Job Searching during the Pandemic Lockdown

The COVID19 pandemic has led to an economic slowdown and the closure, hopefully temporarily, of many businesses. Numerous people have entered an already flat labour market and are seeking either permanent or temporary jobs. One area to focus on for the latter are where extra people are needed in coping with the effects of the pandemic, areas such as delivery drivers for the increased demand for food and other commodities, temperature screening, stocking supermarket shelfs, ancillary health services assistants, etc. Search these out.

Otherwise, use the extra available time to reflect on your future career. What is it that you want to work at for the immediate foreseeable future? What type of job(s) or career would you be passionate about? What type of job(s) or career will bring you job satisfaction and fulfilment, and therefore will perform well in? You may as well use this downtime to decide on a job that will make you happy!

Then have an honest look at your resume and at your skills-set. Take the time to upgrade your resume and have a separate version focused on the different type of jobs you are interested in. A generic resume rarely gets past the screening process, so work out what the key requirements are for each position you are interested in and make sure those keywords are prominent in the first half of the first page of your resume.

You should also do this for your LinkedIn profile – though your LinkedIn profile needs to be aimed at a wider audience than any of the versions of your resume. Google how to improve your LinkedIn profile and update it.

In relation to your skills, list ALL of the skills you have (those developed outside of work as well). Go through this list and mark those that you are good at. Then, from your list of skills that you are good at, mark those that you enjoy doing. These are your strengths – the skills that you are both good at and enjoy doing.

It is an interesting exercise to reflect on your strengths and see if there is a job that would facilitate you using as many of these as possible. When you work using your strengths, you not only perform well, but your job energises you and you feel satisfied and fulfilled.

Also, from your strengths list – using the words and phrases you used to describe your strengths, write a paragraph about yourself – this is a Strengths Profile. Incorporating this into both your resume’s ”Summary” or ”Professional Profile” and into the ”About” section of your LinkedIn profile will really add impact to both.

Then do a gap analysis between what you currently have in terms of QSE’s (qualifications, skills and experience) and those required for your target jobs. Identify those QSE’s you need to acquire or need to improve or update, and take action to do so!

Taking these steps now will leave you well placed when the labour market begins to recover.

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