Despite many companies still hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still a very strange and unpredictable market – roles tend to be in very specific areas, and the recruitment process is understandably slow and disjointed. For many, it simply isn’t the right time to look for a new position and your job search has been put on indefinite hold. Ugh.
But there's good news! There are plenty of ways you can power up your CV during lockdown so when the job market starts to pick up again, you’ve got a whole new set of qualifications and skills to bring to the table. This is your perfect opportunity to be proactive and get yourself in the best possible position to apply for that job you’ve always wanted (and stand a greater chance of getting).
‘But how?’ we hear you cry despairingly through a mouthful of biscuits in your onesie on the sofa.
Let us tell you...
There has been an upsurge in enrolments on online learning platforms such as edX, FutureLearn and Coursera, which offer ‘massive open online courses’ (known as Moocs). Devoting some of your time in quarantine to professional development not only makes sense for the next step in your career, but also for wrestling back some sense of control over the current situation. As economist and author James Wallman says, “Humans are like bicycles: if you’re not heading towards something you fall over” - so in these times of social distancing and great uncertainty, online courses are a great way to keep us pedalling onwards.
2. Virtual events
Virtual events allow you to both develop your knowledge and your professional connections. In short, a virtual event (also known as an iVent) replicates a ‘physical’ location-based event, but online. They allow you to attend a global conference, trade show, product launch or recruitment fair from the comfort of your own home. We really like the free iVents from SalesForce and Adobe Summit.
These are social, interactive presentations from inspirational speakers and thought leaders. They can be one-offs or part of a series, offering you the opportunity to ask questions directly to the experts, gaining valuable insight and knowledge that you can apply to your own career or job search. We love the webinars hosted by Career Contessa, HubSpot and Career Confidential, but a quick Google search will offer you plenty of others too.
4. Online networking
Your lockdown networking plan should have a two-pronged attack – firstly, you want to be using social media (predominantly LinkedIn and Twitter) to engage with eminent people in your profession (globally), people in relevant roles in companies you’d like to work for and/or other specific local professionals who could open doors. You want to be liking, sharing and commenting on their content, and ideally writing and sharing your own articles too. Not only are you developing your knowledge and connections in a very valuable way, but you’re also getting your name out there as someone with something to say in this area. Secondly, you want to be making connections and having proactive conversations with recruitment agencies right now - you can get one step ahead of the post-lockdown game by letting them know that you are interested and available for future opportunities.
As always, we’re here if you need us (also in our onesies on the sofa with a mouthful of biscuits) – you can call us on 01932 355000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe and be well – we'll be in touch again soon!