Whether you’ve found yourself unexpectedly unemployed or are looking for new career opportunities despite the current climate, job hunting during the pandemic comes with nuances and challenges. For example, virtual interviews have now become the norm — and both hiring managers and job seekers have had to adapt quickly.
“The majority of companies will be conducting video interviews moving forward, so knowing how to navigate them effectively is imperative,” says Kevin Harrington, CEO of Joblist, a job search platform that recently published a study on job-seeking during COVID-19. According to him, the ability to work effectively from home is also now considered a valuable skill: “In fact, 43% of hiring managers would recommend adding work-from-home experience to your resume if you have it.”
So if you’re looking for a new job, not only do you have to embrace these changes, but you also have to find ways to stand out in a labor market fueled by uncertainty. Leisurely sending a few applications here and there simply won’t cut it in highly competitive and unprecedented conditions. Put all the chances on your side with these seven super smooth job hunting habits that will help you get noticed (and hopefully hired).
Messaging your network as well as recruiters
Curious to know how the majority of the active job seekers surveyed by Joblist found jobs during the pandemic? Good-old networking: They messaged their connections and enlisted the help of their friends and family. Contacting a recruiter also worked wonders: 67.7% of professionals who used that method got an offer. So instead of exclusively applying for jobs online, make sure you’re also leveraging your network.
Using a professional resume builder
A strong resume is one of the most important factors for catching the eye of a hiring manager or recruiter. While most people tend to use resume templates to present their work experience, over 80% of the few job seekers who went the extra mile and paid a professional resume builder got an offer. If your budget is tight, getting a free resume review might help you make valuable tweaks.
Sending your resume even if there are no open roles
If you want to get noticed by employers, don’t just stick to open roles and traditional channels. Reaching out to express your interest in working for a company is absolutely not a waste of time — and it might even lead you to a dream job. “Our findings also show that the majority of employers keep resumes on file if received during a non-hiring period, and 69.6% of employers will respond. Even though a company may not be hiring, candidates should still reach out to express interest in order to position themselves for potential opportunities down the road,” says Harrington.
Practicing video interviews with friends and family
Scoring an interview during the pandemic is amazing news. But the work is not over. You might have to make a good impression over a video call, which adds a whole layer of novelty to a process that can already be daunting. Harrington recommends doing mock video interviews with friends and family to soothe your anxiety. “This can also help you become more familiar with the technology you’ll be using, and can help reduce the possibility of any technical difficulties,” he says.
Going above and beyond in terms of persistence
In the age of Covid-19, you’ll likely have to send many more applications than usual before even getting a response. Don’t despair, but do keep yourself accountable when it comes to doing the work. “Persistence is key during a highly competitive job market. It’s often said that applying for jobs is a full-time job in and of itself, so setting a number of applications to send each day can be beneficial in keeping yourself on track,” says Harrington.
Being extra rigorous with best practices
While presenting yourself in a professional manner and being rigorous about things like sending follow-ups is always a good idea, it’s even more important now. The tiniest faux-pas will quickly get your application dismissed these days.
Harrington confirms even little details can be deal-breakers: “For example, our findings show that exaggerating, spelling/grammar errors, and incorrect or missing contact information on your resume are among the top deal breakers according to hiring managers.”
Outstanding video calling etiquette
It turns out that quirky Zoom background might not be such a good idea for a video interview. “Our findings also indicate factors like using a fake Zoom background and atypical font colors on a resume could be detrimental in a job search,” says Harrington. Brush up on the dos and don’ts of video calling so you can show up to any virtual interviews feeling confident.