During the best of times, looking for a job can be a struggle, but in a time when the world is in an uproar and millions of others are looking for a job as well, more than ever, landing that ideal job requires creativity and persistence.
Whether you’re a college student about to graduate, unemployed and wondering whether your job will come back, or steadily employed but ready for a change, Barb Upton, with P2 Consulting (ptwoconsulting.com) has some strong advice for you.
Bonita Gooch, editor-in-chief of The Community Voice and Upton addressed issues designed to help anyone looking for a job during pandemic times, for an edition of our Survival Series, interviews to help our readers survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Is there anywhere to look for a job right now?
I would suggest looking toward the essential service industries. That would include healthcare, public safety, and some of the service industries. That’s where the bulk of the opportunities are because that’s where the great needs are right now. Your over-the-road companies are hiring – truck drivers and delivery services. Instead of going shopping, people are shopping online, so Amazon.com is hiring.
Recommendations for using job boards
Job boards are a great and efficient way to look for jobs. In doing so, I encourage my clients to take it a step further, not just go and look for jobs on job boards but set up job alerts. They will help individuals in knowing when new opportunities are posted that are specific to their interests. I also encourage people to load their resume to the job board database. A lot of employers are set up where they have a relationship, or contracts with these job boards where they have access to the entire resume database. So that way, not only are you seeking employers, but employers are seeking you.
Refresh your resume
With so many people looking for jobs right now, I have to emphasize the importance of proper planning and preparation. If you can, hire a professional to help you with customizing your resume, to make it more targeted to the type of jobs that you want to get hired for. If you’re wanting to change industries now, identify transferable skills and look for ways to highlight them in your resume.
Learn to market yourself
Just a great looking resume doesn’t get you the job. Often I would see a great resume but when I would interview the individual they didn’t know how to best market themselves. Consider hiring a coach to help your prepare for an interview, because it’s not just about getting to the table, but how well are you able to sell yourself once you get to the table. That’s what gets you the job.
Tips for graduating college students
A study performed last year by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 27% of college graduates work in their field. That was the reality before the pandemic, so that’s why I always encourage new grads coming out of college, and especially now; don’t narrow your options. Certainly, expand those options. Use online opportunities to network, use the resources of the university for placements, and consider going into fields that you may not have thought of, but are where they can use transferable skills. They should highlight those transferable skills on their resume and get in the door.
If you can’t get directly into your field, I encourage job shadowing. I also encourage networking with individuals who are where you would like to get to in terms of your career path.
Also, you may have to start from a lower-level position, just to get in the door, and then build your experience, all of which adds to your formal education. Often times I think the perception is, ‘I’m graduating, I have my degree, now I’m going to go and land that six-figure job.” That’s not the reality. Oftentimes you have to build your career, so it takes patience.