Inside: Tips to jumpstart your career in a competitive and challenging job market. COVID-19 has changed everything, how will you respond? Advice from Vanessa Holwell at HiringSquad.net.
COVID-19 changed the job market as we know it, with millions of people unemployed and countless businesses closing their doors permanently.
Despite the havoc that the pandemic has wreaked on the economy, some sectors are thriving. Companies that help people work, eat, and shop from home are poised to boom, as are customer service, warehouse, healthcare, and government-related jobs.
However, even with hiring up in some sectors, job seekers shouldn’t expect an easy search. With a lot of people competing for limited jobs, getting hired will be more competitive than ever.
If you’re searching for work, use these resources to learn how you can gain a competitive edge and land the job you want.
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Jumpstart Your Career by Reskilling for a New One
Some jobs will be gone forever due to the pandemic, and the people who worked them will be forced to find work in a new sector. To be sure you have the right skills for the job, Fast Company suggests using online education resources to familiarize yourself with these areas of expertise:
- Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence is a fast-growing field and has been named the top hard skill for 2020 by LinkedIn.
- Data analytics: Data science and machine learning are also in high demand, accounting for five of the top 15 fastest-growing jobs in America.
- Digital marketing: As businesses shift online, digital marketers are also getting hired. Skills like search engine optimization, email marketing, and social media marketing will help you land a job in this field.
Take Stock of Your Leadership Skills
Getting hired is hard enough. Getting hired in a new sector and at a position close to your previous level adds a new level of challenge. In addition to reskilling, to jumpstart your career be prepared to demonstrate leadership skills like these on paper and in interviews:
- People skills and openness are a top priority for today’s business leaders. Jobseekers should prepare to discuss relationship-building and how they handle mistakes on the job.
- Similarly, companies are looking for people with integrity. When you do what you say you’ll do, companies know they can count on you.
- Finally, managers in a post-pandemic world need to be fearless in the face of new business challenges. Consider how you’ve solved major problems in the past and how you can use those skills to benefit a future employer.
Get Remote Work Ready
On top of having the skills for the job, candidates will increasingly need remote work capabilities in the new economy. But what if you’ve never worked a remote job? As U.S.News explains, these tips will help new remote jobseekers assure employers that they’re ready to work from home:
- Familiarize yourself with tech tools: Remote job candidates should familiarize themselves with video conferencing tools before the interview to prevent hiccups. Use free trials to acquaint yourself with other remote work tools listed in the job posting.
- Showcase self-discipline: The ability to stay on-task without supervision is key for remote employees. Candidates should be prepared to discuss how they stay productive and hold themselves accountable at work.
- Demonstrate collaborative skills: Remote workers also need to work well together, even from far away. Learn the ropes of popular collaboration tools like Google Docs and prepare success stories of collaboration from past jobs.
Ace the Video Interview
Employers will be increasingly relying on remote interviewing now and in the future. While some jobseekers relish the ability to interview from the comfort of home, video interviews are harder than they seem. Use these tips to make sure your next first video interview is a success:
- A lagging connection dooms a video interview from the start. Test your connection for speed and arrange to interview elsewhere or by phone if it’s lacking.
- Video interviewees should arrange their webcam and monitor so that when they’re looking at their display, they’re also looking towards the camera. This arrangement allows for eye contact while the interviewer is speaking.
- Keep clutter, family members, and pets out of your video background and instead use a professional backdrop like a neutral wall.
- Whether it’s a reminder to make eye contact or a note about key project examples, Post-Its around the computer are a handy video interview hack.
Jumpstart Your Career Today!
Some people will be able to restart their jobs after COVID-19, temporarily hobbled by the pandemic but able to keep moving forward. Others, however, will have to rethink their careers entirely and learn new skills to stay relevant in the coronavirus-shaken economy. No matter where you land, make sure you’re taking the right steps to get back on your feet.
Thank you, Vanessa for these great tips to jumpstart your career as we head into an unprecedented job market. It’s a whole new world out there and I love seeing people supporting one another to find success!
For additional tips to help move your job search forward check out 5 Ways to Rock a Remote Job Search and Keep Your Social Distance.