How to job hunt during and after COVID-19
The recruitment landscape has changed dramatically over the COVID-19 period. Many people have found themselves out of work, so competition for the same roles could be higher than normal.
The human capital sector (including recruitment firms) has taken a significant hit during COVID-19 according to Arrowpoint Advisory. Lockdown and economic support packages effectively put the jobs market on pause with very few people moving between companies.
Similar to the 2008 global financial crisis, the sector may experience a rapid recovery and ‘human capital’ (as it’s rather clinically called) will be central to economic recovery post COVID-19.
You may find yourself looking for a new role because of the way your employer has treated you and your team throughout these trying times.
Whatever your reason for looking for a job, here are a few tips to help you with your job hunt.
Most SME’s prefer direct applications for advertised jobs (we certainly do!). So, how do you stand out?
Do your research – are the company you are interested in actively recruiting? If so, why not apply directly to them? Make sure your CV and cover letter are error free and engaging – you don’t need to be too ‘shouty’ in your cover letter, simply highlight succinctly why someone should open your CV and take a further look.
HR departments are having an equally challenging time dealing with this new climate, ensuring we are up to date with the policies surrounding working from home, Covid-19, furlough, the challenges of keeping culture at the heart of everything we do AND planning for people to come back in to the office safely. So, be patient. Whilst it’s okay to call to see where things are up to, make sure you don’t harass.
If the direct approach isn’t for you, recruiters will be vying for your cv and will potentially want to work with you exclusively.
But – there are a few things you should consider before deciding on who to work with:
- Does the recruiter work with the companies you are interested in?
- How are they representing you to any potential employer? Ask to see what they will be sending out – does it reflect you accurately?
- Have they met you virtually and spoken to you at length about what you are looking for?
- Have they done their due diligence, checking your eligibility to work in the UK etc?
- Do you feel like they are keeping you in the loop? Do you know where your cv has been sent and where you are at in the process?
- Do they have your safety as a top priority? If you don’t feel comfortable, tell them.
Finally, if you are asked to do an online assessment for a specific company, don’t balk at the time you have to put into it. If you are indeed interested in working for a company (which is a big investment on the employer’s part as well as your own) then you should take due time and attention to complete their processes.
First impressions count, so make sure your approach is representative of you and fits the company you’re applying to. Once you’ve secured an interview, don’t panic if it’s remote!