While governments are strategizing on war footing to save the country’s failing economy and coming together to fight the pandemic, the job market is facing a hard time. 

Jobs run dry across the globe amid COVID-19

The US Labor Department reported that jobless claims have surged to 3.28 million for the week that ended on March 21. In India, the unemployment rate has gone past 20% according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. While countries continue to be in a nationwide lockdown, many people are likely to face job loss and pay cuts. Reports say that there could be an estimated job loss of 10-12 million, across travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. 

How to find a job during the COVID-19 pandemic

Finding a job is not going to be easy in this current situation. However, if you have the right talent and attitude, there are some things you can do to improve your chances. Remember that however dire the circumstances are at the moment, companies will still be hiring for necessary roles. Organisations will be trying out various ways to maintain their business continuity. 

Here’s what you can do to secure a job during these tough times

  • Networking is the key

Socially distancing, doesn’t need to stop you from networking, virtually. Now is the time to revamp or build your profile on sites like LinkedIn (a professional networking site). Nurture your connections and build relationships. Let the world know what you are good at and that you are open to opportunities. . Try and connect with others who are in a similar situation and understand how they are going about looking for jobs. 

  • Work on your resume

If you have deferred updating your resume for a long time, then now is the best time to do so. Update your resume with the most recently learned skills and projects that you have worked on. Give it a facelift if you think it looks a bit dull and boring. Consider creating a video resume especially if you are in a creative job. 

  • Freelance to pay the bills

The Coronavirus has hit the world hard and it might take some more time for the job market to return to normalcy. Meanwhile, you may want to take up some freelancing side gigs to sustain and pay your bills. You may consider taking up part-time online jobs or help a neighbour run a few errands. However, remember to practice social distancing and take all precautions as prescribed by WHO.

  • Upskill yourself

Use the time to upskill yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and try to learn something that will complement your existing skill. As businesses are going through a tough time, they would prefer to hire a single person who can wear the hat for other roles too. For example, if you are a writer, try learning some designing skills so that you can cover up as a designer too. Have you always wanted to complete a certification that you couldn’t do before for your full-time job? Now is the time to complete it and flaunt it in your CV. 

  • Keep applying

Set a daily job application target and work towards it. Recruiters may take time to respond to your application for several reasons but that doesn’t mean you will stop applying for a job. Do your homework, make a list of suitable companies, and keep applying. Reward yourself with a small treat when you achieve your daily goal. 

  • Prepare yourself for a video interview

With social distancing as a norm, recruiters are also considering conducting interviews over videos. Get yourself prepared on how to ace a video interview. Identify a place in your home where you can settle down to take the online interview. The place should have a decent background, good internet connectivity, and no one to disturb you. Download any software that you might need and practice it beforehand with a friend.

  • Sign up for different job boards

Tough time calls for tough measures. If you have been looking at only one or two job boards till now for jobs, try other platforms too. Subscribe to job alerts on different job boards so that you stay informed about all the hiring that is happening around you.

  • Look for jobs on  social media

Don’t limit yourself only to job boards. Join different social media job search groups and network with new people. Don’t be shy to talk about your skills, share a piece of work, and ask people for help. 

  • Set aside time for unwinding

Job stress amidst the pandemic situation can take a toll on your mental health which should not be ignored. Set aside time to unwind and relax. If you are staying alone, speak to your friends and family through video calls. If you are living with your family, take out time every day from the job-hunting schedule to connect with them. Don’t shy away to talk about your feelings openly. Take the help of online counselors if you think you need one. 

Getting fired and finding a job amidst COVID -19 can be a stressful situation. However, you need to stay positive and optimistic (know this too shall pass). Until then, hang in there and try out the tips suggested above. Your next assignment is just around the corner.