A while back, not very long ago, job seekers had to scan through so many newspapers to find vacancies. At the time, newspaper ads were the only way employers could reach a large number of potential candidates across a wider geographic area. Everything has changed now. Technology emerged and evolved, bringing about innovations. The digital age we live now in has made means of seeking employment a whole lot easier with job seekers having access to companies and positions of interest where they can flexibly showcase their skills. Employers also now reach a large pool of talents with ease and can target suitable candidates for available positions beyond their curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letters.
Unfortunately with the pandemic in 2020, most companies adopted remote working – a way of working most of us was not used to, in a bid to survive in the midst of it all. This restructuring led job losses and job seekers wondering if they should still keep applying for vacant roles or hold on till an unforeseeable future. This may not be the case forever so one must start preparing for job openings in the future. We believe these few tips will help you navigate through the process during this economic slowdown;
- CREATE A GOOD UP-TO-DATE CV
This is the one important and necessary tip in job search as your CV speaks on your behalf in your absence! Imagine being asked by a potential employer to send in your resume for a vacancy and the CV you forward is out-dated; does not embody all your skill set and achievements. You will definitely not be shortlisted for the role because the required experience was not outlined on your CV, even though you might have it. An employer receives hundreds of applications from diverse candidates who have the similar skill set. If your CV therefore does not fully portray your experiences, you will miss out on the opportunity. With technology being our new ‘best friend’, it is easy to find online sample CVs and cover letters to replicate, stating clearly all the relevant skill set you gained over the years. You can also create a generic CV which included the various experiences but make sure to draft one that fits the particular role you are applying for, outlining all past and transferable skills.
- BOOST YOUR SKILLS
Imagine getting a job offer and realising your skill set and experience does not match the requirements. If COVID taught us anything at all, it taught us to explore and learn new things. Review job requirements in your profession, identify skills that you lack but can easily bolster and find a course or educational material you can utilize to better that skill. If you have gotten rusty at any skill, this is the time to practise them more often and get better at them. Remember, the aim is to be the candidate employers cannot overlook!
- NETWORK EXTENSIVELY
Never underestimate the value of networking and building a social presence when it comes to job searching. We may not be aware of who the next person is or how well connected they are. With physical events being drastically reduced or cancelled, one must find virtual ways to meet new people. Your best bet is to find like-minded individuals in and out of your profession on social apps like Facebook and LinkedIn where there is a wide range of groups and communities for every profession. Connect, comment, get updated with industry trends and ask all the relevant questions on post that you have knowledge about. Tell your friends and closest acquaintances of your job search. They can keep you informed as well.
- RESEARCH THE COMPANY
With most companies digitizing their operations due to new requirements, job seekers can now digitally gather relevant information on a company’s culture and the new competencies they are looking for. As companies utilise their social apps, you can pay attention to the information they put out and take note of all vital pointers regarding their strengths and shortfalls. Follow the company (ies) of your choice and note how they operate during times like these and the measures management and/ or business owners have put in place for their employees. This will give you a general idea of what you will be getting yourself into, for informed decision purposes, should you get a job offer from the company.
- BE READY FOR THE INTERVIEW
As you are constantly hoping to land that dream job, you must also be ready for when the opportunity comes. Get yourself acquainted with video conference apps like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts Microsoft Teams and the likes since virtual meetings are the new normal. Practice for interviews by getting a friend, colleague or relative to take you through some likely interview questions (you can find these online). Make sure you are properly informed about the business and the role in general and get practical examples to back all the skills you have listed on your CV. Aim at leaving a positive impression on the panel with your fluency, articulation and brief response to questions asked.
- VOLUNTEER! VOLUNTEER! VOLUNTEER!
We understand that a lot of people have lost their jobs due to various reasons during this pandemic but that should not make you idle. Yes, people are fighting to stay well and alive and so are businesses. As various solutions are being sought to address the pandemic, the economy must be built up again. In order to stay relevant, we encourage you to look out for volunteering or part-time opportunities in and outside your field and be of service. Not only will this keep the business afloat but add on to the experiences you have gained so far. This, in our opinion, will give you an edge over all the other applicants you will be in the race with!
- IN ADDITION…
Take the time to get yourself familiar with the digital era. It is here to stay. Remember this; in a time where the number of job seekers is greatly higher than the available roles, it is important you focus on creating a path to that dream job now for the future. Creatively put yourself out there by being focused and strategic. Work hard towards your goals and invest in yourself. Good luck!