Looking for a job during COVID-19: A practical guide

Home Looking for a job during COVID-19: A practical guide
31 Mar 2020
For job-seekers

There’s no doubt these are strange and troubling times, especially when it comes to our working lives. But the fact of the matter is that the majority of businesses need to continue because, quite simply, there is work to be done - and they need good staff to do it. However, recruitment is certainly a different kettle of fish right now and that can be a worry for anyone looking for work. It’s certainly not all doom and gloom on the job seeking front - you just need to think about it all in a slightly different way... 

1. Use social media to your advantage 

During these strange days of quarantine and lockdown, people are spending increasing amounts of time online, especially on social media. And that means companies and hiring managers are on there a lot more right now too. Being active on social media is our single biggest piece of advice right now, especially on LinkedIn, but also on Twitter – share and comment on relevant articles, send personalised requests to connect to contacts in your industry or area of expertise, write and publish your own articles. The world of online networking is buzzing – let people know you’re looking (if you can) and contribute to the conversations happening online and you never know what might come out of it. (Pro tip: Now would be a good time to make sure those drunken photos of you riding an inflatable pig in Kavos have been deleted.) 

2. Register or check in with recruitment agencies 

You might think this isn’t the right time to be spending time connecting with recruitment agencies, but we’re all still busy recruiting for roles from home, surrounded by furry colleagues (our pets – just to clarify). And when this is all over and we all gallop joyfully into the streets (or straight off to the hairdressers to get our roots done), companies will lift their recruitment restrictions and the floodgates will open. You’ll want to be ahead of the game by already being registered and having your CV all set to be sent across when that time comes. If you’re planning on spending some time on your CV (and we’d recommend that you do), have a look at our nifty infographic on how to make yours stand out from the crowd. 

3. Develop your skills and training 

This one is about making the most of the time you have in these unusual circumstances. There are loads of online training courses (and plenty of them are free) that could help you to boost existing skills or learn entirely new ones. If you set aside a few hours every week to spend on training, it’s highly likely you’ll emerge the other side of all this with a refreshed and highly desirable set of qualifications under your belt. Obviously, if you're looking for work in accounting, spending five hours a week perfecting your cake decorating skills probably won’t help you much, so just make sure your training choices are relevant to your career. (Although you could always try to bribe them with cake...) 

4. Prepare for phone or video interviews 

If you’re invited to interview in the next few weeks, you’ll need to get yourself set up to do it via phone or conference call. People often underestimate how different it is to be interviewed in this way. If you’re thinking it means you only need to look smart from the waist up and you can drink gin and tonic throughout because it looks like water on screen, brace yourself – there’s a whole load of things you need to make sure you have in place! Luckily, we wrote a blog a while back which offers six tips on how to prepare for a phone or video interview – phew! And our guide to preparing for interviews is still entirely relevant too. 

5. Be patient and adaptable 

Everything is up in the air right now, and the recruitment process is no different. Companies are taking longer to come back to applicants, job descriptions are constantly being tweaked and updated and the interview and offer processes are typically far more drawn out. This is simply a reflection of the times and, like it or not, we all need to adapt to this new normal and expect things to take a bit longer. The more flexible and accommodating you are to a potential employer (or recruitment agency) during the process, the more appealing you’ll be as an employee – so even just going with the flow and understanding that things are happening at a different pace and in a different way will work to your huge advantage right now. 

Our biggest advice to you is don’t give up – there’s no denying we’re living through very challenging times and you will probably be feeling quite dejected and demoralised, but there are still opportunities out there. Who knows, you might even apply for a job, have an interview, be made an offer and start your first day all from the comfort of your own home! 

If we can help you in your job search, please do get in touch on 01932 355000 or email hello@amber-employment.co.uk. You can register as a candidate online or have a look through our current vacancies - and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for updates (and random silly things too). 

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