This week’s post comes from Andrew Seaman, a journalist for LinkedIn on job search in the US. His advice is also timely for job seekers in the UK, and builds on the advice I gave in the Good Friday webinar, “Looking for Work during Coronavirus”.
The hiring process contains a large cast of characters. You, as a job seeker, are one of the most important players in that production. Recruiters play an equally important role, though. They are your guides and the main points of contact with potential employers.
Like many of you, recruiters have been disrupted by the economic fallout tied to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some have been furloughed or laid off. The hiring process has slowed or stopped for many of them. Those who work on commission are facing shrinking incomes.
I reached out to recruiters to see what advice they have for people trying to navigate this difficult job market. Hundreds of them responded with practical advice and words of encouragement. While I can’t highlight them all, I highly recommend you set aside some time to look through their responses. You can do that by clicking here.
What I find most uplifting about their responses is that they acknowledge the difficulty of this moment but remain upbeat about the future. What’s their other advice?
The hiring process is not known for speed under the best circumstances. As companies freeze or delay hiring, it’s especially important to have patience and remember that everyone wishes the process could move more quickly.
“Things never move as fast as you think that they should, but patience really is a virtue and one that will be rewarded,” wrote Cindy.
For example, you may be viewed more favorably by a potential employer if you’re understanding about the situation recruiters find themselves in because of the pandemic compared to another job seeker who calls or emails several times a day for updates.
While that behavior won’t trump a lack of qualifications for a position, it creates goodwill and makes the recruiter want to work with you again in the future.
Recruiters exist to help move talented professionals into a company’s workforce. You shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to them — even if you know the company isn’t hiring or doesn’t have a position for you at the moment.
“Recruiters, like myself, are looking for candidates proactively for when the market turns but might not have a lot of openings depending on the industry they support,” wrote Chelsea.
Aaron suggests reaching out to recruiters that specialize in the industry where you hope to work. “Each recruiter often focuses on a specific industry or area.” Also, be sure to do your research about the companies you want to work for ahead of time. “That always helps in conversation and interviews,” he added.
You should also be networking with other professionals — whether they are recruiters or not. As we’ve discussed before, networking is a foundational element of any job search. Networking is also something that can be done virtually through emails or video calls.
“Use LinkedIn to see if any of your connections can make a contact to a hiring manager inside the company on your behalf,” wrote Mike. “Send an email to a person inside the company that you would like to get advice … about their company and setting up a phone call.”
You can read more about virtual networking by clicking here.
In addition to researching where you want to work and activating your professional network, many recruiters said it’s important to set aside time to get your various materials ready and to prepare for virtual job interviews.
Andre suggests you make sure that the experience listed on your resume aligns with your LinkedIn profile, for example. On your resume, you should be specific with your professional summary. Also, don’t forget to tout your accomplishments. “No matter what position you’ve had try to list major accomplishments. Think money, cost savings and numbers or percentages when necessary,” he added.
You can read more tips about standing out on your resume by clicking here.
You’ll also likely have phone or video interviews since many companies are operating remotely during this difficult time. You can prepare for those interviews by practicing with friends over video chats.
“The new norm is having numerous phone/video interviews to secure an opportunity,” wrote Sergio. “Even through those avenues, you need to be able to clearly articulate your skillset and let your personality show.”
You can read more about video interviews by clicking here.
If you’re still struggling with your materials and interviewing techniques, you may also want to consider expert help. “You will save yourself very valuable time, lost wages and lost opportunities which will become fewer and fewer,” said Steve.
Don’t give up
While recruiters acknowledge how challenging the current environment is for businesses and job seekers, most emphasized how important it is to keep a positive attitude and stick with your search.
“When companies are looking to hire again, employers will remember those specific candidates who were able to be positive, upbeat, and try during this dynamic and uncertain time,” wrote Kirsten.