Due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have put a freeze on hiring unless they are searching for individuals with the skills to fill infrastructure or other critical positions. The key to landing a job regardless of economic times is to be different than those with whom you are competing. Hiring managers want people who will generate results and improve the competitive position of the company.
Your next job most likely will originate from your business or personal network. Be sure to continue to build your network and maintain contact with those individuals who are part of it. So, how do you improve the chances of getting hired?
Check out these 5 tips to help you navigate the process during the pandemic and the accompanying economic slowdown.
- Build your personal brand
Personal branding is the marketing of a person’s strengths, capabilities, talents and background. Simply put, personal branding is establishing a specific image or impression of a person in the mind of others that evokes positive emotions. How do you build a personal brand? Do your job and do it well. Develop your reputation as a thought leader and as a recognized authority in your field. Make presentations at industry events. Develop a reputation for honesty and integrity.
- Hone your communication skills
Be effective when making a PowerPoint presentation, ensuring that the audience can read your slides. Always place yourself in the position of an audience member and ask yourself, is this an effective presentation? When you are selling ideas, you are selling yourself. Those with the highest credibility will have an easier time having their ideas considered and accepted (landing a job).
- Be committed to providing a great customer experience
Customer service is universal. To build competitive advantage, treat customers like you would like to be treated. Give them a great customer experience.
- Embrace the philosophy of continuous improvement
Another tip for landing a job: On your resume and at interviews, describe how you helped break paradigms and changed the culture in previous positions to one of continuously improving work processes. How did you accomplish this? During your interview, explain how continuous improvement builds competitive advantage. If the company at which you are interviewing shows no interest in continuous improvement, reconsider your desire to work there.
- Exhibit a proactive, can-do attitude
Employers hire people with the right attitude. Relate previous experiences that demonstrate you are not afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. People who have never failed have never accomplished what they are capable of, nor have they built the internal fortitude to recover from inevitable failures in the future. There are people who see a world of possibilities and abundance versus those who see limitations and scarcity. Employers want to hire the former. Follow the above advice throughout your entire career and employers will search you out.
During an economic slowdown, it’s important to focus on what you can control—improving your skills and reaching out to your network, You can lay the groundwork now so that when the crisis is over you have opened doors and rekindled relationships. Career experts say that as you work towards landing a job, it is best to keep networking and applying, provided you change your approach a bit to acknowledge these are uncertain times. Even when there is a competitive labor market, there are some people who still strike it lucky. If you’re applying and monitoring every day, chances are you will get a job and a good job. This is really a time to understand that the job market is really competitive and to be the best competitor you can.
- Add remote-friendly keywords to your resumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile
Since many employees are now working from home and many hiring managers expect people they bring on will, too, it’s critical to show your aptitude and experience at it. Mention specific video technologies you’ve used, such as WebEx or Zoom. Cite your familiarity with document-sharing tools like Google Docs. And detail how you worked remotely. For example, “Led a remote team of 15 employees across multiple time zones from a dedicated home office.” Include and highlight relevant soft skills, too — such as time management or written communication that demonstrate you can be as productive working from home as in an office.
Even when there is a competitive labor market, there are some people who still strike it lucky. If you’re applying and monitoring every day, chances are you will get a job and a good job. This is really a time to understand that the job market is really competitive and to be the best competitor you can.