The COVID-19 pandemic has left a trail of carnage, impacting about every area of our lives, including the careers and jobs of millions of people. If your job was impacted by the pandemic and you find yourself in a job search, the silver lining in this black cloud is the fact that when talking to potential employers, you won’t have to spend a lot of time explaining and justifying the employment gap on your resume in 2020. There’s a clear understanding across all industries that lay-offs during this period were largely a result of macro issues beyond your control and not necessarily because of your performance or ability. As one HR executive recently told me “this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hire some great talent that is now available.”
With this in mind, in this brave new post-pandemic world, there are a few things you can do to get your career back on-track if you’ve been laid off.
Firstly, you might need to pivot. Is your industry in long-term recovery with mode with few jobs and lots of applicants, such as professional roles in the hospitality, oil and gas and retail industries? You may need to open up to new possibilities. Do some research on what companies are hiring and growing. Some industries that are currently hiring include, transportation and logistics, bio-technology and innovative education. Divert your search to the industries that need people now, often with your skillset.
The second thing you can do is rework your resume. Especially if you are pivoting to a new industry. Focus on your skills, achievements and key attributes. Your capabilities and refined attributes are transferable across companies and industries. Remember to have action-oriented bullet points (ex. “Reworked company branding”) underneath each job you list. Keep it succinct and accomplishment-driven.
Lastly, if you’re not comfortable interviewing virtually, now is the time to practice. We just led a search to place a high-level executive. The whole interview process was conducted virtually up until the final face-to-face visit. It led to an efficient and safe recruiting process for everyone, but the candidate had to adjust to effectively interviewing via Zoom. Follow the key practices of conducting an interview over the phone and online.
If you are having a difficult time formulating a search strategy, interviewing, or you need to revamp your resume, schedule an hour conversation with one of our career coaches—our resident experts on career transition and how to really make a mark in the applicant pool. As always, contact us with any questions you have. We’re here to help you succeed.