How to best prepare for your job search during COVID-19
COVID-19 has created a competitive job market, pushing several talented individuals into an unprecedented time of uncertainty. While job openings increased to 1.4 million in August, the total number of open positions remains lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics' report released in August 2020.
Finding a job has never been simple and current challenges brought by COVID have not made it any easier; however, in spite of everything, Cherokee Federal continues to grow — hiring more than 700 individuals since the beginning of this calendar year. Additionally, we have 508 open positions spanning several industries and locations.
Whether you’re interested in working with Cherokee Federal or if you find a different career path, we’re all in this together. To help you succeed, we’ve talked with some of our top recruiters to get their advice on how to best prepare for your job search during COVID-19.
Cherokee Federal Recruiter Kiara Williams suggests job seekers get creative with their job search. Take the time to research companies, determine those you are passionate about and set up job alerts. This will keep you informed on job openings that you’re truly interested in so you can apply before your competition.
Sharpen Your Skills
Cherokee Federal Recruiter Rosa Ballou suggests taking the time to sharpen your skills.
Platforms such as Indeed and LinkedIn offer free online courses and certifications with topics ranging from time management to communication and interpersonal skills. Participation in paid programs, such as Microsoft 365 Training, coursera.com and allison.com, will strengthen your hard skills — those teachable and measurable abilities that are applicable across numerous industries.*
If you’re transitioning from the military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a VA Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to assist service members in transitioning to civilian life. Online courses cover topics such as getting career ready and finding your community.
Update Your Resume and Customize
Make sure your resume is polished. Update your resume with your new skills, relevant experience and education. Be prepared to customize your resume for each job posting to ensure your resume stands out above the competition.
Polish Your Social Media Profiles
This is also a great time to update your social media profiles. Take steps to ensure your profile pictures are professional and the content shared on your profiles reflect who you are — both as a qualified candidate and as an individual.
LinkedIn suggests turning your summary into a story. It offers ways to use its platform to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and to start meaningful conversations to strengthen your network and expand your reach. Hootsuite offers a guide for users to polish their digital presence in one hour. Topics include building trust and credibility, developing quality content and using cross-promotion opportunities.
Dive Into Digital Networking
Now is the time for digital networking, as recruiters are working to build their talent pipelines. Ballou suggests joining professional Facebook groups and contributing to conversations taking place. Sharing relevant content on all of your social media profiles with hashtags to connect you to target audiences are another great way to make a good impression online. Use popular hashtags among job seekers and recruiters, as well as hashtags that reflect your industry, expertise and desired position.
The Power of Referrals
Dan Perry, Cherokee Federal Recruiter, wants candidates to remember the power of referrals. Use tools like LinkedIn to network by looking for contacts at companies you’re interested in working with. Connect with that person and let them know you’re interested in working with their company. Ask who you need to be in contact with to make it happen. You can also maximize your reach by asking them for two more contacts that you can connect with to strengthen your referral and connection with the company.
In case you’re looking for additional resources, here are 5 Steps to Finding Work During COVID-19 to help you land your dream job.
*Prices on listed courses may vary.