Top 5 Tips For Job Hunting During Social Distancing

Searching for a new job in a normal market can be hard enough, add in a global pandemic and you might be thinking to yourself is it even possible.

The short answer is, YES!

Yes, the pandemic has created noticeable economic and business uncertainty, and many companies are on a hiring freeze. However, it is not all doom and glum and it does not mean you need to let go of your aspirations and succumb to the distress.

Here are my top five tips on how to stay positive and proactive in your job hunt even during social distancing.

1. Try to grow professionally

On a usual day (when there isn’t a pandemic that is), how do you find yourself using your time? Does a large portion of it go on your daily commute, travelling to clients, going to meetings that could have been emails? If so, now you get that time for yourself, yay!

There hasn’t been a better time than now to take up new learning goals. E-learning is booming now that schools and institutions are closed with plenty of companies also offering free courses and webinars. This is the time to explore your deep-seated interests, know your skill gaps, and chase potential opportunities to grow.

Also, try adding more value to your resume by getting some certifications and credits in skills you do have but perhaps have not formalised. Work on yourself during this period. You are sure to benefit from it when things normalise.

2. Grow your network

You may already have a good professional network, though with busy work schedules often it can leave no time to leverage them. For those with or without deep networks, my best advice is to get onto LinkedIn. Since most employees and employers are working remotely, many are very active on social media and using LinkedIn to connect with potential contacts is an easy way to grow your network.

3. Update your resume

When you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it can be hard to know where to start. What experiences and accomplishments should you include? What new resume rules and trends should you be following? And seriously, one page or two? A topic in itself though here are a few must-haves to get you started.

4. Build a pipeline of Dream Jobs

It’s important to have short term achievable goals but what about the long play. Even if you know your dream company does not have open positions, work on building up your pipeline of contacts in a variety of areas so that you don’t have to scramble when hiring freezes lift.

Perhaps pick the top five relevant people in that business or department and see if you can get connected. Once connected, use this time to understand more about what it takes to work there and get a read on what the culture is really like. Like what you hear? Then sign up for the company’s job alerts to keep you updated.

5. Tap into the “hidden” job market

What you see on job boards such as Indeed, Seek and LinkedIn etc. is said to only be 30% of what is actually in the market. Whilst I’m not suggesting you should give up on job boards, it’s just as, if not more important to also find recruitment firms that specialise in your area of expertise. This will help ensure you’re tapping into the other 70% of roles you might have otherwise missed out on.

Throughout my career in executive recuitment and as Managing Director of FT Executive, the majority (I’d say as much as 80%) of roles we fill are through direct approaches to talent within our deep networks. Just like you did when you created a list of dream companies, get to know the players in your space and pick a select number that you trust and feel will represent your brand effectivity to the market.

Job seeking during social distancing can be demotivating and cause you to lose your enthusiasm. Easier said than done but try not to let that happen, consider this time to quarantine yourself in your own space and make the best use of your time. Set out your long-term professional goals and define a clear way to achieve them. This will help use up your extra hours and keep you occupied in something that will transform your life so you can reap the positive results in the long run.
Laura Frazer

Co-founder & Managing Director

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