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COVID-19 has changed the world of work. Jobs, businesses, and industries that were heavily office-based switched to remote working. Many employers froze hiring and turned to freelancers to get work done. Some industries suffer due to the pandemic-related restrictions while others have the opportunity to flourish. These changes can be confusing to job seekers, as looking for work has also been impacted by the coronavirus. Here are 3 steps to help you find your dream job during the Covid-19 crisis.
1) Stay relevant
Waiting for things to get back to “normal” is not a solution, as we can’t know the duration of the pandemic or the long-term impact it will have on the economy and the job market. Instead, we need to adapt to the new normal. First, identify and list your key competencies, skills, knowledge, experience, and education. This exercise focuses on the past, i.e. what you have done and who you have become. Then, consider how you can add value to employers taking into account the current business needs. The focus here is on the present and the future. This exercise can have three outcomes:
a) There is a gap between what employers need and what you can offer. If this is the case, look for ways to bridge this gap by adapting to the requirements. If you used to be office-based and now your target jobs have gone remote, take a course to increase your remote working capability. If you need to focus on an industry you are not experienced in, get a related certification. If you need to change careers, get some volunteering experience.
b) You have transferable skills that can benefit employers. In this case, heavy up-skilling is not required. Instead, focus on understanding and communicating the value you can add to businesses based on the current needs. For example, if you have built, motivated, and engaged an offshore team in an office-based role, you can probably do the same for a remote company. If you have successfully sold product X, you can probably be able to learn how to sell service Y too. The key here is preparing to work in a new context.
c) Your background and key skills are a strong fit with the COVID-19 world of work. If you belong in this category, then there is no action required for you in this step. For example, a remotely-based full-stack developer with experience in the eCommerce industry is highly unlikely to face issues with finding work at the moment.
2) Find relevant opportunities
If you are waiting for your target roles, companies, or industry to grow so that there are more available vacancies, please change your strategy. My advice to job seekers is to get informed about current employment market trends and future predictions, understand what jobs are available at the moment, and create their plans based on this information. Select your target jobs based on what you like doing, what you are good at, and what is available in the market.
As a rule of thumb, technology will grow even more, as new ways of working depending on it more than ever. Companies that suffer from the current restrictions, such as retail stores, restaurants that don’t deliver food, hotels, and airlines, are highly unlikely to recruit. However, eCommerce businesses, supermarkets, and fast food delivery chains are likely to grow due to increased demand. Industries like tourism are in bad shape, while the medical industry is booming due to COVID-19.
3) Prepare better than the competition
I’m proud to have placed candidates with some of the most selective companies worldwide. Further, I’m lucky to have worked with some industry-leading businesses before becoming an entrepreneur. The most important advice I can give to candidates based on these experiences is to prepare, prepare, and then prepare more.
Candidates need to network effectively, pass the ATS screening, and impress recruiters and hiring managers to win a job offer. Your experience, expertise, and skills are not enough if you don’t have an effective job research plan, a stellar CV/resume and LinkedIn profile, and solid interviewing skills. Put the effort to perfect these or work with a professional career consultant, market yourself better than the competition, and increase your chances of winning job offers.