How To Navigate Job Hunting During A Period Of Extreme Unemployment
Job hunting during a period of a pandemic and economic crisis isn't easy. But
Over the last month, America has experienced a collective wake-up call, unlike anything we’ve seen before. As we face these increasingly complex societal challenges, one fact remains clear: unemployment is plaguing countless industries and millions of Americans. If you haven’t been laid off or furloughed, you likely know someone who has.
As more small businesses furlough workers, shutter or close during this period of uncertainty, it will be critical for impacted workers to identify all the best practices and approaches for finding the next job opportunity. Depending on your field of expertise, level of experience, location, and ability to work, the approaches you take may differ from others.
Finding companies that are still actively hiring can feel overwhelming, but it isn’t impossible. Numerous resources have surfaced in recent weeks that make this search easier. For example, the team at Levels.fyi created this database and the salary negotiation resource company Candor created this database that enables users to contribute to the list of companies that are still hiring.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for job hunters who are facing questions about what to do.
Broadcast your career ambitions to your personal and social networks openly and be willing to get leads and introductions for new opportunities. Start by asking for referrals from family, friends, and previous co-workers/bosses.
Diversify the types of companies and industries you are job searching in, regardless of your prior experience or skills. This will protect you from losing all your job prospects in the event that one particular industry struggles during your search.
Focus on companies that aren’t overly dependent on discretionary consumer spending because it will likely be among the ones challenged for a meaningful recovery during this recession.
Consider freelance, contract, and 1099 opportunities if you are nearing a financial hardship.
Have multiple variations of your resume available for different jobs and industries, using relevant industry language where appropriate.
Have a 30-second elevator pitch about your skills and experience memorized and ready to use in any daily interactions you may have with neighbors, local business owners, and prospective employers.
Remain positive, persistent, and ambitious. Everything is cyclical and things will get better.
Don’t compromise significantly on large salary variations from what you can demand in the market today. It will be much harder to work your way back up to where you are now.
Don’t try to make upward leaps in job scope and responsibility if you aren’t moderately qualified for the job. Taking this risk could increase the likelihood you don’t last in that job and may put you right back to where you are now.
Don’t limit the places you are looking for new opportunities. No candidate is too attractive to not leverage job boards. Google, LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Craigslist, and other platforms should all be sources for your job search.
Don’t take a job that requires relocation or drastic change in your lifestyle unless you will be fully compensated for any and all relevant expenses.
Don’t stop investing in learning new skills that could make you more marketable in a healthier economy.
Don’t constantly listen to news or TV programs that repeatedly harp on the economic challenges - just take action and stay focused on your goals
While some of these tips may be obvious, others may be the right message you need to see right now. Being proactive and energetically searching for your next career is the only sensible thing to do if you are without a job or nearing that point.
Like all prior economic challenges, we will eventually come out on the other side with new optimism and more experience under our belts.