Many of you may be wondering whether it is worth keeping up your job search while we are under lockdown. With many businesses not operating, there are fewer companies actively hiring at the moment and fewer jobs being advertised. However, it is certainly still worth continuing to look for that next opportunity. While some industries have slowed down, others are busier than ever and are experiencing more demand than before. So, keep looking and applying! However, you should possibly modify some of your expectations; you may need to be more patient, or be open to contract or temporary work.
Here’s how you can ensure your job search stays strong during lockdown and is successful:
Don’t stop looking for new opportunities. Sure, your job hunt may be more challenging, but your chances of landing a new job is still a lot better than if you were to stop looking. You may be disheartened to see fewer jobs for which to apply, but keep your efforts consistent. With fewer jobs available, you can spend less time searching, and more time applying with job-specific CVs and great cover letters, in order to present yourself as a fantastic candidate. Also, don’t be dismayed by apparently old advertisements. Even if a business isn’t open right now, they will likely still want to fill that position when lockdown is lifted.
Update your CV
Take the time to ensure your CV is up-to-date and looking incredible! Surprisingly often we receive CVs which are not very good representations of the candidate’s skills and experience. They may not include all of the qualifications or work experience someone has gained, or it may simply be poorly formatted. Often, some work experience isn’t included the because the candidate didn’t think their out-of-industry work experience was relevant – don’t do this.
Ensure your CV includes your entire employment history; include your experience gained outside of New Zealand, and any experience you have that is outside of the scope of the job for which you are applying – it is all still valuable even if it is not directly relevant to your next job. You also want it to be well designed and easily read. These small changes can make a major difference to your job search success.
Check out our CV writing advice here: Resume Writing 101.
Do your research to find out which industries are still thriving. Look at the news, read the government’s essential services information. All essential services are still running, and so the entire supply chain for those industries are still working. Some are even busy than before, and in a greater need of staff than ever. Think about how your skills can help these industries and target those job opportunities. You may need to modify some of the vocabulary and keywords in your CV to match that industry’s standard.
Consider temporary and contract work
There is no doubt that with all of the current economic uncertainty, many companies will be hesitant to hire permanent employees. A lot of the work still going at the moment, and the first jobs that open after lockdown, will be temporary and contract employment. You will have a much better chance of finding a new job if you are happy to accept non-permanent employment. A common misconception here is that you won’t have full-time work, but in fact most contract and temporary jobs we hire for are still 40 hours per week.
Prepare for video interviews
Most job interviews are being held over video calls at the moment. Be sure you are set up with Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp; have some means by which a hiring manager could conduct a video call with you. If you know your Skype ID or contact details for these platforms, it will make it a lot easier when it comes to scheduling and preparing for an interview.
Organise a spot in your home suitable for a video interview. Ideally, this should be somewhere relatively private or quiet. Try to have relatively clear space on a wall behind you. We understand that you are in your home, but we also don’t expect to interview someone in their hoodie.
Build and maintain your network
Networking is especially important with our increasingly online and remote working environment. Actively engage with your connections. Speak to your current and previous colleagues, connect with new people, and build those relationships. Use your network – most people will be more than happy to help – by pointing you toward job opportunities, or recommending you to a colleague or hiring manager. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for networking. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, and fully represents your value.
Relax and be patient
Finding a job is a marathon, not a sprint. Spend some time on it everyday, or as often as you can, but don’t forget to take time out as well. Use your downtime to truly check-out from your job search, so that next time you have the energy to put in 100%.
There are fewer jobs, and tougher competition. You may have a longer than typical wait before receiving a call for an interview, and possibly bigger delays between interviewing and receiving a job offer – you may even be offered a job to start much later in the year. This is the unfortunate reality of the current situation. A little bit of patience will go a long way. Search intelligently, tailor your CV, but then relax, and enjoy the process.