There’s a Disney song that goes, “A whole new world, that’s where we'll be, a thrilling chase for you and me”, which sums up the new landscape of job hunting during the time of COVID-19. Whether you truly feel it’s thrilling, or possibly a bit daunting is the question.
It’s all about setting yourself up for success and knowing the new, and some old rules, to abide by so you create that experience as a good one. This “whole new world” isn’t going away any time soon, and below you’ll learn some tips on how to job hunt and make yourself stand out in this completely digital space.
Looking for full-time, freelance, contract or temporary work?
Make Yourself Shine Online
You’ll need to overcome the loss of that in-person interview by making yourself stand out in other ways. Now is the time to boost your online presence.
Have you looked at your resume recently?
Is it time to update/upgrade your documented experience by making your resume concise and professional? There are many sites out there that can help guide you with making the right decisions when it comes to representing yourself on paper. Check out sites like Rezalu, it has a “feature-rich resume builder and tool to take the stress out of building a resume.”
Once you have your resume created, don’t forget to tell a story about how TECH SAVVY you really are.
Add all the technical proficiencies you can to your resume. And don’t leave out that you’re running zoom calls on a daily basis, between multiple time zones and that you’re G-chatting or Slacking with your team, non-stop, to get your projects to that finish line. Managers love to hear the tactical approach whenever possible.
Social Media – Friend or Foe?
Hiring managers are relying on all avenues of digital “calling cards” to get a real sense of who you are. So remember, when it comes to personal social media sites, make it PC or make it PRIVATE. There are too many times when hiring managers come to us and say this candidate is fabulous, but I do not think they’ll represent us in a positive light since their Instagram page is taking us down a rabbit hole of last weekend's adventures.
There Are No Boundaries; Search Far, Wide and Deep
Remote is the new office, so stop thinking you have to look for jobs you can commute to. This is your chance to chase that New York City dream job without even being there. It’s your job to remind yourself that you shouldn’t get stuck on locations, titles or even particular verticals. No one has the magic mirror that is going to tell them when companies will “go back to the office”. So, take advantage of the fact that most companies are open to having talent sit in any market, keeping in mind that you’ll likely have to stick to the company’s time zone for workable hours.
Once you find that job you want to go after, do not forget the age old rule to tailor your application to the job you’re applying for. This is a practice that holds true for any and every job search. The extra effort that this takes will push you above the other candidates you're being compared to. *Remember, most hiring managers give your resume, on average, about 10 seconds of a glance. KEYWORDS people - always think keywords!
Work that Network
Remember, this is your time to shine. Just as your social media accounts should be PC to reflect the best version of you, LinkedIn will be one of your strongest allies to show hiring managers ‘what you got’. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and really gives a clear picture of your experience. This is your digital resume presented for all to see. Recruiters and companies don’t chase the talent who barely explain what they did in each of their previous roles. Here’s some additional LinkedIn best practices.
- Follow your favorite people, the companies you would love to work for.
- Sign up for as many groups you can.
- Show your interest by getting involved by leaving comments or posting topics that you’re passionate about.
- Join Virtual Networking events - our friendly online rooms can bring people together from all walks of life. Eventbrite is great at pulling together virtual networking events… https://www.eventbrite.com/d/online/networking/
- Look at your first and second connections
- Referrals can be your best friend. It’s the Six Degrees of Separation, someone you know is bound to know Kevin Bacon or someone who’s looking to hire someone like you!
- Referrals want to help you too. When asked if I love my job, I always want to scream YES! There’s not a better feeling than helping someone on their way to getting a job, a livelihood, a chance to improve their lives. Your referrals will feel this way too.
You secured an interview, Now Clean Up!
Grab your pen, grab your notebook and pretend you’re going to your in-person interview because that’s how you should treat it. Don’t get fooled that the video interview will be less intense because you’re not sitting across from the hiring manager. If anything in some ways it might be more so.
Some things to remember…
- Video interviews take some getting used to as the normal pauses and conversation pace can get a little muffled when you're speaking to someone online.
- Do your research, look at who you're interviewing with, what groups are they a member of, what are their hobbies, where do they live? Find that common point of interest to overcome the first couple minutes of awkwardness. Establish rapport and a relationship.
- Prepare your interview questions and make sure you research the company you’re interviewing with.
- Make sure the room you choose to interview from is clean and if possible, leave your bed out of the background. No matter how on point you are, the bedroom can give a feeling of being unprofessional and less buttoned-up.
- Leave your creative zoom backgrounds for once you secure the job.
- Sign on at least 5 minutes early, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is scrambling for the links and codes to get into the virtual room while the interviewer is waiting.
And my last piece of advice is if you choose to dress the part up top, but not below, please turn off your camera before you stand up!
Don’t let the new world of virtual job searching intimidate you. Put in place the best practices I’ve covered and you’ll be on your way to that “thrilling chase” of finding a new job and expanding your career.