Beyond the obvious impact on individual health COVID-19 has had, it is also impacting the economy in various ways. Some industries are seeing a surge in demand (medical supplies, distribution, etc.), but most are experiencing a decline. One study found that nearly 1 In 5 households has lost work or had hours reduced since the outbreak of COVID-19. This is a daunting statistic and by some measures going to increase, but there are jobs available and companies eager to bring on good talent.
If you want to land a job now, here are 4 tips to update your tactics and create a dynamic job search plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Go to where the jobs are
Job openings increase when the need exceeds the current supply. If you want a job fast, follow the trends of demand and see where your skills fit best into those industries. With Illinois’ “shelter in place” mandate, most people are restricted to their homes, and the same can be seen nation-wide and for most of the world. The industries and sectors that are seeing a surge in demand due to this include grocery, pharmacy, healthcare, delivery, distribution, and telecommunication.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get a job in other industries at this time, some companies are still interviewing virtually and filling their scheduled hiring needs. However, if speed is what you need, then try to focus on companies in areas of increased demand. As you do your job search you will see this shift. To review what companies are currently hiring in the Chicagoland area, click here.
2. Prepare for a phone or virtual interview
You’ve secured an interview, congratulations! Most likely the interview(s) will be conducted via phone or video. If you’ve never done a phone or video interview before, things can get awkward, if you aren’t prepared.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Get your space set up. Make sure you have your wi-fi freed up and there are no distractions that may interrupt your meeting or be visible in the video.
- Your tone of voice will influence whether they want to hire you. You want to try to sound warm, professional, and upbeat. Since you cannot be there in person, this area needs to come through.
- The basic questions of the interview will not change. So, prepare your answers and practice them out loud.
- Focus on the company and why you’re a good fit for the role, rather than your current personal situations. Show how you can bring value to that organization.
If you want more information on how to stand out in a virtual interview, be on the lookout for an article and quick video on our site.
3. Highlight Your Transferrable Skills
An interview is a chance to show why you’d be a great fit for that company. The best way to do this is to identify the transferable skills you have and highlight those skills in your interview answers.
Transferable skills are skills you learned in one role, that you can use in another. For example, if you worked in food service you likely needed to be good at working in a fast-paced environment, working on a team, customer service, cash handling, and more. Those transferable skills could be used in a warehouse setting by keeping up with fast-paced production needs, working well with others in the facility and communicating well with your team. Very different industries, but great skills that you can use in both.
When you apply to a job, read the job description and identify some skills they are looking for that you have used before. Then think of 2-3 examples of when you successfully helped the business with those skills so you can share those stories in your interviews. Use the STAR method when possible.
4. Be Flexible
Currently, employers are looking for people who can adapt, who are flexible to change, and who are a team player. So, make sure to highlight those qualities since you know the businesses will be adapting daily.
Another area to be flexible in is the industry or role type you are searching for. Don’t be afraid to switch industries to follow the demand for workers. Even if you have never worked in healthcare before your experience in housekeeping could translate to an excellent sanitation worker at a hospital.
That’s it! The best thing you can do for your career right now is to be flexible and remain positive. Follow these four tips and you will be on the road to success.
For open positions Skills is working to fill for our business partners, click here.
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