COVID brings coughs, fevers and now – job losses! Your new employment status may be temporary or permanent but if you’ve been laid off, furloughed or downsized you should invest in getting your ducks in a row. Before you settle in – consider:
Your First Priority Is Your Finances
Get as much financial support as you can to tide you over. Apply for Employment Insurance and check out the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to provide temporary income support.
Review your severance documents carefully and several times. As these documents can often be confusing, reach out to your HR Manager for clarification. Carefully note the date you need to have your documents signed and returned to HR. If you are concerned about your severance terms and conditions consult with an Employment Lawyer. Nicole Howell and Anita Atwal of HHBG are two highly trusted Employment Lawyers.
Map Out Your Job Search Plan
Recruiting is still happening! Jobs are being posted – of course not as many but the market is still moving forward – although a lot slower.
Your job search plan should include updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, reaching out to your network to explore career opportunities your connections may have heard about, regularly reviewing job boards, and connecting with recruiters.
Set Up Your Home Office Space
Create a dedicated job search space where everything you need is at your fingertips. With your resume and calendar nearby, you’ll always be ready for a call from a recruiter. This is the time to also ensure your computer is virus-free, your printer has toner, and your webcam works.
Update Your Resume
Use this time to your advantage by updating your resume. A compelling, accomplishment-based résumé will grab recruiters’ and hiring managers’ attention and help you land interviews. Check out The Essential Resume Checklist and learn how to build an accomplishment-based resume at How To Get Your Résumé To the Top of the Pile.
Refresh Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a powerful job search tool for sourcing job postings, connecting with recruiters, and researching organizations. Use this time to fully optimize your LI profile and make it look sharp. Then build up your LI network. Reach out to your former co-workers, managers, customers, and alumni – you never know who might be able to refer a great job posting or open the door to a company that is hiring. Click for: 3 Key Strategies to Raise Your Profile on LinkedIn.
Hone Your Interview Skills
One big job search change is the number of virtual interviews you will need to go through before an offer is extended. That means you will have to do more to be considered a top candidate. If it’s been a few years since you’ve been interviewed, consider investing in Interview Coaching. The JL Careers Blog is rich with interviewing tips and commonly asked questions to help you ace your next interview.
Get Tech Savvy
Zoom, Microsoft Teams Meeting, Skype, and other virtual interview platforms are your new best friends. Become familiar with them as interviews will be conducted virtually in this new work world. Test the technology with friends and family to get comfortable with how it works.
Set up your space for virtual interviews. Have a clean background behind you. Tidy that bookshelf. Ensure there’s nothing messy or too busy as it can reflect negatively on you.
Pay attention to your lighting. Poor lighting can make you look older and tired. During your interviews don’t have your back to a window or in front of a light source as the interviewer won’t see you clearly. Test different locations by moving your laptop around the room to find where the lighting is good and where you don’t see shadows on your face.
Lastly, put your best face forward. Place the webcam at your eye level or slightly above, and then sit back so your shoulders are in the frame.
Keep an Eye on Job Boards
Today’s job search is web-dependent. Get familiar with the major job banks including Indeed.ca and LinkedIn. I recommend you don’t post your resume on any job search site. If you do you may find that your phone is ringing off the hook and your email inbox is full of job opportunities – but these are largely low paying, high turn-over roles that aren’t desirable.
Check-in with Head-hunters and Employment Recruiting Agencies
Remember those head-hunters that used to call you, but you were too busy to entertain their job opportunities. Go back through your emails and find their names. Then email them or send a LinkedIn request for a virtual coffee to talk about the market and your job search launch. They are constantly sourcing talent for current and future opportunities. Plus, they have their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in the market, so you can get timely updates.
Consider New Career Options
If it’s time to explore a new career path, COVID provides the time to invest in researching best-fit new career options. Start by finding out what motivates you. Next identify your skills and strengths you want to use in your new career. Then determine your values as these will help you decide if a career matches your needs. You can also discover new career paths by engaging in career testing which matches your interests and values with career paths.
Even if you are on furlough, it’s good to build a job search plan in case your former employer doesn’t call you back to work. You’ll want to have your job search tools ready, so you can quickly respond to any new employment opportunities as they arise.
We are thinking of you and wishing you good health, wellness, and patience during this time of social distancing.
Need Job Search Help?
Our team of Career Coaches are standing by. We are open for business and are working virtually to meet our clients’ needs. If you need resume writing, a refresh of your LinkedIn profile, interview practice or resources to support your career exploration contact us today for a complimentary telephone consultation to discuss your needs and how we can help.
Joanne Loberg Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc