Are You Truly Ready for Today’s Changed Job Market?
The novel coronavirus has changed how we live our lives as well as how we work. Most of us had hoped that we would be back to normal by early 2021, but the impact of COVID-19 will continue well into the year.
While many of us are working from home, others have lost their jobs and the primary means to provide for their families. If you are one of the many who have been thrown back into the job market, then preparing yourself to succeed will be crucial for your success.
The following best practices will help you get there.
You need a solid game plan if you hope to outperform the competition, that is, others who are actively seeking jobs. Do you have your cover letter ready, with an updated resume? Are all your documents tailored to the jobs you are targeting? A one-size-fits-all approach does not work anymore. Instead, plan out your strategy by following these steps:
- Review your career documents for accuracy and relevance
- Customize your resume and cover letter before submitting to insure you meet many or all of the requirements of the job
- Set a regular pace for the number jobs that you want to apply to each week, and keep track of your progress and any follow-up activity
- Create a list of the top employers you would like to work for, and do your research on those organizations so that you can engage with the employer if you land an interview
Remember, you are not the only candidate in the mix. By establishing a solid plan for your job search you will increase the likelihood of success.
Build Your Own Brand
Branding isn’t just for businesses, it’s for professionals as well. Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have been confined to our homes for extended periods of time. This confinement has resulted in an explosion of social media usage. On a personal level you might not see any harm in voicing your opinion with others, but on a professional level you need to be careful how your views come across to a potential employer. Are your comments controversial or offensive? Do they reflect who you truly are? What type of people are drawn to your profile? Are they just personal contacts, or are any professional? Most employers will check to see how you present yourself on social media, so be sure that you are presenting yourself in a positive and professional manner.
Take Stock of Your Skills
When did you last receive any training in your field? Months? Years? If a considerable amount of time has elapsed since you last had any training, now would be the perfect time to take stock in what you need to do to make you more desirable to an employer.
With so many possibilities, how will you choose what to learn? Review the roles in which you might have an interest. What skills and qualifications will you need for those roles? Compare them with your current skills. The Internet is a great source for information, and you might even find some free classes or programs to help you brush up on your current skills or get certified for a new one. Taking advantage of all the resources available to you to remain up-to-date or state-of-the-art will make you a more attractive candidate.
Look Beyond Your Comfort Zone
The dramatic impacts on businesses from COVID-19 will have long-lasting impacts on specific sectors and jobs. Job seekers often get stuck in the mindset that they can only do the job for which they were originally trained. More often than not, you have developed other skills within your job that can help you transition into another field or role. For example, if you have worked in the banking field most of your life you have most certainly developed transferable skills and capabilities that would be useful in another industry such as real estate, insurance or finance. Being willing to leave your comfort zone to pursue a new job could actually lead to a more lucrative position and a more exciting career path. Don’t let the fear of change hold you back!
Take Advantage of Developing Market Opportunities
Within the post-pandemic world many industries will see an uptick in sales. Now is the time to take advantage of these recent shifts if you have any skills to contribute to these markets:
- Education (e.g., remote learning)
- Retail (e.g., online shopping)
- Finance (e.g., branchless banking and contactless payments)
- Healthcare (e.g., telehealth)
- Food Services (e.g., grocery delivery)
- Security (e.g., cybersecurity)
- Computer technology (e.g., 5G and the growth of bandwidth)
- Logistics (e.g., regional logistic hubs)
Do your research and determine if any of these rising markets would be a good fit for you.
By getting yourself set up for success, expanding your horizons, and being upbeat and persistent, you might just find a new and exciting career waiting for you in 2021! If you would like to explore how your current capabilities and career interests match up with today’s hiring environment, contact us to start a confidential discussion!
(written by: Denise)