When 2020 started, it may have seemed a great year for you to change careers or to move into a new position. Then Coronavirus happened. As a result, you may be wondering, “Do I have to put my career goals on hold?” Maybe you were planning on transitioning out of a career that doesn’t provide you with real purpose or it felt like time to move on so you can move up faster. Whatever your reasons or motivation, we want you to know Coronavirus doesn’t have to stop your career plans, you only need to adjust your strategy.
You can conduct a successful job search during quarantine with patience and persistence. Keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers have a lot on their plate. However, we have clients who are getting good job leads and going on interviews via video conference. During these uncertain times, here are five ways you can adjust your strategy and thrive.
Update and use LinkedIn actively. Does LinkedIn feel overwhelming? Are you unsure how to truly leverage it effectively now that we are all online? Here are some basics to get you started. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and reflects the correct keywords that hiring managers are searching for. For example, you can list your aspirational title in your headline, saying what you want to be contacted for next. There is a great community spirit that we can all contribute to during this time. Use this as an opportunity to share your expertise in your industry by sharing meaningful content or writing helpful articles. This will be appreciated by your network and will also beef up your profile, making you stand out from the crowd.
Lean more heavily on your network. With social activities on hold for the time being, many are more active on their networks than usual. Use this to your advantage! Tap into the hidden job market. Join groups on LinkedIn to discover what is happening in your industry of interest and who is hiring. Reach out to especially active members privately for more information. Contact professionals who work at the company or in the job position you are interested in for an informational interview.
Reach out to your alumni association. Your alumni association will no doubt provide you with assistance or put you in contact with other alumni who are working in the industry you are interested in. You may worry that you are bothering people when they have a lot on their plate or feel a little uncomfortable reaching out to people you don’t know. Do it anyway! You will be surprised to find that professionals who wouldn’t normally have time for an informational interview are glad to provide assistance at this time.
Beef up your skill set. If you have a lot of downtime right now, use it productively to beef up the skill set you will need for the next career position you aspire to. Many sites are offering courses for free or at a discounted rate. You could even consider a free trial to websites like LinkedIn Learning.
Follow companies you are interested in. Companies may post information about job openings on LinkedIn or Twitter, so make sure you follow them and set up alerts. You can also set up alerts on job search sites like Glassdoor or FlexJobs for the title of the job position you are interested in. You can also follow hashtags on social media such as #NowHiring.
And lastly, keep track of your job search efforts in an Excel spreadsheet like this one.
Good luck out there!