation is justified.
However, understand that the situation will invariably improve, and unless it is an impossible task to stay back and keep doing what you are doing, gauge whether you can stick to your present job.
Searching for a new job during the crisis may result in a decision taken hastily, so it is important you are careful. It may not be a bad option to have a talk with your manager and see what the situation may look like going forward.