While you're social distancing, leverage these tips to improve your job prospects
Needless to say, coronavirus has affected the economy and our nation's workforce in an unprecedented way.
We acknowledge that you may find yourself in a stressful situation, whether that's due to an unexpected layoff or the need to adjust to working from home.
As we adapt to a new normal way of living, use this time wisely to position yourself for career success in what will inevitably become a competitive job market.
1) Stay Calm
Focus on what you can do right now instead of stressing about circumstances that are simply out of your control.
When we are in a panicked, chaotic mindset, we often don't think clearly and make rash decisions out of a feeling of desperation.
It may be easier said than done, but remember that the situation we're going through is temporary.
2) Take Time to Reflect
As we mentioned in Thrive Global, you want to have a firm understanding of where you want to go so you don’t start climbing up a ladder only to realize that it’s leaning against the wrong wall.
Now is the optimal time to pause and reflect on where you want to take your career moving forward.
- Were you truly happy in your most recent role?
- What does your ideal job look like?
- Are you leveraging your strongest skill sets?
- If money weren't a factor, what would you like to be doing?
To start your reflection, take the 16 Personalities test based on the Myers-Briggs assessment, which can provide pointed insights on suitable career types and work environments for you.
The Enneagram is another effective tool that paints an (often unusually accurate) picture of what motivates you and the types of environments you’ll thrive best in.
3) Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Given that we will be social distancing for the foreseeable future, much of your networking will likely take place online.
If you weren't particularly active on LinkedIn, now is a great time to update your profile and start engaging.
Consider writing an article, sharing relevant content, or commenting on posts.
Read this post for tips on how to make the most out of LinkedIn when you're short on time (or not a fan of social media).
4) Reach Out to Your Network
Studies show that the most effective way to land interviews and job offers is through personal connections.
There's nothing to be embarrassed about if you lost your job recently.
However, be sure to take advantage of the time you have available to reconnect with friends and colleagues instead of isolating yourself.
Doing so will make you happier, and you never know what opportunities they might be able to connect you with.
Even if you are currently employed, there’s no harm in being proactive!
5) Prepare Your Resume
The New York Times reported that the rise in initial unemployment claims for the week of March 9 "is larger than any week-to-week movement that occurred during (or since) the 2008 financial crisis."
We won't sugar coat things and tell you that the economy will bounce back quickly or tell you that plenty of jobs will be available for the taking when it does.
That's simply unlikely to be the case based on the information we currently have available.
"The last recession began in December 2007, but even half a year later, some economists were still debating whether the economy had entered a recession. This time, there’s no debate."
The US job market will likely become significantly more competitive as we recover from the coronavirus crisis, making it important that your resume is top-notch.
To help you stand out from similar applicants, create an achievement-based resume that highlights how you added value to each organization you were a part of.
Even if jobs are in short supply at the moment, getting your job application materials ready now will enable you to hit the ground running as soon as the economy picks back up.