Things have changed a lot over the last few weeks due to Coronavirus. Adjusting to this new “normal” is a process for everyone. For many, the prospect of being without a job just became higher, and this adds a new layer of anxiety at an already stressful time. Whether you’ve already been laid off, or you fear that you may be in the future, here are 5 things you can do today to position yourself for better success should you find yourself suddenly in the job market.
1. Update Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile
This one is a bit of a given, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it first since it’s step one of preparing for a job search. Take some time to ensure your resume reflects your current responsibilities, accomplishments, and experience. Focus on results you’ve achieved when possible, providing examples that would impress potential employers.
2. Practice Digital Interview Skills
Your next interview is probably going to be a digital one. For many, this is more stressful than an in-person interview, so preparation is critical. Practice recording yourself on your computer, tablet, or even a smart phone. Download a digital meeting App like Amazon Chime or Zoom. Invite a friend or family member to join your meeting and ask them to practice interview questions with you. They can ask you things like, “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you think you’re a good fit for the role?” If you’re pre-recording your responses on your own, play your responses back and rate yourself on eye contact, tone of voice, body language, and content. If you’re participating via an App with another person, ask them to rate you in these areas.
3. Take Refresher Courses in Key Skill Areas
We all are guilty of getting “stale” in certain areas over time, but now is a great time to refresh your skills in areas that matter to your industry. If your abilities have become rusty or outdated in a particular area, now is a great time to brush up. There are a lot of platforms offering free or discounted tutorials and courses, so take advantage and use them to refine and develop marketable skills that would help you sell yourself in a job interview.
4. Research Potential Employers & Follow Them in the News
Start thinking about who else you may be able to work for and check out what those companies are doing by following them on social media and in the news. See what kind of content they are sharing and what kind of conversations they’re starting. Focus your research on companies who have jobs actively posted on a regular basis and who are continuing to be active on social media. These are both signs that they will continue to operate (and hire) during the next few weeks/months of uncertainty.
5. Be Active on Social Media & Networking Sites
Use any extra time to your advantage by updating your social media profiles and by engaging with as many contacts as you can. Networking is an important part of preparing for a job search, so it’s wise to remind people that you’re smart and savvy in your field. You can do this subtly by posting links to articles or discussion boards in your field, or even by writing your own. If you have contacts on your social sites who are in similar careers, send them notes to see how they’re doing and how their business is doing. The more touch points and networking contacts you can engage, the better your chances are that someone will be able to help if you do find yourself unexpectedly in the job market.
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