If you’re job searching in 2020, then you know that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the economy, and on job opportunities. People have been laid off and many companies have had to reassess if, when, and how they hire.
This has put job seekers in a unique position. Should you look for jobs now? What do you need to do differently? Should you wait things out? These are all questions many job seekers are wondering, and we’re here to help.
Here are 8 tips you can use to boost your job search through 2020 and beyond:
1. Accept that things have changed, but keep looking, and be patient
The types of candidates companies are looking for, how they hire, recruiting processes, and work conditions have changed. Even if the companies you want to work for are not hiring or have put things on hold, it’s still important for you to keep looking for opportunities.
2. Expand the types of jobs you’re interested in
The role you may have wanted or been interested in before the pandemic may not be available, or it may be very different from what it was. Consider casting a wider net and be open to different roles that you are well suited to. Perhaps it’s worth looking for similar roles in a different industry.
3. Consider temporary roles
If you’re not able to find full-time permanent work in your field, consider a temporary job while you continue your job search. It’s a great way to make connections and keep a stream of income flowing.
4. Leverage your network
Even if employers are not hiring, it’s still very important to put feelers out there. Connect with your network and make it known you are looking to make a career move. Your network is one of the best sources to find a new opportunity.
5. Set goals and stay positive
While there are some things beyond our control, we can remain focused on what we can do right now. Create your schedule and follow-through, focus on your career development, but also pay attention to your mental health.
The skills and traits companies are looking for are changing. One thing that COVID-19 has highlighted is the need for people with technology skills. It’s also put a spotlight on the importance for companies to have people who are flexible, adaptable, and have strong change management skills.
If applicable, highlight your remote work experience, any specific video technologies you’re experienced/familiar with, and any soft skills, including time management, adaptability, and written communication on your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn Profile. As many companies shift to remote work, it’s important to demonstrate that you can quickly adapt to different working environments while maintaining productivity and quality of work.
If you don’t have a lot of technological experience, spend your free time taking some online courses to prepare yourself for professional development. There are plenty of free courses and resources available online. Take this opportunity to add a few certifications to your profile.
7. Be ready for video interviews
Because of travel restrictions and requirements on physical distancing, many employers shifted interviews online, using online platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, WebEx, etc. Are you comfortable being on camera and setting up your video feed and microphone? Have you used video chat and meeting tools? If not, it’s time to start using them and getting familiar with them so you’re comfortable and natural if you need to be ready for a video interview.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your virtual interview.
8. Follow up
If you haven’t heard from a company after applying, make sure to follow up. There are a lot of moving parts right now, but following up and re-communicating your interest will help keep you top of mind when companies start moving forward with hiring.
It’s also very important to keep in contact with your network. Reach out to people you haven’t spoke with in awhile, follow up with references, and build rapport with people who already know you.
Looking for a job always has its challenges, but COVID-19 has made it even more challenging. Staying consistent, leveraging your network, and adapting to the changing work world is the key to make yourself the right candidate for the job.
Want to make the best of your network? Get Connected!
One of the best ways to support your community is to help out other businesses and professionals in the area.
Try to buy local as often possible, recommend local businesses to others, and share positive experiences with local companies on social media.
But there is also another way in which you can support your community, and that is by being a Connector.
When you help others in their career paths, you in turn help your entire community. That person is able to shop locally, they are able to support their families, they are more willing to stay and grow in the community, and they are more likely to help support others in the same way you’ve helped them as well.
Here are a few reasons why being a Connector is a powerful way to give back to your community:
Introduces your community, or your own business, to skilled talent
Being a Connector gives you direct access to pre-qualified, skilled individuals. You will meet job-ready newcomers who are eager to learn from you and grow their knowledge of the local job market. In some cases, you may meet your next hire, and in many cases, you will be introducing a talented individual to your community.
By introducing your Connectee to your connections, you not only benefit your Connectee, but also the individuals and businesses in your network who will now have the opportunity to meet with a skilled professional.
Pay it forward through inclusion and collaboration
Perhaps you, or someone you know, knows what it feels like to be new to an area or industry. The Connector Program is a great way give back to the community. It’s a light ask – just 30 minutes of your time – but the introductions you make afterward have the potential to change your Connectee’s life.
By sharing your knowledge about current market demands and skills needed to succeed in your field, as well as introducing them to your network, you are helping Connectees break down a barrier they face, helping them learn and grow, and helping them feel welcomed into our community.
Uncover hidden opportunities for your community
Connectees come from all over the world, therefore bringing unique perspectives and ideas that you or your community may not have otherwise considered. We tell Connectees that hidden opportunities can be found through networking, including jobs, volunteer opportunities and term-based projects that would not be found online, but Connectors can also tap into hidden opportunities as well. Through the Connectee’s international experience, unique insights, and different perspective and skillset, the potential for new ideas and collaboration is endless.
Help drive your community’s population and economic growth
Communities need people and businesses to attract and retain talent to ensure continued economic growth. Connectees who find jobs in your community are more likely to stay, buy houses, and build their lives, which benefits your community’s economy long-term.
By being a Connector, you’re helping your community by introducing local businesses to pre-qualified, skilled potential employees. Those businesses are more likely to be successful thanks to your introduction of someone who is there to learn, grow and succeed within their company, and in turn, within your community.
