- Posted by admin
- On April 6, 2020
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Losing a job at any time is stressful, and if you’re one of the 6.65 million Americans who have lost work due to Coronavirus, you’re probably feeling that stress. With businesses temporarily closing their doors across the country, people everywhere are facing unemployment.
Searching for a new job during this unprecedented public health crisis is daunting, as many businesses are cutting down on staff, not hiring. The good news is there are still jobs out there. While losing your job during this time is challenging without a doubt, there are still opportunities to be found and ways to make the most of an unfortunate situation.
As recruiters, we’re always watching staffing trends and offering clients and candidates our best advice for hiring and seeking employment. While the current health and economic crisis is unique, we are still operating and open to help anyone in need of advice or assistance in their job hunt. To start, we put together this guide with advice and resources for anyone who lost their jobs to COVID-19.
What To Do If You Lost Your Job Due to Coronavirus
- File for Unemployment and Seek Out Resources
- Dust Off Your Resume
- Reflect on What You’re Looking For
- Network, Network, Network
- Improve Upon Skills
- Quality over Quantity
- Practice for Virtual Interviews
- Be patient
File for Unemployment and Seek Out Resources
If you’ve lost your job in the last few weeks due to Coronavirus, the first step is to file for unemployment and check your state’s resources to see what programs are available that may assist you through this time.
While the unemployment system is being overrun right now with so many people recently unemployed, the recently passed CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) act has expanded unemployment insurance. Small business owners or those that are self-employed may also qualify for the SBA Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection.
If you’re tight on money and need immediate relief, it’s also wise to contact your creditors, utility companies, and landlords or mortgage companies. Some creditors may be able to offer deferred payments, and your landlord or mortgage company may be able to lower payments temporarily or help out otherwise. A few states have already called for utility companies to provide assistance, waive late fees, and suspend shut offs for their residents. If you have student loans, the Department of Education has halted payments on federal student loans; if you have private student loans, contact your provider for assistance.
While sorting through government websites and filling out forms is not a fun task, getting on top of this process right away will help you receive benefits more quickly and offer a cushion while you search for a job.
Dust Off Your Resume
If you’ve been in the same position for a while, you might not have touched your resume in some time. Take some time to update your resume with your most recent experiences, newly acquired skills, and whatever else you can offer to new employers. Depending on the design of your resume, it may be time for an update in style as well.
There are still jobs out there right now, but there are also a lot of recently unemployed people looking. Do whatever you can to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Share what problems you’ve solved for other employers, achievements of note, and any skills that may be particularly of use during this period of social isolation and remote work.
Reflect on What You’re Looking For
While losing a job is undoubtedly disappointing, there may be a silver lining if you weren’t happy in your position. Now may be the perfect time to reflect on what you’re really looking for in your career or in a workplace. Make the best of this situation by using it as a chance to transition your career path or open yourself up to new opportunities.
Searching for jobs during the coronavirus outbreak is not easy, so it might not work out that your dream job comes around during a time when the unemployment rate has rapidly increased. Still, consider what you’re looking for to set yourself up for success in the long run. It may help to make a list of what you liked and didn’t like in your last position or positions to get a better idea of the type of work that you’d most enjoy in the future.
Network, Network, Network
Now is the perfect time to network online, as many people are stuck glued to their computers at home anyway. Networking will seriously help your job search and could put you in touch with an opportunity to get you back to work faster. Reach out to those you know in your industry, connect with companies that are hiring, or seek out virtual events you can take part in.
There are professional groups you can join on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to meet new professionals in your industry and make connections that could lead to opportunities. Search for these groups with the keywords that best fit your field, join, and either share a post, comment on others, or interact otherwise to start networking.
For now, networking will have to be online, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be personal. Set up virtual coffee dates or even interviews to get face to face interaction with those that you’re meeting, and do your best to expand your network during this time. You can also reach out to recruiters, like us, or talk to a career coach for further networking and guidance.
Improve Upon Skills
To make yourself more marketable to prospective employers – and to use up some free time you might have – try to improve upon skills that will help your career. If you used to be proficient in a tool, skill, or software but haven’t used it or learned new techniques in a while, now is a great time to re-learn what you’ve forgotten or hone new skills.
Depending on your industry and the type of jobs you’re looking for, this free time can be used to sharpen your skill set and make you an even more qualified candidate. Improving upon your skills is a great way to stay productive and help you on your job search. Add new skills to your resume once you’ve learned them.
Quality over Quantity
While it can be easy to send the same resume over and over to whatever positions are open, it’s better to focus on sending quality applications rather than a large quantity. With fewer positions available right now, there will only be a few that fit your skills, values, experience, and goals. It’s better to focus on putting your best foot forward with a thoughtful application for the jobs that are best for you rather than sending a generic application to every open position you find.
Try to craft the perfect application – including your resume, cover letter when applicable, and any other elements – for the jobs that you have the best chance at getting and that also fit your career goals and skill set.
Practice for Virtual Interviews
Companies that are hiring right now will likely schedule virtual interviews in light of social distancing. Use your free time to prepare for those interviews in advance. Practice speaking through your screen, set up the right background and lighting for a webcam interview, or even pick out the perfect outfit to look professional from home. Practice mock virtual interviews with friends who are also stuck in their homes. Consider difficult questions that might trip you up and have your answers ready in advance.
Once you have a virtual interview scheduled, practice more for that specific job. You should also practice with the communication tool that you’ll be using so there are no technical hiccups when the real interview comes along.
Consider Temporary Opportunities
Businesses are adapting to the new normal with coronavirus, and while many of those businesses have laid off workers in response, some companies may be in need of temporary help to get through this period. Consider taking a temporary opportunity for the time being, especially if you need the income or if you expect to rejoin your former company when things return to normal.
While temporary positions may not be ideal for what you ultimately want in your career, they’re a good option for those in need of employment right now. The operations of most businesses have been seriously changed by the COVID-19 crisis, so their needs have also changed temporarily. Go with the times and take what work you can get if you need it – if you’re financially comfortable enough to wait for the perfect job, then this need not apply, but a temporary position may be helpful to keep busy in the meantime.
Be patient in your job search, and don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t find something as soon as you’d like. We are facing unprecedented challenges, and it’s still unclear how long it will be before things return to business as usual. Keep your head up, put in effort to find a new job, and use your extra time at home to improve upon yourself both professionally and personally.
Need help searching for a job? Contact TalentFleX Solutions to talk to one of our recruiting professionals and discuss your options.