Your Pandemic Job Search

Justin Byrne


​To say these are troubling times for those currently out of work, would be something of an understatement.

The combination of those who were already on the hunt and those who have unexpectedly found themselves out of work, as a result of Covid 19, mean unemployment is at the highest level it has been for a very long time.

The media claim that as many as 4 in 5 employees have been affected, with 81% of worldwide workplaces having been either partly or fully closed. The unemployment rate here in the UK alone is set to surge from 3.9% in December of last year to 5.2% this month, but the reality is it will likely be even higher

Crazy, crazy numbers.

No one knows what the future holds nor how things will look in a month’s time, let alone this time next year; but, whilst certainly presenting unique challenges, it IS possible to undertake a successful job search during the pandemic. Whilst recognising it’s not as easy as perhaps only a few weeks ago, here are some things to keep in mind when approaching your pandemic job hunt:

1. Get comfortable with online networking tools – not just sending online applications.

Remember that many offices won’t be open, nor will their furloughed employees working right now. This means that your job application may have just dropped into an unmanned inbox, or one which is overrun with plenty more important, more urgent things to be dealing with.

Connecting with potential employers via social media dramatically increases your chances of making contact via a medium which is monitored regularly – even if they’re furloughed. Use LinkedIn as the powerful tool it is during the pandemic, especially with social distancing measures in play, to increase your chances of having conversations and opening a line of communication.

Side note: that’s not to say you should start sending anyone and everyone bland, impersonal connection requests! (Tom Morris talks about how to send a proper LinkedIn invite here).

2. Invest in yourself and your application.

For example: if you’re applying for marketing roles and keep seeing requirements for the same certifications (which you don’t yet possess), now is the time to invest in boosting your skills – and application package – as such. You’ve probably never had more time to do it!

With so many online courses available for any and all professions, coupled with nothing but time on our hands, learning should be at the forefront of all our minds; more so as a jobseeker within such unprecedented times, where staying competitive is key. Those still hiring during this pandemic have problems to solve – work out how to be that person, and get learning.

3. Be patient.

Easier said than done, undoubtedly, but important nonetheless.

Patience is a virtue, never more so than in times of uncertainty.

Understand that the person to whom you’ve spoken or applied through will be feeling stresses and pressures of their own; as such, hiring processes will undoubtedly move more slowly and may not be of paramount focus right now. Don’t expect to hear back on opportunities straight away.

Understand that no one is trying to waste your time; things are changing by the day so, if an opportunity you’ve been in the loop for is no longer available due to a change internally, thank the employer for their consideration regardless and leave that door open in case something else arises in future. These are unprecedented times and things can change quickly.

And, finally, understand that you’re not alone in this. It may not solve the problem of not having a job, but knowing that others are in the same boat does leave you with many-a-place to turn for support, advice and camaraderie during these uncertain times. LinkedIn is an incredible community with which to connect and endure, so follow #certusrecruitment to get involved – from job searching tips to book recommendations and the odd motivational quote, there’s always a conversation to be had.

As ever, sending well wishes from the Certus team.