How to Find a Job During a Pandemic
A pandemic is a difficult time for both the employed and the self-employed. You might have heard that there’s a bit of a job crisis going on right now. The current unemployment rate is 6.57 percent, but among the self-employed, it’s 10 percent, according to recent figures.
If you’re part of the self-employed group, it’s crucial to know how to find work – not just because you need the money, but because you’re also helping the economy. Luckily, there are some things you can do to boost your chances of landing your first job in a pandemic. Here’s what you need to know:
Get active in your local community
Being self-employed means having to do a lot of the leg work yourself, and one of the most critical things you must do is show your face to potential clients.
“I’m often advising folks to consider their elevator pitch,” says an expert from Qjobs. We recommend practising your elevator pitch on family members, friends and anyone who will listen, but before you jump into it, we recommend knowing your audience.
When you’re meeting with a recruiter or a potential employer, they’re certainly going to give you 30 seconds or less of their attention. So, really think about what’s important to your potential employer. You only have a small window of time, so make your pitch memorable. People often forget to include themselves [in their pitch]. We recommend saying “I’m a certified public accountant”, or “I’m a tax accountant with a specialisation in construction”, or whatever your specialty is.
The unemployment rate is relatively low right now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs to be had. There’s a lot of talent, but there’s also a lot of talent that’s unemployed. So, it’s a competitive environment.
We recommend creating a LinkedIn profile and joining different networking groups, as well as staying active on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If you’re not at least on LinkedIn, you’re not in the game to find your first job in a pandemic.
We recommend joining groups where your clients might be. If you’re a tax preparer, join the Facebook group of your accountant association and if you’re a marketing person, join the marketing group. While you’re on LinkedIn, we recommend asking your clients or friends to write a recommendation for you. Even if you work remotely, ask for recommendations.
There are a lot of things you can do on LinkedIn. You can post articles, you can post status updates, you can post questions. You can post questions to groups, and you can comment on articles. We recommend writing articles, or asking your clients/previous coworkers to write articles about your area of expertise, and then posting those articles on LinkedIn.
Learn new skills and find your niche
There are multiple courses available online on platforms that help you continue education. Coursera, Udemy and UpGrad are some of the widely recognised certification institutes.
In this current job market, it’s important to find your niche. You have to know your strengths. You have to know what you do well, and you have to be able to communicate that. You have to be able to communicate your value proposition. You have to know what your value proposition is to a potential employer.
We recommend taking an inventory of your strengths. What are you good at? What are you great at? What do you enjoy doing? This is the time to market your expertise.
Don’t be afraid to ask; identify people who can help
One of the biggest things people need to realise is they’re not alone. There are other people who are finding their first jobs in a pandemic. It’s important to remember that you’re all in this together. Among your circles, professional or otherwise, ask people to help with your resume, or guide you on upskilling yourself to get a job. We also recommend asking friends, family and colleagues for a job referral.
Draft a resume draft and a cover letter
A resume and cover letter are your introduction to potential employers. They tell an employer about your education, experience and the type of work you are capable of. Think of your resume and cover letter as an advertisement for yourself.
A resume and cover letter should highlight your strengths and accomplishments. Their purpose is to show how your education, experience and abilities are a good match for the job for which you are applying.
A resume and cover letter should be easy to read. Use a font that is easy to read and stay away from fancy and hard to read fonts. Don’t use colored paper.
Before you start your resume and cover letter, there are a few things you need to do.
When you write a resume and cover letter, it is important to use action verbs and not passive verbs. For example, “I wrote” is not as strong as “I wrote the article”.
Use the Qjobs job portal
On the Qjobs portal, you can find advice on how to choose your first job in a pandemic, and many potential job listings that you could apply for in a single click! You can filter jobs according to the role as well as any other criteria you may have.
Be open to internships or freelancing projects
In case you do not have any pre-existing clientele to act as a reference for your skill set, you should be open to taking up internships to develop those very important industry connects, and you should use websites such as Fiverr to take up freelance projects.
Practice mock interviews
Mock interviews are simulated interviews. They help you gain experience in interviewing as well as increase your confidence.
A mock interview is usually conducted with one person, sometimes two, and conducted by an alumni interviewer. The interviewer plays the role of a hiring manager and asks you questions. The questions are similar to what will be asked in a real interview.