No one expected a virus to interrupt over a month of our lives. Sheesh. But we’re making the best of it. Some of us picking up new hobbies (yes, I bought a ukulele), spending more time with our kids, or more than likely just powering through all of those Netflix shows you’ve been wanting to watch.
The increase in unemployment, furloughed employees, and hour cuts have created an insane amount of downtime and especially if you are looking for a new career opportunity right now, it can be discouraging to see the minimal amount of companies actually hiring… Interview processes have slowed or paused. Businesses are holding their budgets close to their chests. This isn’t news to anyone. It sucks out there right now.
But here’s the thing:
Companies WILL hire again.
In fact, most of them desperately still need the assistance of new employees. They just can’t pull the trigger right now.
But, it’s important that you don’t get too frustrated. This is a temporary situation and you certainly aren’t the only one dealing with it either. What is also important is that you channel your energy somewhere productive and honestly just do one thing:
Simple, but highly effective. Here’s How:
Keep applying to positions
Whether you agree with this or not, a majority of hiring managers (and recruiting firms) are leaving their job postings up, even though they’re not hiring right this second.
“Well Devan. That’s horrible and dishonest. If the job’s not open, they should take it down. That’s false hope for the applicants.”
I mean…not if you think about it.
It’s in EVERYONE’S best interest that the hiring managers continue to field resumes. They will hire this person eventually. Maybe in a week, a few weeks, or a month. The interview kickoff is just merely delayed. So. As a candidate, why wouldn’t you want to proactively get your information to the hiring manager so they can evaluate you early? Will they call you right away? Maybe, maybe not. They might screen you and set expectations that they can’t start the process yet or maybe they’ll wait until they can. Either way, it’s a better position to be in. Get ahead of the game.
Build connections with recruiters
This is the perfect time to create a trusted relationship with a recruiter, if you haven’t already. Go into the conversation not expecting a job to be available, but to lay the groundwork of who you are, what your experience is, and what you’re looking for when things pick back up.
From a recruiter’s perspective, it’s ALWAYS better to have candidates ready to go that you’ve built rapport with vs. having to seek them out from scratch.
Already have a recruiter buddy? Send them a message! Reconnect. Update them on your life. Get the scoop on what they’re hearing from their clients and when they expect jobs to open back up. Recruiters are on the front lines and have the direct ear of the hiring managers to know what they’re next moves will be.
Update your job search arsenal
I cannot stress this enough. This downtime is the PERFECT opportunity to clean up, ramp up, and step up your personal branding tools. You have time to finally add all of those recent projects to your resume. Update your sales quota numbers on your Linkedin profile. Heck, take a new photo! Start posting a few days a week and engage with others online. And no, that doesn’t mean you just blindly blast your resume into people’s inboxes or comment on everyone’s posts “I’m looking for a new job.” Genuinely connect and have fun with different topics. By not solely focusing on your agenda, you can develop more organic relationships.
**Side note: This is an optimal time to collect fresh references. When’s the last time you updated your references? Heck, when’s the last time you TALKED to your references? See if there are opportunities to bring in some “fresh meat”. Your camp counselor from 10 years ago probably isn’t going to help you out much anymore…Especially if you were recently laid off, there’s a good chance you still have a positive relationship with your supervisor. Leverage that. With references, the newer the better.
Creating a pipeline of connections and relationships is about the smartest thing you can do right now. The job market WILL pick back up soon. But as we’re all sitting in the waiting room, you might as well do what you can, right?