Want to make the best of your network? Get Connected!
Building your professional network can seem daunting and intimidating, which is why our Connector Programs are here to help.
Connectors are people in our community who have extensive networks and are willing to make introductions. Connectors know people through social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and have a special gift for bringing people together who work or live in different circles.
The Connector Program connects employers facing labour challenges to high-qualified talent, but it is up to you to make the most of your connections. Here are our tips on how to do that.
5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Connector Experience:
1. Research the company and Connector in advance.
Go to the company website or their LinkedIn profile, read about what they do, and be ready to ask questions during your meeting. Doing this prior to your meeting will show that you took initiative to learn about your connector, and are invested in your future growth.
2. Be professional, be on time, and turn off all electronic devices.
While there are no promises, this connector could be a potential employer so make sure to keep a positive, professional attitude. Be conscious of the Connector’s time, as they are taking time out of their schedule to meet with you. It is only natural that discussing your personal lives may become part of the conversation; however, the focus should be on industry information and finding networking opportunities.
3. Bring a copy of your resume, prepare a list of questions to ask, and take notes.
It is important to bring enough questions to fill a 30-minute meeting. Also make sure you start with questions that allow you and your Connector to get to know each other and lead up to questions asking about job opportunities. Bring a notebook and pen with you to write down valuable information or referrals given.
4. Near the end of the meeting, ask “Can you introduce me to three other industry contacts that I could meet?”
If your connector does not suggest this by the end of the meeting, please remember to make this important request. They may provide referrals right away or choose to return to their office to send you those names.
5. Send a ‘thank you’ note to your connector, and follow up with referrals.
After the meeting, it is essential to send a thank you email to your connector within 24 hours, thanking them for their time and commitment to passing on referrals to you. For the referrals that your connector gave you, it is important to contact all referrals within 1-3 business days of receiving them so the idea is still fresh in their minds.
The potential contacts gained from our Connector Program are limitless, but it is up to you to maintain your network, continue meeting new people, and make the most of your connector meetings. Always remember to take the initiative and be pro-active in contacting and following up with your connections.
Want to make the best of your network? Get Connected!
If you live in a rural area, you may wonder what the benefit of building a professional network may be. Although you may initially see your networking options as limited, there are numerous benefits of networking, and ways to do it.
Having a professional network in a rural area means you are much more likely to hear about job opportunities and, even more importantly, be recommended to the hirer by someone in your network. As many of us in rural areas know, who you know can open many doors and having a strong professional network can help you in a job search and in making important career moves.
A personal recommendation from someone in your professional network is likely to advance you straight through to the interview stage or even further. If someone like a former colleague, a business mentor, or a professional peer can vouch for the work you’ve done in the past and show their faith in you as a person, this could immediately make you the frontrunner for the position.
To continue to explain the value of building a professional network in a rural economy, we’ve listed out 7 additional reasons.
7 Reasons Why Professional Networks are so Important in Rural Communities:
It builds community by establishing new friendships, mentors, and business partnerships, as well as strengthening existing ones.
It’s no secret that we can often go farther with the help of others. Whether it’s having a network to learn from, to assist in your growth within an industry, or to simply have like-minded individuals to reach out to, a professional network is the place you can find all of these things.
It provides education and mentoring opportunities.
There are many lessons to be learned from the experience of someone more established. Being able to learn and receive guidance from someone who has been where you are, or has experience in an industry you’d like to grow within, is a very valuable resource that can come from having a professional network.
It provides sources of information, knowledge and skills
Many professional networks offer educational services to help you establish new skills, aid in your growth, or provide resources to explore. This will help you move much faster and gain the experience or skills required to grow in your chosen direction, versus if you try to learn it all on your own, on your own time.
It can bring together specific groups with shared interests and concerns.
There is a quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” When we are surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals, whether it’s for a hobby, a cause, or a professional interest, we not only can do so much more together, but our time is often spent feeling more fulfilled as well.
It gives business owners and professionals a place for peer-to-peer discussion, which often results in innovative production and marketing strategies.
Business can feel like a lonely place sometimes. Growing your peer network allows you the opportunity to share in each other’s successes, and learn from other’s experiences.
It provides an effective way for collaboration, partnership, and the increase of success of local businesses and professionals.
Whether you’re looking for a partnership, a collaborative effort on a project, or simply learning from someone who has been there before you, there is often a stronger success rate when you collaborate on projects or local growth ideas with others, especially if they too have their own professional network.
Research suggests that when business owners and professionals convene, new opportunities arise for increased economic viability, improved quality of life, and greater community interaction
Rural communities rely on local businesses and professionals. A professional network can help keep the communities thriving though development, collaboration, and creating a space that keeps residents within the community and attracts new ones to build a life there as well.
As you can see, there are many valuable benefits of having a professional network in a rural economy. If you haven’t yet started building your network, or need some assistance for networking, we are happy to help you get established.
Think you could benefit from this kind of network? We know you could. Get connected today!
The Connector Program is a nationally recognized best practice that matches newcomers and recent graduates (Connectees) with established business and community leaders (Connectors).