There have been lots of questions swirling about, especially from young professionals looking for jobs in today’s climate. How do you deal with a job hunt in the midst of a pandemic and “stay at home” orders in many states throughout the country? Should you wait it out? Are there any unique steps to the job hunting process today? What should you expect the hiring process to look like? Here are several things to keep in mind as you approach the job market during these challenging times.
- Don’t wait to apply! First and foremost, you should absolutely continue applying to roles as normal! Don’t stop to “wait out the storm,” as it were. Your dream job might be posted right now, and if you stop looking, you could miss it. Remember, the hiring process can be quite long – the average Talent Market role takes at least a couple of months to fill, but sometimes it is longer! That means that by the time you actually land a role and get hired, the worst of the coronavirus nightmare could be in the rearview mirror (fingers crossed!).
- Remember to be considerate. Assume that if a role is posted, the hiring organization is accepting applications – don’t reach out and ask if they are still hiring. Doing that will almost certainly annoy an already overwhelmed hiring manager. Think about it this way – if an organization is hiring, they need more help. And now they need help while they are trying to figure out how to operate in an entirely new world. Hiring managers are also now working from home, possibly with kids underfoot, and trying to navigate what is likely a massive transition in their role. Don’t add to their plate with an unnecessary inquiry!
- Don’t shoot yourself in the foot right out of the gate. Following directions is even more important now than it was before (and it was really important before!). Given that there is a chance you will be hired sight-unseen, and also that you might be working remotely to start your job, your application is a very critical first test. So, be sure to include everything that is requested when you apply! Tailor your cover letter to that specific role (yes, you do need a different cover letter for every job you apply to), and be sure your one page resume is immaculate. And, for the love of Pete, proofread, proofread, proofread!
- Patience is a virtue. Be ready to give lots of grace in response times. If you feel like you often waited a long time to hear back before COVID-19, be prepared for twice the wait now because everyone is working in a new normal. When sending any follow-up emails, perhaps consider waiting a day or two. Follow up is good, but be sure that you aren’t pestering either.
- Questions have never been more important. So, you made it to the interview round – awesome! Now is the time to ask many, sometimes tough, questions, including some about their financial health. With a recession looming, you want to be sure that the organization you’re considering working for is prepared. You can also do your research – Guidestar and Google will be your friends. You may also want to ask questions about the hiring process, what “normal” will be given COVID-19, and whether you will be on-boarded immediately or after the storm blows over.
- It is a strange, new world out there, but we are all navigating it together. You may have already picked up on this from other tips, but understand that the hiring process could look really unusual. Keep in mind, though, it will on both ends! Everyone is trying to figure out how to handle critical hiring needs in a fully-remote world. Hiring managers are trying to balance the question of whether they need to meet you in person before they hire you vs. the fact that they are hiring for a crucial role with duties that need to be executed immediately. You may not meet those you are going to work with face-to-face for some time! And, you may have to do more interviews than you would expect given that they are all remote.
So, full steam ahead: go forth and find your dream job! And, don’t forget to send your updated information into us at Talent Market so that we can help in the job-hunting process!