May Oo Tha
How to do a productive job search during a pandemic
Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Who would have thought it would all come down to this? A global pandemic that has already affected 4 million people across the world and a 26 million layoffs or furlough in the US? It’s stressful enough to find jobs, but in the middle of a pandemic and a predicted economic recession? Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
As it happened, late January 2020 was my last month at my job and I was looking to transition into a more permanent position and kickstart my career. It was a risky decision; however, nothing would prepare me for March 2020, how it would end up disrupting everything on a much bigger, global scale. Panic ensued – not just because of the pandemic but also companies were either freezing their hiring process, withdrawing their open positions or closing their doors… permanently. I was distraught but it was even hard to hear that the livelihoods of a couple million people were taken from under their feet, as swiftly as the coronavirus spread.
With many without jobs, the number of applicants for a single job position increases. The bigger the pool, the tougher the competition becomes. While I wished I was giving some advice on how to find and score a job during a pandemic, this isn’t it. Instead I'm giving tips on how to have productive job search sessions which, then, might lead to scoring interviews with companies and recruiters.
Here are some of the tips I can provide to maximize your chances of finding a job or just doing a productive job search:
Learn some new skills and get certifications
As the marketing in the digital world is always evolving, it has become crucial to catch up with new trends and technology platforms to maximize your efforts in professional development. Do a simple research and decide which certifications appeal to you and your field the most. If you are in digital and social marketing, then there’s certifications in Google Analytics, Google Ads, Hubspot, Hootsuite and many more. If you want to be extra productive, then there’s always online courses from EDX or Coursera that are from Ivy League universities!
Revamp your LinkedIn page
This is what career coaches are going to say, trust me. LinkedIn is the number one way to attract recruiters and get under their radar, so that means your profile should look complete and polished. Feel free to join LinkedIn Premium ($32/month) even if it’s for a month or two. Some of the benefits include sending InMail to recruiters and hiring managers and accessing LinkedIn Learning which serves as a training program for topics ranging from SEO, Web Analytics, and PPC to practice interview questions with career experts picked by LinkedIn.
Start your side hustle (if you want to)
Do you want to start a blog or create high quality content on Instagram to gain followers or maybe dip your toe into the world of "influencers" ? Or are you aching to finish the online portfolio that you’ve abandoned a couple months ago? Now might a be a great time to pursue your dreams, digitally and social distancing. Whatever it is, make sure to feature it where hiring managers or recruiters can see it, like on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
Sure, face-to-face networking is a tried and true way to get your resume and CV out to important people, but in a world of social distancing? Not so much. But staying in touch with recruiters through email, LinkedIn InMail or joining Facebook and LinkedIn groups might help. For instance, the group called "Marketing Communication" is exclusively for marketing and communication majors and they frequently post marketing technology news.
Time to reflect and rest
This is singularly the most important thing in this uncertain and chaotic time. There’s so much pressure to be productive 24/7 simply because suddenly most of us are staying at home. If you hurt your back, you would take care of it, but if your mental health is struggling, why wouldn’t you take care of it? Mental wellness is as important as physical wellness and in a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, surely, it will struggle. No one is expecting us to roll out a whole new business or accomplish amazing feats in this trying time and when you absolutely need to take a break, do take a break. Personally, it took me 6 or 7 weeks to finally enter into an “acceptance” stage to finding some sort of normalcy in this messy and scary situation. Besides, if you don’t have a relatively clear mind, all of this would have been impossible to do.
These are some of the tips to maximize productivity in your job search during a pandemic. It has been a stressful couple months and the economy has taken a hit with million jobs vanishing, but just know that we are going to bounce back. When it's that time, let's have our resumes polished, LinkedIn profiles complete, confidence regained and our best business-casual clothes pressed.