It’s hard to believe, but three months ago, we had the best economy with low unemployment. Staffing agencies and HR teams worked hard to find top talent when everyone was working, and business was booming. With the COVID-19 virus, we’ve seen the sharpest decline in the economy that is the direct opposite of the beginning of 2020.

With the unemployment level at its highest rate since the Great Depression and ominous warning signals that the worst is yet to come, many workers are searching for a job at a time when many jobs have dried up. To top it off, many of us are still staying home and wearing masks when we venture out. It is a strange time to search for a job. Here are some tips to help you with your search.

Networking Matters More Than Ever

Most companies have transitioned to a remote workforce. While some are gradually coming back to an office setting, many will not return or will keep a partially remote staff in the coming months. HR teams have been stretched to the max as they initially helped transition the remote teams, and now maybe moving some or all back to an office. This might make it more difficult to reach these professionals, but you should continue to network with them. Too, you don’t know the mitigating circumstances of their home life. They may be caring for a sick person in their homes or children home for the summer while still trying to work from home.

Don’t be surprised if job openings pop up and then disappear just as fast. It’s a tumultuous time that companies are still trying to figure out. You may decide to wait it out and apply in a month or so. But it couldn’t hurt to reach out on a social media platform to connect with people at the company you’re considering.

Speaking of social—now is the perfect time to work on your social profile. You should spend at least part of your day commenting, posting, and finding new colleagues on LinkedIn. Most networking events are still virtual or canceled entirely. Join professional groups both on Facebook and LinkedIn. Make yourself visible on these platforms and always handle yourself professionally.

If you’ve applied for jobs in the past, go ahead and reach out to HR teams, mainly if you had a promising interview just before COVID-19 smashed like a wrecking ball through our lives. Go ahead and check in now with the hiring manager by email. Let them know you’re still interested when the role opens back up again and ask them to consider you for other positions with the company. Try to offer your help instead of asking them for something. If you have a specific skill, let them know you’re standing by with some expertise they can use when the time is right.

Finally, if you’re unemployed and looking for a new position, use this time to research information on the companies you’d like to work for in the future. Pay attention to how management is handling the COVID-19 crisis – target employees in these companies as possible colleagues to connect with on LinkedIn. You can also use this time by seeking out new credentials and learning new skills.

IES can help you in your job search. Contact our team today.

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