The pandemic’s impact has been felt in every corner of the world, and high on the list is the job market. Nationwide, countless numbers of jobs have been lost, furloughed, redacted, and more. Whatever the situation may be, involuntarily jumping into a job hunt can be incredibly discouraging, and when the effort put into a candidacy isn’t always rewarded, even the most energized job seekers can feel disheartened.

However, as daunting as those rejection emails might be, there is still hope for job hunters everywhere. If you are looking to end the monotonous cycle of submitting applications, thankfully, there are some initiatives you can take. Here’s how to put your best foot forward and nail down that next job in today’s strange circumstances.

 

Expect an Unusual Hiring Process

While most offices have been “work from home” the past few months, the “new normal” still presents unprecedented circumstances in the hiring process.

Most likely, all of your interviews will be conducted virtually, whether that be over video or phone. But just because you aren’t meeting someone face to face doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare as you would normally. It’s important to still conduct customary interview preparation like researching the company, developing questions, and dressing accordingly (even if it’s just the top half!).

 

Put in the Extra Time

As you begin your job hunt, make sure to set aside time each day to search and apply for jobs. Take it a step further by researching and gathering intel on the companies you are applying and interviewing for so you can tailor your resume, cover letter, and application/interview answers accordingly. Nowadays, most HR professionals and recruiters use bots to scan applications and resumes to look for keywords pertinent to the position.

In addition, you should be staying active on your online profile (LinkedIn, Indeed, etc.) and keeping it up to date. Your profile shouldn’t just be current; it should also be compelling. Adding items like an eye-catching summary, past projects, metrics, skills, portfolios, and more can make you stand out from other potential candidates. By allocating time to these details, you’ll show your determination and willingness to go the extra mile.

 

Continue to Network Online

While larger events continue to be canceled, there are still several opportunities to form new connections and keep current network relationships warm.

  • Join professional groups online (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) to connect with people in your industry or field. Usually, within these groups, conversations, and posts around strategies, methods, and applications arise so individuals can learn and discuss best practices.
  • Take the initiative to invite individuals to a virtual coffee. This could range from former colleagues to recruiters of jobs you are interested in.
  • Attend virtual meetings or seminars within your field of interest. Many companies and industries have now replaced conferences with virtual events that usually include networking lounges and opportunities to meet with other attendees.

 

Keep Yourself Learning and Engaged

Take this time to ask yourself, “How can I improve?” Seek this as an opportunity to:

  • Learn new skills

There a now numerous amounts of online courses and certifications available through LinkedIn and other virtual tools. Freshen up on or explore new skills that will allow you to stand out even more.

  • Move forward with a passion project.

Now that you have the time to fully immerse yourself in a passion project — do it! Passion projects are ways to apply your strengths and skills to add creativity to your life and make your own opportunities.

  • Volunteer

Take the initiative to involve yourself with something you care about. Not only can this be a great resume builder and close any “gaps” – it can make for great discussion points during interviews.

 

Most importantly, keep your head up and continue to persevere. The efforts you continually put into your job hunt will ultimately pay off in the end!