The corona virus pandemic has created a new normal, and unemployment has skyrocketed. Whether you are looking to find employment or to change jobs during these difficult times, steps can be taken to make yourself more employable.
Here are three of the most important actions to take right now.
1. Make Your Resume More Professional
A job applicant only gets one chance to make a first impression, and that first impression is usually the resume he submits. While stuck at home on lock down, take an objective look at your current resume. What impression does it convey about you?
If the employer receives 20 resumes for the position you want, would your resume stand out? Put yourself in the shoes of the person who is hiring. What would draw your attention to a resume? What would put you off?
One size does not fit all when it comes to resumes. The same resume will not be effective for all potential employers. Tailor your basic resume to the specific position for which you are applying. If a particular skill is an important part of that job, focus on your experience in that area. List references who can attest to your mastery of it.
Remember that the information in a resume is not the only thing an employer gleans from reading it. Are there typos or spacing errors in it? If so, the employer may conclude you are careless. He may also think you could not handle a detail-oriented position if you cannot even proof your own resume.
2. Learn A New Skill
During lock down, reduced working hours, or unemployment, more free time is available. Put that time to good use. Rather than binge a Netflix show, you could choose to acquire a new skill. The more skills you have, the more attractive and marketable you are.
You cannot take a class at the local college if it is closed, but you can still learn something. A wide variety of free tutorials are available on YouTube or other online sites. Find out how to edit a document using Track Changes or how to make spreadsheets with Excel. Never scheduled or participated in a Zoom meeting? You are behind the times. Practice doing so with friends or relatives.
Some online classes may require payment, but they can pay off in the end. Want to secure a job with a bank or a real estate office? Being a notary public would be a plus. Paying for the brief required online education and the application fee to receive your notary commission could be an investment in your employment future.
3. Make And Use Your Connections
It is often said that it is not what you know but who you know. While you must know something to obtain that dream job, it also helps to take advantage of who you know. Jobs can be discovered through your connections, and not just by sifting through postings on Indeed.com.
While on social media, take time to communicate with friends, relatives, and acquaintances socially. After connecting, make these contacts aware you are searching for a job. They can keep an eye out for employment possibilities and pass them along to you.
Are you on LinkedIn? If not, get on it. LinkedIn is a professional and effective way to make connections with those in your field; some of them may even be potential employers. Postings by these connections can keep you up to date on industry trends and helpful information to those seeking employment. You can also conduct a job search on LinkedIn.
Bonus tip: Volunteer
Churches and community organizations are organizing food giveaways; helping hands are needed to run those events. While volunteering you will meet new people and deepen connections with those you might know only superficially. Those observing you helping others may desire to help you out in turn, by passing along job leads. Add these volunteer activities to your resume to project the image of a productive and caring individual who might be a good addition to an employer’s team.
Use additional free time available during the pandemic to work on making yourself more employable. Steps such as ramping up your resume, adding to your skill set, and making and using connections will aid your efforts to secure your next job.