How to Make Yourself More Employable During the Pandemic
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed almost everything about our world as we know it – including our jobs. Whether it be furlough, layoffs, or other reasons, there are still ways to get hired during the pandemic, and these are some tips to make yourself more employable.
Improving Your Virtual Presence
Being out of the office, people are spending more time online looking at social media networking sites, including professional ones. As times continue to change, technology is constantly evolving making it easier to learn more about candidates with a quick 5-minute hunt on the internet. That being said, you want to make sure your online presence is going to draw the right type of attention from potential employers. Branding and marketing is important for companies and can be just as important for you as a potential new hire. So – how do you do this?
Start with your LinkedIn. Show that you’re active in your news feeds, add an update high-resolution photo, and beef up your bio. This is often the first place that you’ll be inspected. It’s important to note that you’re being transparent and truthful with your profile, so there are no false expectations before meeting in person or virtually. A new trend on LinkedIn is the hashtag: “Open To New Opportunities”. You’ll see industry professionals with a banner on their LinkedIn profile picture that notes this trend, making it easy to stand out as being on the market. Other social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram have been more prevalent in the corporate social worlds. If you’re not familiar with these sites, start with a basic profile to get the hang of it and explore industry professionals with similar job backgrounds as yourself to get some ideas.
Standing out Amongst the Others
With the increased number of layoffs and furloughs, there are increasing amounts of job applications. Many Human Resource departments are not equipped to read through and examine the hundreds of applications they receive through job boards such as Monster and Indeed. Most job boards work through algorithms – only submitting applications with certain keywords and qualifications to the hiring team. If you make it through that algorithm and are submitted to the hiring team, your application now has a chance at being seen and reviewed. I say “chance” because once again, the number of applicants sent through to hiring teams can be quite high, especially in the midst of COVID.
Now that you’ve made it through the competition stages (without even knowing it) you’re being viewed by a member of the Human Resources/Recruitment team. The key part here is to stand out, just like you would in a normal job interview process. Your applications can be a bit difficult to differentiate as you’re usually answering the prompted questions. However, if you are able to grab their attention with one shred of information, they may look deeper into your profile, check out your virtual presence, and really start to be invested in who you are and what you can bring to the table. This is a concept that is important now more than ever as the competition is rising as firms start to re-open their hiring practices.
Shoot Your Shot – but don’t be too broad!!!
Trying to get on the market and landing a job is stressful, but instead of applying to every job that you believe to be qualified for on LinkedIn, find a handful that you are truly invested in. Learn about their company, the position requirements, location, and responsibilities. The more passionate you are about the job, the more you will dedicate to your application process. It’s basic knowledge that you are more prone to try harder when it’s something you are passionate about.
If you apply to 50+ jobs, you’ll start to fall into the same faults that these hiring managers are, which is over-simulation and too many jobs to know the difference between them. By narrowing your search, you can better market yourself towards these companies which will in turn help you stand out amongst your competitors.
Handling the Zoom Introduction
With more and more Zoom/virtual meetings and interviews, it’s important to still portray a marketable and employable presence. Although this may prompt your meeting to be a bit more personable and light-hearted, it’s still important to show professionalism.
Treat your Zoom interview like a regular interview…
- Instead of bringing in paper copies, send along your resume/cover letter prior to the meeting so that they can reference while you are talking.
- Although you have the opportunity to take these interviews from anywhere – try not to make it look like you’re in PJs on the couch! Dress to impress and choose an area with a good backdrop that is not too distracting.
- Chances are you’re not the only one in the house during these calls but try to avoid animals and children in the background. The pandemic has lightened the feel about working with children at home, so it probably won’t ruin your chances, but will still be more professional to avoid any distractions or interjections from anyone but yourself.
One way to use a virtual interview to your advantage…you can have some notes without being obvious about it! It couldn’t hurt to print some talking points and key questions out and stick them next to your screen. Although the video might be nerve-racking, it can also be beneficial!
For more information on remote interviewing, be sure to check out this article on JCSI’s website. JCSI has compiled some tips and tricks on mastering remote interviews and making a lasting impression, even if it is through the screen.
Getting back on your feet during the pandemic can be nerve-racking and overwhelming, especially with the new adaptations of the workforce through a more virtual world. There are several simple and easy steps that can be used in order to ease your mind and help you become more employable.
About The Author
Bergin Sullivan is a recent graduate from the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is continuing her education as a graduate student working towards a Master of Business Administration. With a passion for Marketing, she has recently taken on a Marketing role at JCSI – a supplemental recruitment company where she has experience in both recruiting and sales. Bergin has future hopes to pursue her passion for entrepreneurship and leadership one day.