5 Ways to Elevate Your Pandemic Job Search
Aug 25, 2020

5 Ways to Elevate Your Pandemic Job Search
Aug 25, 2020
By Deja White, Breakroom Buddha

The job search can be a strenuous task for even the most qualified professional. This doesn't mean that there aren't ways around this. You control your own narrative during this search, so be as strategic as possible!

Remember that employers seek candidates who are ready to go the extra mile for the job. We've put together a list of solutions that can help elevate your job hunting journey.
1. Get Creative with Your Resume
The number one thing you should consider when embarking on your job hunt during the pandemic is… a fresh NEW resume. The competition will be stiff, and the hiring manager will see a plethora of black and white stains on the page, but then, they'll stop in their tracks when they see yours. You might be on the edge of your seat right now asking: How!? It's simple, get creative!

A Traditional Resume

Consider sprucing up your resume by using creative resume templates. You can get a bit of inspiration from websites like Canva or Job Hero.

If you want to stick to the resume that you already have, that's a-okay! Here are a few quick fixes you can implement instead!

  • Add a few colors, to help your headings stand out
  • Add clickable links! This is especially helpful when submitting PDFs
  • Shorten your bullets, and only use them to emphasize your accomplishments
  • Pull out your thesaurus and replace traditional words

A Video Resume

If you're looking for a way to supplement your traditional resume, or you want to drastically switch things up, you should consider recording a video resume on VCV! You can quickly pitch yourself with a short written bio, and pre-answer common interview questions like "Why are you interested in this role?" or "Tell me about yourself," via video. Start sending your pre-recorded video link to hiring managers when asked for your resume! It could open up a few new doors.
2. Level Up on LinkedIn
Applying through a company's website makes sense, but just like you, there are a number of other applicants. Why not reach out to the recruiter on LinkedIn? There, they can actually put a face to a name, and check in on you via your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional connection tools out on the market! During your daily grind, you should be on there making the most out of all of its features! Here are the top features you should implement during your job search:

  • Suggested Connections: LinkedIn makes it extremely easy for you to connect with new people. Under the "My Network" tag they offer generated suggestions called "People You May Know." They also offer connection suggestions based on your current location, industry, and group affiliations. You most likely will not know most of the people LinkedIn suggests, but don't let that discourage you. Send a quick note to the people you'd like to get to know better, connect with them and then set up an official virtual meeting! You never know where that connection may lead you.
  • Followed Hashtags: Did you know you could follow hashtags on LinkedIn? Get smart about the hashtags that you use when posting, as well as the ones that you follow! For example, a popular hashtag that people use while posting if they're looking for a job is #jobseeker. On the flip side, someone who's looking to hire will use #hiringpost. There are a plethora of hashtags that are used across LinkedIn, so do your research, and start following them!
  • Tailored Jobs: LinkedIn has a smart job board! By clicking on the "Jobs" tab, you'll be recommended jobs that resemble the skills and roles you've had in the past. Here you can also set up job alerts, and get daily emails sent to you. So if you have your eye on a specific company or career field, it's a good idea to set up an alert for it!
3. Find Your Community
Have you ever considered joining a community? Digital and real-life communities form when a group of people engages with one another because of their similarities. This is where thinking outside of the box will come in handy.

Jobs boards are a great place to start in a job search but there are lots of unexpected opportunities waiting to be discovered by those who step out of their comfort zones. Consider reaching out to your network and joining new organizations to learn more about what's going on around you and how you can get involved.

Look For Communities That:

  • Connect you to new people
  • Focuses on building up the skills that you have through workshops, and offers trainings to learn new skills
  • Holds speaker events, conferences or networking sessions
  • Answers any burning questions you might have about your field or skillset

Examples of Good Communities:

  • School/ Program Alumni Groups
  • Professional Associations
  • Speaker/Lecture Series Groups
  • Podcast Communities
  • Blog Communities
  • Facebook Groups
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Mentorship Groups
4. Develop Your Skills Toolbox
The learning never stops! Make sure you're continuously developing your skills and learning new ones while you're searching. There are a variety of affordable and free courses online. With websites like Coursera or Udemy, you have the opportunity to learn a new skill or get a certification that can give you an edge during your job search.

Here are a few more popular websites that offer interactive courses:

5. Start Your Own Project
No one ever said side hustles or side projects were off-limits during your job search! If you're job hunting from 8 AM — 4 PM, make 5 PM — 12 AM, your side hustle time.

Remember that you've already highlighted your skills on your resume. Take one of your favorite skills, and use it to look for clients who will pay you for that specific skill!

For example, if you're a great copywriter, you might look for clients who need help writing newsletters, blog posts, or pitch emails to brands. The possibilities are endless when you think outside of the box.

You can find potential clients in:

On the other hand, you can create fake clients! Tackle a common problem that happens in your desired industry. You can also pick one of your favorite existing companies, and work to create a solution to a current problem that they face.

After you're done, create a digital portfolio, using a free website builder, to showcase all of the work that you've just created! This will help you stand out even more during your job hunt because it shows that you've taken extra steps to improve your skills, and you have real-life examples of the type of work you can produce!

It's easy to get caught up in searching for the "perfect" role or landing at the "perfect" company. Remember that where you start or land, doesn't have to be where you stay forever! Be as grateful as possible during this time. Take what you can get while you're searching because jobs are more scarce when the economy is going through a rough patch. Remain positive throughout this journey. Being employed can signal positive attributes to other potential employers and you may very well develop some new skills along the way.
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