Unemployment numbers have skyrocketed in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic. Companies are laying off and others are freezing hiring until further notice. Jobless workers are left to wonder: should I even bother applying?
The answer is, yes! Despite the fact that many companies have ceased hiring for now, that isn’t the case for everyone. However, with people applying now more than ever, you will have a lot more competition. How can you make yourself stand out? Are there other ways to finding a job, other than just applying on LinkedIn?
Now is the time to get crafty with your job applications. Here is how to market yourself and better your chances of finding a new job amidst the coronavirus crisis.
Networking can be extremely beneficial during your job search. Now is a great time to tap your resources and try to get insider information. People who already work within companies have better insight into what jobs are opening up and can potentially help get your resume directly to the hiring director.
Use technology to your advantage. Yes, it sucks we can only communicate with others through our computers. However, this is causing people to be on their devices now more than ever – and they are more available to check their social media or emails. Post in Facebook groups. Send out emails to friends or relatives to see if their company is hiring. Message recruiters on LinkedIn. Now is the time to be resourceful and try to make as many personal connections as possible, even if it is just through a screen.
Quality over Quantity
It’s not the amount of jobs you apply to – it’s how much effort you put into the application. Sure, you can send off a hundred applications to different jobs without much effort. Will these applications really get you the job, though?
Rather, find a few jobs you would really want. Take the time to draft a strong cover letter and explain how you can solve their problem (i.e. why should they hire you out of all the applicants?) A strong cover letter and attention to detail will make you stand out from the crowd. And let’s face it – we have all the time in the world right now to spend on job applications.
Be Patient & Adaptable
A recent Forbes article said that it is crucial to be patient with this new hiring process during this time. HR is frazzled as they try to recruit entirely for home and set up virtual meetings. There is also a lot of unknowns for companies right now due to uncertainty of multiple factors (budget, timelines), so keep in mind that the hiring process may be a bit slower due to coronavirus restrictions and financial uncertainties.
That being said, still continue to pursue the job the way you normally would. Let the hiring manager know that you are interested and willing to work as soon as possible. You should still follow up with a thank you note after an interview and ask updates via email a few days after. Just because hiring is now fully remote doesn’t change the fact that recruiters want to know that you are interested and serious about the position.
Just because hiring has declined doesn’t mean you should stop applying. There are still companies that are looking, and the sooner you apply to the job, the better. Remember to reach out to industry contacts, stay positive, and tell show your enthusiasm for the position.
The job market will eventually return to normal – but until then, all we can do is put ourselves out there and hope for a hit.