Job Search during pandemic – The WHATs and HOWs

16 Nov 2020

With over nine million people infected with the novel coronavirus, the economy of the U.S has come to a standstill. There has been a rise in unemployment because of the slow business run.

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Various industries have been affected, and people have switched to freelancing as a source of income during these uncertain times. A report from Upwork suggests that over 59 million Americans have chosen a freelancing career in the last 12 months, accounting for 36% of the country's workforce.

What are the most common job openings?


With the surmounting uncertainty around the world, finding jobs has become a hassle in itself. However, LinkedIn's report suggests that the tech industry has peaked its hiring by 7.5% in the last month. Interesting, isn't it? Read on to learn more. The list of remote positions that are currently seeing a rise in employment include:

  • Full-Stack Engineer
  • Content Marketers
  • Social Media Marketers
  • Frontend Developers
  • Solutions Architect
  • Data Engineer
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Specialist

In case you are wondering where these jobs are available, reports suggest that Georgia and Florida are the hot locations. Companies like UPS, Georgia State University, Wellstar, FBI, and Barnes Healthcare Services are at the forefront of hiring in Georgia.

In Florida, companies like Johnson Controls, Centurion, HCN, Danaher, Arcadis, etc. are hiring for varying roles, including full-time and remote freelancing positions.

States like Washington, New York, and California are gradually reopening and are increasingly hiring for full-time and part-time positions.

But, since Covid-19 has increased the remote-jobs, people aren't confined to finding jobs in their cities only and are looking for remote opportunities in other states in the country and exploring better and more options.

Is Freelancing the new norm?


With the increase in remote job opportunities, the freelancing industry has been booming lately. According to an independent report from Upwork, 73% of hiring managers are currently relying on freelancers more during this pandemic.

The report further suggests that over 58% of the freelancers who have switched from their full-time IT jobs have worked with over five clients in the last six months. It was noted to be 3% more than the reports in 2019.

Around 12% of the U.S workforce has now switched to full-time freelancing for the very first time in their career. Of them, about 48% of freelancers are now considering it as a long-term career option in the days to come.

Interestingly, 86% of the current freelancers believe that the freelancing industry's best days are coming soon.

What skills are employers seeking currently?


Employers are looking for individuals with top and varying skillsets.

 Some of the essential skills to work on during this pandemic include:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Data science and allied skills
  • Data storage technologies
  • Business and project management

How to leverage LinkedIn during your job search?


Even though LinkedIn is more than a job searching platform, it is what can land you your next gig during this pandemic.

While it's okay to constantly apply for interviews and give it a shot, if you are not optimizing your LinkedIn profile, your visibility in the job hunt will take a dent.

Hiring managers are on LinkedIn. So if you don't cross their path, then you might miss out on a great opportunity. Here's what you can do instead.

Work on LinkedIn profile optimization


Just having a profile on LinkedIn is not enough. For recruiters to find you, you need to optimize your profile accordingly. Put a professional and latest profile picture. Write in an impressive summary explaining all your skills and the kind of job opportunities you are looking for.

Fill in every section in your profile with proper keywords if you want a recruiter searching for the same job role to find you.

Get customized LinkedIn job alerts


According to LinkedIn data, the best way to get a prospect revert to you is by applying within the first five minutes after the job listing is posted.

LinkedIn has a unique feature that allows you to set up customized job alerts. So, the next time a recruiter posts a job listing with similar requirements, you will be notified immediately.

Update the "Open to Work" section


LinkedIn has a dedicated "Open to Work" setting that enables you to appear on the recruiter's radar. Update this section in your profile summary to let the recruiters know you are open to remote job opportunities.

Upscale your skillset

The more skills you have, the more likely you will land an excellent job during this pandemic. If you have always confined yourself to a single skillset, this pandemic, learn new skills, and upscale your skillset. Also, make sure that you talk about your multiple skills in the "Skills" section in the profile. Adding a list of skills in your niche of work increases your visibility by 27x.

How to Cope with Stressful Job Search during the Pandemic?


"You are not alone" is a phrase of encouragement, but it acts as a stressor when it's about the job hunt. Knowing that you are not the only person looking for a job during this pandemic can be rough for you. But, you need to realize that situations don't remain stagnant all the time. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Instead of taking this phase as a rough patch, take it as a learning experience. It is now your time to step out of your comfort zone and explore new opportunities that you didn't before.

Here are a few ways to deal with the stress of job-hunt during a pandemic.

Don't give up


If you have applied to and already given numerous interviews, but all seem to be complete vain, you need to stick through the thin. Instead of just giving up, keep appearing for more interviews.

Giving more interviews help you hone your skills and learn from the experience. Even if the company isn't replying right away, you never know when an interview pays off without expectations!

Try out support groups


It is wrong for people to think that support groups are just for grieving loss or overcoming an addiction. Support groups are more than that, and they could be just what you need now.

Consistent job hunting with no promising results can instill feelings of isolation and despair. It can make you feel like you are all alone in this process while the entire world is doing a lot better. Joining support groups helps you see things in a bigger picture and realize that you are not alone, even if it has to do with job hunting during a pandemic.

Take some time off


When you have applied and appeared for hundreds of interviews, landing an opportunity may seem exhausting. Before you are left with no motivation in you, it is better to take a step back. If you feel like the job hunt is going nowhere, take a day off and self-reflect.

Taking some time off helps to keep you charged with momentum for the rest of the journey. Instead of considering this as a break, treat it as a day of rejuvenation.

Conclusion


Job search, be it anytime around the year, is challenging. Landing a job during a pandemic is even tougher. It is thus vital that you find the right channels, leverage the right connections to land yourself the position of your dreams. Even though the job-hunting process is a lot tougher right now, it is essential to treat yourself with compassion. The steps we have highlighted are potent and will likely fetch you your next dream job.

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