Job hunting through a crisis

Posted on 9 Nov 2020
Job hunting through a crisis

Here are 6 Things You Can do to Help Yourself

People across all industries in the UK have been affected in some way in recent months with the UK unemployment rate standing at around 4.5%.

There doesn’t seem to have been a single industry that hasn’t been affected in some way or other.

Confidence is low among job seekers; I know that because I’m speaking to people on a daily basis who are trying to find a new employer.  There are some successes for sure, November in particular has seen some great jobs placed by Aspire, but there are simply not enough jobs to go around right now.
If job seekers want to prevail, they need to be adaptable, persistent and have a strong mindset to overcome multiple rejections.

Candidates shouldn’t overlook the possibility of contract work, temporary or gig roles. They should also remain open to the flexible hours and look to other sectors where skills are transferable. At Aspire we’re seeing IT, FMCG and Medical sectors are busy at the moment.

Consider alternative ways to gain experience while job seeking. Unpaid opportunities provide invaluable experience and keep skills relevant while job hunting. Don’t overlook internships, apprenticeships, or volunteering.  Make sure that if you do undertake any work experience (paid or otherwise) it is added to your CV – it looks really positive to future employers.

Here are the 6 things you need to know about job seeking right now.

Ditch despair, lead with positivity

Pace yourself. Keep focused. Avoid burnout. Be patient.

Your new job is to find a job. So, dedicate your working day to exactly that. BUT be sure to build in some self-care time. Get some fresh air, take a walk, eat well, and sleep well. Try to keep the things in your life that motivate you, whether that is switching your usual gym session to a half hour with Joe Wicks or building in a dog walk in the middle of your day. Your brain needs time to switch off, your body needs time to recuperate. It’s an emotional time, don’t be discouraged that job hunting is taking longer that it usually would, you will need to find some patience.
Top tip: don’t necessarily accept the first thing you’re offered. Do your research about the company and be sure that all your questions have been answered and any doubts addressed before you accept.

Nurture an Online Network and use it to Maximum Advantage

Seek out. Connect. Engage.

‘It’s not what you know but who you know’ you’ve heard that one before right? It’s definitely true right now, while we are in the midst of a pandemic. Whether you’re locked down or not, building an online network of connections is a way that job seekers can make the most out of their social platforms.
LinkedIn is the clear winner for joining up job seekers and potential employers. You can follow, connect, and engage with companies and individuals that you’re interested in. Find out who the key people are, what they’re posting about giving you a deeper insight into their work. Imagine how you could use this if you get in front of them for an interview!

Take the Proactive Approach and Instigate a Follow Up

Phone. Email. Direct messaging.

Companies are inundated right now with applications, as are recruiters. If you haven’t heard anything by the deadline you’ve been given (ask for if it’s not given), pick up the phone or send them an email. Ask for your interview feedback, this will be something that’s useful to you and you never know this proactive approach may mean a future call back if the job is reposted or another is offered.  Just be aware that even chasing up you may not get a response – its not right I know but it is the way of the world right now.

Who will they think you are?

Personal brand. Core values.

What does your online presence say about you? Don’t be naive enough to think you haven’t been Googled prior to selection to an interview. If your social media channels are open with no privacy think carefully about how you are representing yourself on there. A picture tells a thousand words after all!
Obviously, it depends on the sectors you want to work in but think about how you can showcase your talents in an online world by blogging, vlogging or even designing your own website to showcase your talents.

Use the time to upskill

Elevate. Learn more. Qualify.

There are simply tonnes of free online tools, resources, and courses out there and there will likely be something in the sector you want to work within. If not, look for some generic learning that will fit any job such as time management, customer service, communication, crisis management or remote working.  Again, add any of these training courses to your CV.

Optimise your CV

Keywords. Tailored. Quality.

Successful candidates might have 3 or even 4 CVs. Each tailored to different jobs that they may be interested in.  Time for recruiters is short, an average CV receives a few seconds of attention so don’t waffle and make sure your CV stands out by using keywords relevant to the skills required for the job. This will help your CV be sifted to the ‘quality’ pile.
I understand how difficult it is to remain positive when job seeking, I speak to people who are struggling daily at the moment and I’m doing my best to help them. I hope that the tips and pointers I’ve shared here will help you to help yourself. Good luck!

Best wishes, Helen.