Don’t Let COVID-19 Headlines Delay Your Job Search

During the past two weeks of otherwise depressing news, I was thrilled to hear from four excited young PR pros who received and accepted new job offers. I wanted to share this positive news since contrary to the surge in Labor Department unemployment numbers, many companies and agencies are still hiring.

In full disclosure, three of the young pros were well along in the interview process before the shelter-in-place orders were issued, but they still were surprised and relieved to land new jobs. Final interviews for two of them were moved to Skype and Zoom rather than in person. The fourth individual was laid off by her company last week. Instead of rushing to log onto the state’s unemployment application website, she called her previous employer. Before the end of the day, she was asked how soon she could report for duty. She returns today to an even bigger role with her former employer. Her experience reminds us to never to burn bridges. All four will be working from their homes for the foreseeable future.

While many organizations will be delaying discretionary hiring, those that need to fill specific gaps on their teams will be actively pursuing that talent.

LinkedIn and other job boards offer advice and helpful links if you are searching for a job during the current bizarre time. Yes, finding new jobs will be tougher for the next several months, especially if you’ve been working in the hospitality or travel sectors. Therefore, determine your current skills and how they might be transferable to other industries and narrow your search to companies that may recognize your customer-focused talents.

As several prior posts here have advocated, seeking a job can be a full-time job itself. Be sure to devote time each and every day to your search, perhaps setting weekly goals for number of contacts or applications.

Here are some best practice ideas from LinkedIn to keep in mind as you ramp up your job search:

  • Be patient. Just as you are trying to get answers to make the best decisions for yourself and your family during this time, so are employers. As such, they may be slow to respond or may not respond at all. If you’re not hearing back, keep applying for new opportunities and follow up when possible.
  • Keep your job search toolkit updated. As you search, make sure your resume, cover letter and online profiles are up to date. Tailor your resume and cover letter for each job and consistently re-assess whether you are applying for jobs that are a good fit for your background and experience level.
  • Take advantage of COVID-19 job resources. Many organizations, state governments and nonprofits are developing free resources for people whose job has been affected by COVID-19, such as virtual career coaching. Start by browsing the list of COVID-19 job resources by state.

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