Three things active job hunters should be doing right now, even during COVID
Yes, the job market has been turned on its head the past week. Organisations are coming to grips with what COVID-19 means for them and the hiring implications, but just because they aren’t hiring right now, doesn’t mean they won’t ever need to hire again. And, when they do, you’ll want to be ready!
Here are my THREE pieces of advice for where to focus your energy if you are actively job-hunting during COVID (these remain relevant at any time you are looking at making a career switch). So here’s how to make sure you put your best foot forward in the weeks and months ahead.
#1. GET CLARITY
If you have extra time on your hands right now it may be a good time for reflection and to get clarity on what it is you really, really want from your job (and life). Take the time to reflect on what is important to you.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What key skills do I have?
- What do I really want out of my work?
- Have my previous roles supported that?
- Where do I want to be in 10 to 20 years?
- What needs to change to get me there?
Put some real time and energy into deepening your self-knowledge. Yup, this is going to require some serious effort but what you uncover here can be super beneficial for your career in the long run. When you do this you can better determine where to invest your time, energy and focus.
To help you on this journey, here are some good reads that might help you in getting some clarity:
- Your ideal work day
- Goal 101: How to know what your want, what you really, really want
- Find your mission
And, if you’ve identified a change that requires you to up-skill, now is your time to do this! There has never been more ways to learn new skills in a virtual way – and the great majority come with my fave price tag – FREE. Check out my blog Twenty ways to learn something new or Self-direct your learning to advance your career for free
#2. GET YOUR CAMPAIGN MATERIALS TOGETHER
If you are proactively seeking a job you want to enter into a phase of campaigning – now I know this probably brings up ideas of politicians vying for your vote, and guess what? This is what you need to do too! Get out there and get votes from your potential employers, contacts and interviewers.
And as with any good campaign, this is going to require some great collateral to cut through. NOW is the time to revamp your LinkedIn profile, resume and approach to cover letters.
If you thought of yourself as an organisation, what would your mission statement say? Take the time to craft out a killer personal statement which shows WHAT, HOW, and WHY you do what you do – and your aspirations. Once you’ve got this statement, wrap it into your LinkedIn profile headline and cover letter templates.
From the clarity you hopefully found in step one, make sure you are super clear on your skills and specialities so that employers can see your value quickly.
More good reads to help get your A-Game in your campaign materials.
- Create an all-star LinkedIn profile. Did you know the most powerful part of your LinkedIn profile is your headline – this is the most seen component of your LinkedIn profile so if it currently says “Unemployed” by default you are missing a HUGE opportunity to tell people what you can do! Use it to tell people your value and mission statement. Read more.
- Check out our ten tips for managing your social media for the job search. No politician wants to be derailed by bad press right? What does a google or social media search say to employers about you?
- Why your CV sucks and how to make it better. Make that CV sparkle.
#3. GET CONNECTED (GERM-FREE)
Many people are working from home and in front of their computers right now. While now might not be the time to catch up over coffee like the good ole days, it’s a good time to work on deepening your digital connections (and maybe they will be more open to a quick 15 minute chat, versus an hour long coffee break).
- What is your virtual networking strategy and how can you make some new contacts even during lockdown? Here are tips on how to connect effectively
- Can you offer your support in a voluntary capacity in some way at the moment to make connection and move you closer towards you career goals?
- Can you share your insights and knowledge through a LinkedIn or social media post?
- Can you connect with people virtually to get even more clarity and to help increase your chances of successfully landing the job you do want? Can you reach out and ask for a 15 minute phone call?
- Can your connections help you identify what skills you might need to develop to reach your goals?
- Can you make your professional needs known to your networks to help you in finding the opportunities that do exist? I find when people know you are looking, and WHAT you are looking for, they can recommend or suggest openings that are the perfect fit.
- Can you write recommendations for people in your network, and ask others you have worked with to do the same for you? Here are some top tips on the best way to go about asking for recommendations
Give yourself a rating from 1 to 10 on where you sit in each of these C’s: CLARITY, COLLATERAL and CONNECTION.
- If you are a 10 on all of these – watch out world!!
- If you are a 8-9 on each, you are on fire! What little tweaks can you make now for even more impact?
- If you are a 5-7 you’ve got a bit of work to do, but you are getting so, so close! Keep it up!
- If you are a 1-4, it’s time to settle in down in front of the laptop and get to work. Check out our links and shout out in the comments if you have any questions.
Let us know in the comments what is your focus for the week ahead!