5 Tips to Help You Land a Job Amid the Covid-19 Slowdown

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Among the greatest casualties of Covid-19 has been the global job market. Roughly 1.6 billion people or half the world’s working population are at immediate risk of losing their jobs due to the pandemic this year. The worst affected are those working in high-risk regions, sectors such as aviation and hospitality that are directly affected, and labourers in the informal sector. Almost 400,000 people could lose their jobs in the UAE aviation sector alone, according to the IATA.

But all is not lost, and despite the grim outlook, there is a silver lining in the form of businesses reopening after weeks of lockdown. What’s more, certain sectors like IT are hiring aggressively as businesses rush to meet the demand for online services from customers confined in their homes.

It indicates that job opportunities do exist for people who know where to look and understand the nuances of job search amid a tough economic environment. Below we suggest five effective job search strategies to help you find the right opening amid the pandemic. Whether you are out of work because of the coronavirus or were in the middle of a job search anyway when the pandemic hit, these tips can help you stand out and increase your chances of getting hired.

1. Upskilling

Stuck at home due to the pandemic? Use the opportunity to upgrade your skills to make your profile more attractive to employers. This is a good time to complete that course that’s been pending for a long time now or get that certification you so desperately wanted. In fact, upskilling is the single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of getting hired in a lockdown market and beyond.

2. Networking

Ads in job boards and newspapers may have dried up, but that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities. There will almost certainly be jobs below the surface, away from the public glare. One of the best-kept secrets of job search is that only 30% of jobs are listed while the remaining 70% goes unlisted which are generally filled through connections.

Networking is even more important in the present scenario. Irrespective of how much time you spend surfing job listings, you should know that many more vacancies are arising and getting filled away from the public glare using networking. Hence it is important for you to step up to the plate and start building professional connections to help you with your career.

3. Update your resume and online profiles

The lockdown is a great opportunity to take care of things you normally don’t have time for, like updating your resume and your LinkedIn profiles, to help with your quest. If you are still using an old format for your resume, use this time to select a contemporary design and do it up as per the latest trends (important tip: focus on your achievements in the resume). You should simultaneously do up your LinkedIn profile to ensure it is visible to head-hunters looking for candidates on the professional networking platform.

One thing all candidates should do is ensure they have a clean online reputation as new-age recruiters tend to run Google searches or check candidates’ social media profiles in a bid to validate the quality of the hire.

4. Be flexible with regard to work arrangement

The coronavirus crisis will change many things for good—and one of them is the nature of work. The spurt in remote work which we are witnessing today may continue in some form in the future as well. As a job seeker, it is important to be flexible about work arrangements by remaining open to both remote and office-based work to capitalise on a good opportunity.

The great thing about remote work is that it can open the doors to international jobs which you can perform sitting at home. In fact, job seekers should keep an eye out for remote work with foreign companies to access newer opportunities and broaden their career horizons.

5. Focus on industries that are hiring

While many industries are adversely affected by the pandemic, there are others that are growing. Some of the industries that are actively recruiting candidates at this juncture include the tech industry, essential services, and logistics and delivery. Even non-specialist professionals can find jobs in these companies in their respective domains. For example, tech companies also have space for accountants, marketers, and HR personnel offering attractive positions that match their profile.

Bonus tip: Think out of the box!  

Want the employer to sit up and take note of your resume? Use your creativity to help you stand out. There are numerous examples of candidates that have done exactly that and succeeded in getting noticed. For example, at a Google recruitment campaign, a candidate Eric Gandhi produced a CV that was based on the Google Search design which landed him an interview. There’s also Graeme Anthony who created an interactive video resume while applying to We Are Social.

However, it is important to keep it sane and contextual and restrain yourself from taking off on a tangent! It is a high-risk, high-gain option so go for it only if you have a great idea and keeps your imagination within check to ensure that the employers easily get the reference.

Should You Compromise on Salary?

Although job hunting can be hard during the pandemic, doing the right things and having a proper strategy in place can raise the odds greatly in your favour. At the same time, candidates should keep in mind that since many businesses are battling for survival in the aftermath of the lockdowns, they may not be able to pay handsome salaries. It is prudent to not let salaries become a barrier to hiring at this point and attach more weightage to factors like role, growth opportunity, job satisfaction, and brand image of the business.

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