Looking for work now that the market is picking back up? Here's how to make yourself seen and get hired during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As businesses around the nation continue to reopen their doors, those that had put their recruitment efforts on pause due to the Coronavirus lockdown have resumed the drive to source new PAs, EAs and other office support professionals.
Despite this renewed surge in the market, it goes without saying that the hunt for jobs is now very different than it was in March, and competition is fierce. As the number of vacancies on site grows and confidence in the job market begins to improve, we’ve put together this handy list of advice and tips to maximize your chances of getting hired during COVID-19.
Patience is a virtue
As many employees are still on furlough or working from home, and some businesses are implementing redundancies, you could find yourself waiting longer than usual to hear back about job applications and interviews during COVID-19. A polite email enquiring about next steps if you haven’t heard anything in a week or so would cause no harm, but be prepared to be patient. Worth bearing in mind is that some email addresses and phone numbers may now be unmanned or unmonitored.
Ask for video interviews
In the improbable case that you are invited for a face-to-face meeting, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a video interview instead - particularly if you are looking after a family member, vulnerable yourself or would have to travel a long while to get to the interview. Although they are not obligated to give you a video interview, it is worth considering if an employer who is asking you to risk the health of yourself and your loved ones is the type of employer you would want to work for.
Prepare for video interviews
We all know that preparation is key for any interview, but as video interviews are new for many of us, extra preparation to appear professional is essential; the usual prep of learning about the company, dressing to impress and making sure you know your CV back to front may not cut it. In addition, you need to make sure there are no distractions, you are ready to handle technical glitches, and to take the interview in an optimum location. Read more on how to ace your video interview here.
What else is available?
When job hunting during coronavirus, you may find there are fewer roles available than there used to be. A solution could be to widen your pool of potential jobs. If you are an Administrator, would you consider taking on a Team Assistant post? Is temporary or contract work a possibility? If location is a hindrance, a number of the positions available currently will be remote, which could potentially open up a larger number of prospects for you.
Apply for jobs in growing areas
For your best chance at landing a new job, we recommend applying for roles in areas that are showing growth despite the ongoing pandemic. For example, in August we recorded monthly growth for medical/healthcare positions, as well as for roles in luxury, retail and education.
It’s not what you know…
A professional network of active, likeminded and esteemed individuals is an invaluable tool in the arsenal of any office professional, particularly when job hunting during a pandemic. Ask around your network – someone may know of an exciting opportunity for you that isn’t yet formally advertised.
Give yourself the chance to get headhunted
Speaking of roles that aren’t formally advertised: many recruiters and hiring managers use our CV database to find candidates for exclusive roles, so why not upload your CV today for your chance to get headhunted?
Tailor each application
Now that competition is fiercer than ever, it’s imperative that each application you send is unique to the role, as you work your way through job hunting during a pandemic. By echoing the advert’s keywords in your CV, application and/or cover letter, you specifically target that role, setting you up for a higher chance at securing an interview.
Reach out to pre-lockdown interviewers
Did you have some interviews back before lockdown that you felt went well, only to be told that hiring was on hold due to the pandemic? As offices reopen and the country slowly feels as though it’s returning to normal, it may be a positive move to get in touch with those who interviewed you and check if the role has reopened. Even if this isn’t the case, by contacting the employer you have put yourself back in their thoughts if a suitable opportunity does arise.
Take time for reflection
The last few months have left many of us with a little extra time on our hands. With social distancing still in effect and fewer jobs on the market, it could be a good time to look at your career, figuring out exactly what you want from that next position. Perhaps working from home has become something you don’t want to give up, or you’re ready to progress to the next level now that you’ve had a calm period.
Update your CV
We all experienced a different lockdown. Some worked from home, others were furloughed, and a number lost jobs. Update your CV to reflect your current situation; talk about what you have been doing and learning over the last few months.
Be the first to hear about the latest opportunities
Keen to get a step ahead of your competitors? Sign up for a personalised SecsintheCity job alert to ensure that you’re one of the first applying for new roles. All you need to do is let us know the details of your ideal job and we will send matching vacancies to you via email as they become available.