COVID-19 was more than just a global healthcare crisis. It was also a blow to the economy, forcing many businesses to shut down, reducing budgets, and putting expansion plans on hold. In the UK, for instance, the unemployment rate reached 4.9%, which, though not as high as the initial estimates, was still higher than it’s been in decades. While some sectors, such as IT and e-commerce, benefited from the pandemic and had to hire to cope with the increased demand, industries like hospitality, retail, and entertainment were badly hit by the restrictions and had to send workers on leave. It was an unfortunate situation, because many of these workers were highly skilled leaders that simply happened to work in a vulnerable industry.
And this isn’t the only way that COVID-19 has affected job prospects. Workers who happened to be in between jobs or planning on making a big career move discovered that job offers were scarce and that they didn’t hear back from recruiters as much as they hoped.
Although the crisis is still ongoing and the economy isn’t at its strongest, you don’t have to remain unemployed until brighter days come or resign yourself to taking a job you don’t love. Even in uncertain times, you can be recruited. The trick is to know how to market yourself and create a strong personal brand. These strategies can help you stand out:
Boost your online visibility
In a world where remote interviews are becoming more and more common, boosting your digital literacy and adapting to new market requirements is crucial. Before COVID-19, it was common practice for candidates to find jobs by networking, and that remains a good strategy, but you also need to realize that networking is now mostly done online.
With that in mind, you have to make sure you get recognized as an expert and that you leave behind a digital footprint with your top achievements. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Have an active presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a fantastic social network for professionals, no matter what job position you are interested in. If you haven’t already updated your LinkedIn profile to reflect your work experience, you’re missing out, and you’d be surprised that simply ticking that option that you’re looking for new opportunities will lead to an increase in job offers. You should also join LinkedIn groups to expand your network and stay in the loop.
- Establish yourself as a thought leader. This is especially important for executives who are looking for work. According to a study conducted by Novo Executive Search and Selection, 70% of executives are looking for a new role, and 62% feel that it is currently harder to achieve that role due to the economic context. To overcome this challenge, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd and establish yourself as a thought leader. While this may not be a means of direct promotion, it shows that you have the right skill set and experience and puts you on the radar of executive recruiters. So, how do you become a thought leader? For starters, you can use social media to share your insights about the industry. Then, you can post articles on your personal blog, and, once you grow your network, you can host webinars and get published in industry magazines.
The best part about being visible online is that it helps you even when you’re not actively looking for a job. Many times, before making a role available to the general work pool, recruiters reach out to possible candidates that stand out through their achievements. In other words, by consolidating your personal brand, work may come to you.
Use a recruitment portal that’s relevant to your desired job position.
So, you’ve polished your resume, and you’re ready to hunt for a new job like a rock star. But the question is: where will you start your search? Most people go on general recruitment platforms and browse the jobs there until something catches their eye, and then they submit their application.
If the last time you used such a portal left you a bit disappointed, you’re not alone. While they may have many job offers, these platforms are a “jack of all trades.” They have quantity, not quality. After scrolling for one hour through jobs, you may find that most jobs are irrelevant and, if you work in a lesser-known field, you may not even see any posts at all.
The answer, recruitment experts argue, lies in joining a niche recruitment portal. This way, you’re narrowing down your search and getting access to jobs that may not even be posted on general recruitment platforms.
Alternatively, if you know a recruiter from a field you’re interested in, leverage that contact. Reach out to them and tell them that you’re interested in new opportunities, and this way, maybe you can have access to the role before the job gets posted online. This is especially the case with executive positions, which are filled mostly via recommendations and headhunting.
Optimize your resume for digital recruitment
Your resume remains your main personal marketing board when applying for a job, and one of the biggest mistakes you could make is to send out the same version of it to a dozen potential employers without tailoring it. A potential employer won’t care that your CV is five pages long; on the contrary, unless you’re aiming for a high executive position, two pages is more than enough. Your CV should be relevant and on point, and you should focus on describing results and achievements, not tasks.
Something extra you should work on when drafting your CV is optimization for digital searches. Many times, the CVs are scanned by an automated tool before it reaches human eyes. These automated tools have come a long way, but they’re still not perfect because if your CV doesn’t include a few key phrases, it will be discarded. To avoid that, include phrases and terms from the job ad.
Interesting Related Article:”5 Ways AI Can Help With Recruitment“