- July 8, 2020
- Posted by: Dan Trudeau
- Category: Career Advice
4 Keys to a 2020 Job Search
We’ve now passed the halfway point of 2020, and a quick bounce from the COVID-19 crisis is not in sight. As the year moves forward, more and more people will be finding themselves having to do a job search in less-than-ideal circumstances.
While parts of the country have started opening up, traveling, and setting up in-person interviews are still a challenge. Many companies need to hire right away but can are be crawling along as long as this situation continues.
This can lead to a desperate mindset, which will result in blown opportunities and wasted effort. Don’t let your fears rule your thinking. You can keep your head up and move forward.
It will take more work, and focus, but here are 4 keys to a successful 2020 job search:
1. Get set up
Create a space for your job search headquarters. It could be a home office or the corner of a bedroom. Whatever you can put together. Equip it a computer, paper for taking notes, and anything else you need to keep yourself organized.
Next, set up your online presence. This is important for any job search, but vital now that face-to-face opportunities are limited.
· Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, it’s time to make one. If you do, make sure it’s current.
· Get your accounts set up or updated on career sites as well (Monster, Careerbuilder, Glass Door, etc.).
· Remote work has led to a multitude of video conferencing applications (Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Make sure you’re set up with them, as they’re important to your efforts, and different companies use different applications.
2. Define what you offer
What do you offer, in terms of skills and experience, to a potential employer? Almost all professional careers, like engineers or lawyers, have defined skills employers look for.
Not everyone has that advantage, and even they may need to dig deeper. In a down market, there’s often less demand for experience or skills, that would’ve made you a hot commodity even months prior. For example, it doesn’t pay to be an expert event coordinator when that sort of activity is off the table for the near future.
Take a deeper look at your experience to figure out the full range of your abilities. This will include qualities such as:
· You can organize people from different groups or departments in a project.
· You’re the first one people call when there’s a crisis.
· You have a talent for creating order out of chaos.
Message the people you’ve worked with and ask their opinion. You may find strengths you didn’t know you had.
Now, list those strengths and tie them to specific accomplishments. Some examples could be:
· I used my organization skills to smooth out a communication problem that was making deliveries late.
· I cut time out of development by coming up with a new process.
· I teamed up with a support team member to cut cost out of a product.
The list you create here is what you’ll use to sell yourself
3. Network like crazy
While offices have begun to open up, numerous employees are still working from home. The good news is we have plenty of tools now that allow you to connect with people anyway. Your use of a social media site like LinkedIn can make all the difference in your search.
Networking is important in any job search, in any job market. The difference now is you’ll have to spread your net wider. Before you might’ve said, “I’m looking for a job in a specific industry doing a specific job.” Now, that job might be unavailable.
No matter what’s going on in the economy, companies have problems to solve. You’re going to advertise yourself as a problem solver. Send out connection requests to decision makers and post on your timeline every day about what you offer.
In fact, do it multiple times a day. Your posts disappear from peoples’ timelines after a short period, so you need to keep putting something out there to show up.
Instead of responding to jobs alone, you’re reaching out to key people. This can open up opportunities you might have never considered before.
And yes, by all means, keep sending your resume to job postings and make sure you connect with recruiters. A solid agency will still have leads you’d never find on your own.
5. Get interviewing
The quarantine made it difficult for actively recruiting companies to move through the interview process. The reopening has been going slow, meaning the entire hiring process is still complicated. You can still keep the interviewing process moving.
Make sure you’re both assertive AND flexible. Follow this process:
· If someone says they’re interested, but don’t know when they’ll be able to hire, tell them you understand.
· Offer them a phone conversation or video call with the understanding of no promises beyond that point. Say you’ll talk at a time convenient for them.
· Get whatever commitment you can.
The people you’re talking to may not be able to make you an offer or commit to an offer down the road. You can still come to an agreement about the next steps. That might be to touch base once a week or set up a later date to check-in. Whatever the case, don’t leave it hazy. You want to make sure you’re still in front of them when their prospects improve.
And guess what? You may find yourself with a job offer. It could start as part-time, work from home, or even a short-term gig. It could be contingent on what happens over the coming weeks.
Any of those scenarios show progress and increase the odds of you coming out of this in good shape. We live in strange, sometimes scary times, but you can still reach your goals.
PRA USA has 30+ years of experience recruiting in the Electronic, Embedded, and Controls field. This gives us the ability to help you, no matter what’s happening in the economy. Contact us to discuss what we can do for you.