Reopening: 7 Ways to Start Looking for a New Job

© iStock

By Marie Shaurette, Mom.com

The unemployment rate in the United States jumped from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million by the end of May 2020, according to Pew Research. This significant increase of 14 million Americans out of work is a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Layoffs, furloughs, and job cuts have countless Americans clamoring for any job they can find to make ends meet.

Whether you're searching for a job as a result of the global pandemic or just starting out or seeking employment after graduation, here are some helpful ways to start looking for a new job in the midst of a global pandemic.


Job search tips during coronavirus

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Know that there are resources available.

Not every job is advertised on a job board. Kimberlee Rosemond Stevenson is a Youth Program Specialist at Virginia Career Works, Hampton Roads. She suggests reaching out to your local workforce development board or Career Works Center. "We have career developers on staff to help you find some jobs. Sometimes jobs are not always publicly announced," she advised Mom.com.

Update your resume.
Make sure that your resume is up-to-date and highlights key skills that you'd like potential employers to know about you. Kimberlee pointed out that career centers offer resume auditing services — it makes sense to utilize those free services instead of paying someone to do it for you. She also suggests candidates attend workshops on resume writing, interview skills, keep a list of where you apply, and remember to follow-up.

Think outside the box.

If you have experience in a specific industry, now more than ever is the time to look beyond your industry to find positions that align with your skillset.

Whitney Cornelison encourages job-seekers to seek positions where they can showcase their strengths, regardless of the industry. "If you are skilled at managing people in the retail space, that skill set can transfer to positions in other industries. Managing people is managing people," she told Mom.com. "Companies right now are looking for cost savings measures and people who bring value to their organization."

Jeannette Kaplun, Editor of Hispana Global agrees. "Be ready to give examples of your achievements, links to your portfolio or samples of your work, and a few questions about the company to show you’ve done your research," she advised. "Be open to expanding your job search options by analyzing the skills you have."

Be flexible to companies changing needs.

As the world changes in the wake of the coronavirus, companies are also changing the way they do business. Many have gone online, implemented remote-working across the board, and developed entirely new departments based on the current needs of their clients or customers.

Nakisha Wynn is a mom of three, familiar with the changing landscape of the business world. She reminds candidates to do things that will help position themselves as the best candidate. "Be open and ready to take on new responsibilities; network more effectively, get more familiar with social media marketing," she told Mom.com.


Socially distant job interviews

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Virtual interviews over in-person interviews.

With more employees working from home, even before the coronavirus outbreak, virtual interviews were becoming the norm. Jeannette Kaplun suggests doing your best to put your best face forward when preparing for your online interview. "For video calls, make sure you look professional, that you have a light source in front of you, and wear a headset if possible," she told Mom.com.

The phone interview is your chance to shine.

Often businesses will use a phone interview to screen candidates prior to bringing them in for an interview or investing the time in a virtual interview. Employers use a phone interview as a way to weed out candidates that may not have the energy, drive, or desire they're seeking. Disinterest can often be determined in the first few minutes of a phone call. During a phone interview, it's important to be enthusiastic and engaging, for the best chances of moving to the next step in the interview process.


New job opportunities

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Pursue a passion project while on lockdown.
Taking the time to look inward and reflect on interests and future goals during this time is key. With the additional bandwidth to pursue individual interests over the last few months, many have chosen work to on projects that bring them joy. Some have finally started writing that book or filming those YouTube videos. It has been a time self-discovery.

Similarly, the economic uncertainty on the horizon could provide the opening to change careers. With free time to take online courses of interest, it might be the ideal opportunity to pursue your dream job. “Downtime is crucial not only for replenishing the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, but also for sustaining the cognitive processes that allow us to fully develop,” London Business School professor Herminia Ibarra told CNBC.

New jobs as a result of COVID-19:

Finding a job during this global pandemic means staying on top of current events.

Being aware of new initiatives that are cropping up in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, is key. Being informed is a great way to stay ahead of the game in finding employment.

Roger Shapiro, a professor of medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health, talked with with CBS News about contact tracing as a career. "I do think that it's a fantastic job for people who have been furloughed, and it's something that people can be trained to do," he said.

Other similar jobs related to the coronavirus include temperature screeners at airports and medical facilities and COVID-19 caregivers.

See more at: Mom.com

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