Job Search in the COVID Era
The world of work has experienced tremendous changes over the past year-and-half resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has the pandemic changed the way of life of individuals, families and organisations, but it has also changed a lot about work place culture, way of work, new ways of seeking employment, readjustments to varying levels of stress by both employees and job seekers.
The African job market has had its fair share of the impacts of the pandemic. Some industries have been largely affected by the pandemic resulting in job cuts whereas some roles have been merged or deemed irrelevant to align to new strategies of the affected organisations.
The resultant effects of the above negative effects include job losses, role mergers, and underemployment, leading to cuts in salaries, compensations, and job benefits.
With these rather unsettling resultant effects, jobseekers in a position must re-strategize in the approach to job search. Here are five (5) tips to help in the searching process in a pandemic era:
- Build a good CV. A good CV is a great self-marketing tool that increases the chances of a job seeker of landing a dream job. Be meticulous, intentional in building a simple, accurate informative and well-designed curriculum vitae. Ensure you review your resume with someone who may be more thorough to spot grammatical and other errors.
Draft a simple cover letter and tweak it to the role you are applying for. Ensure you conduct basic research on the organisation to obtain relevant information that will help in your application.
- If you are unemployed, make the job search your job. Check online job portals daily, reach out to recruiters and contacts after submitting your CV and application. This should, however be done tactfully so that you do not become a “nuisance”, by constantly calling or emailing the recruiter/HR team.
- Keep your digital presence current. Social media can connect you to the job and company of your dreams. Manage your social media presence and create professional profiles that may catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager. Keep your relevant social media accounts, such as LinkedIn focused and updated. Manage your personal brand and ensure that your online image is consistent with your real-world self.
- Look into and expand your professional network. A study found that 85% of available jobs are filled by leveraging professional connections. Check with the people you know and respect, connect with professionals in your chosen career field in order to discover available opportunities.
- Be current, updated and follow recent events, news, and research findings in your chosen field of career. Discover new trends in your locality, social groups, career advisory organisations, etc, that could be useful in your job search. Look out for new organizations and facilities, read on them, call/email and build rapport with key stakeholders over the phone or via email. Also, look out for and seek professional advice and guidance in your job search.
In conclusion, understand that you may not land job immediately. However, keep applying for open roles, keep track of the roles and organisations you are applying to. The job market is constantly shifting, but there are also brimming many new opportunities. Be open-minded, current, connected, prepared and patient.
Good luck in your job search!