With so many of us staying at home to curb the spread of COVID-19, job seekers are beginning to need to refine how they look for jobs. No matter how you look at it, more and more people need employment, and this means that potential hires have countless more candidates to filter through. That’s why we’ve put together a selection of advice aimed to give you the edge no matter what you’re applying for. Here are our top tips for job seekers to market themselves while maintaining shelter in place.
Diversify your approach
Explore new approaches and new job markets. Cookie-cutter covering letters and introductions may seem like a safe approach, but all this shows is a lack of sincerity. Switch things up and give every company or position you’re applying to the due diligence it deserves. Research as much as possible, and be sure to include direct examples of where you’ll be of actual value to the company. If applying for a gig, make sure that you understand all the requirements by restating what you’ll be doing while highlighting what makes you the best choice. If marketing yourself on a certain set of skills isn’t working, it may not be your specialization but rather the way that you’re presenting yourself. Change is always good.
Use more than one job market
Job hunting on your favorite sites is straightforward, but relying on what you know doesn’t grow your opportunities. Call in the help of an agency or recruiting agent, or put yourself out there using smart communities & posting platforms like MyOpportunity. Using our cutting-edge matching algorithm, you can advertise yourself, a business, or your services to the people and companies that matter. With in-app messaging, and a massive network of opportunities, there’s no better way to put yourself out there. There are countless ways to find available positions and tons of localized and international job markets. Look for sites specific to your city, local business groups, and try to include at least one posting platform that lets you list yourself as a candidate available to hire. It often makes all the difference showing employers that you’re the proactive person that they need rather than another one of the many applying.
Try marketing your skills & services instead of your position
Don’t forget that your skillset, affinities, and professional experience qualify you for a plethora of different positions. Limiting yourself to the one or two jobs that you have a finite description to severely limits the opportunities available to you. Capitalizing on your skills requires one of two approaches. Either market the skills themselves on a job board or gig site that lets you offer your services, or carefully analyze what you’re capable of and assess what roles you’d be able to do in other industries. Just because a particular sector or vertical is saturated in your locality, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t fully qualified for something else with only adjacent experience missing. Relocation is sometimes an option too. Selling yourself in a conversation, cover letter, or pre-interview process lets you make up for the direct work experience with a can-do attitude that makes your proactivity clear.
Reach out to existing contacts
Networking is perhaps the most vital underutilized asset available to job seekers. Communication will unlock opportunities that you would never have thought of. It’ll open doors that you never imagined. Keep in mind that just as beneficial as it would be to find a job from a known contact, sourcing an employee or freelancer for a project or position from a trusted network. It cuts half the hassle out of the problem while presenting a staff member that can be relied upon. Never feel intrepid to reach out to people that you’ve worked with from other companies. Drive shows dedication, and if you’ve already got a track record of good service or a favorable persona built-up, then you may just be the ideal person for a company that can’t afford to run the risk of hiring someone who just doesn’t cut it in every way.
Contact local influencers
Authorities, influencers, and prominent figures will arise in every industry, across each locality. Turn to social media and see who’s making a buzz in the areas that you do business. Drop a message, attend business networking events, or make a quick, friendly phone call to add a personalized touch to another means of contact. Just don’t pester. Influencers are influencers because of the social interaction that they have with their audience. If you’re got something of value to add that is worth getting noticed, or know of something that should, message an influencer and see if you can’t leverage their reach and connections, perhaps even for a fee. Many influencers will promote you online for a charge. A little investment into marketing yourself and making yourself known can go a long way.
Make a contribution to your field
Out of work, but sitting with ample time on your hands? Do something that is worth being mentioned in your field. Whether this is a blog post on LinkedIn about innovations in your field or a case-study covering statistics of interest to business owners in your sector, do something that people will talk about. There are tons of ways to turn your creativity into a shining example of your skills in action. Write an eBook or create a video about a topic that you’re knowledgeable about. Include it as a part of your portfolio, or put your business prowess to action by including it as a part of a clever marketing plan. A company or person will be compelled to hire you if you’re a known force or have made an impact on social media. A contribution can also come in the way of a charitable contribution such as setting up a local food drive or collection for a rescue mission, but this generally works better for those trying to build themselves as a brand rather than a job seeker climbing the corporate ladder.
Formulate a game plan and make a schedule
Being stuck at home gives most of us far more time than we’re used to – don’t underestimate how quickly this will dwindle away if you’re not careful. Yes. The comfort of home comes with the comfort of complete control over time, but it’s in your best interest to set a schedule and stick to it. Even if your schedule is flexible, at the very least, form a daily routine that keeps you productive and on point. Never let time waste away if you’re still on the hunt. Devote specific times to specific things and make sure that you tend to not only your physical and professional well-being but your emotional health & family life too. Devising a breakdown of what you’d like done lets you never have to fall into the trap of worrying that you’re not doing enough, nor does it let you slack.
Prepare your telephone manner & potential interview questions
You’re not going to be leaving home, so you’d better make sure that your speaking skills are up to scratch. Telephone manner is vitally important. Have you heard what it sounds like to speak to someone unprepared and shaky over the phone? Your chances of being hired diminish faster than you forget half your job experience and skills when nervous. Now, don’t go off the deep end and stress yourself out about what you sound like or the million questions you think you can’t answer but preparing your basic speaking manner and a few potential interview questions that you’re confident to answer is vital. By the time that you’re done improving your telephone manner by reciting answers, you’ll be unbothered by an uncertainty on the big day.
Optimize your video interviews
Preparing for video calling is just as important, if not more important than your telephone manner. Consider the full picture available to the person on the other side of your camera. Don’t take interviews in random places. Prepare an area for video calling by getting the background area clear of clutter. Use a well-lit room, and make sure that the cam puts you in full focus. Switch off anything else that is using data, and opt for a dedicated webcam instead of a smartphone whenever possible. You want a full HD stream without anything using bandwidth and slowing you down, detracting from the quality and clarity of your call. It, by default, leaves a bad impression. You need to be presentable, alert, and interested. Don’t just be questioned – ask questions. A good video interview is your best hope at guaranteeing a job, so handle it as what it is – the most vital part of getting hired while under shelter in place/lockdown/quarantine.
Reconnect with your references
Reconnecting with a reference doesn’t mean crawling back to an old job. Refreshing the memory of a once-trusted colleague during this time of global-pandemic could be the news that they need to help out a friend of theirs. As aforementioned, trusted networks are at times the only way that candidates get considered during times of panic, so reach out, and you may be surprised by what opportunities arise. Anyone that you worked for before should understand your current predicament, but it’s the need that you fill that will get you hired.
Innovate and expand
Marketing yourself while under the restrictions that come with shelter in place takes a fresh approach and multiple angles. Don’t surrender yourself to the methods that used to work when there is a sea of opportunity waiting to be discovered, or in many cases – created. Use the technology available to you and spend your time growing more comfortable with things like Zoom/Google Meet calls, collaborating online, using remote storage, and growing a digital identity that tells your story the right way. Always remember, MyOpportunity.com is there to help you with building or expanding your network of contacts and opportunities. Our platform instantly enables a range of exciting features that’ll make marketing yourself while maintaining shelter in place, not only a breeze but a pleasure. What tips do you have for communicating online? We encourage you to share your social skills in the comments section below.