Josh Barnes, Cork, Job Searching in COVID Age BlogWith the shadow of COVID- 19 still looming large, as a recruiter, I get quite regular questions about job searching during such an unprecedented and unpredictable time.

In a normal time, not so long ago, when we could enjoy a ‘restriction-free’ world to our heart’s content, actively seeking employment was hard, frustrating and could be utterly humbling at the best of times.

 

So, what has changed?

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc throughout all levels of society, and it puts a significant question mark over the future of the job market both nationally and internationally. This has caused active recruitment campaigns to be re-evaluated and some cancelled or put on hold as they are deemed non-priority in the current climate.

As this continues to happen, candidates actively pursuing a career change have begun to become more strategic and recognise which industries/companies are still hiring and growing despite the pandemic. This has caused a significant rise in competition on the application front, only adding to the emotional rollercoaster that is the job hunt!

 

With this all in mind, how do I optimise my job searching in age of COVID?

Great question – let’s delve into some top tips and advice I give my candidates to ensure they remain efficient in their job search and keeping it a stress-free task!

1. Breakthrough the COVID wall:

Although times remain unclear and the world embraces itself for an economic crisis, this is not the time to take your foot off the accelerator – Get out of your own way!

What you can see from the current market is companies have begun to adapt to virtual platforms to allow them to continue recruitment/onboarding processes. What this means is roles you see live and advertised are a priority to their operations and organisations, so get applying! Ensure you remain active daily on job boards, agency sites and company career portals. Ensure you have set up relevant job alerts.

The people who will be successful in securing a new role in such a time will be the proactive and persistent individuals who have not let up in their efforts.

2. Maximise your virtual networking

Three words: LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn.Virtual Networking, Josh Barnes Blog

This professional networking tool is at the forefront of networking right now with a spike in remote working. Utilise it! Ensure your profile is on-point.

Recruitment professionals have begun to utilise this tool significantly in recent years for candidate sourcing, and it can be an efficient platform to gain optimal traction when looking for new roles.

  • Ensure your profile is engaging, containing a clear and concise summary of your experience to date.
  • Is your profile up to date with your previous and present job history?
  • Have you indicated you are ‘open to new opportunities’ on your profile?
  • Have you included your qualifications and achievements?
  • Have you included a comprehensive list of your skills?
  • BE ACTIVE: connect/engage with relevant professionals, groups and industries, share things you like, comment on posts

 

3. Recruiters are the bridge to opportunities

Yes, Yes, I am blowing my own horn right now – but it is something that may be slightly overlooked, and I believe candidates could be utilising a lot better. In agency recruitment, we work with a multitude of organisations across various industries, ranging from the global leaders to indigenous innovators with a constant line of communication that revolves around hiring requirements and where we can support.

Agency recruiters that operate in your relevant field are specialists in your area and can provide you with extensive market feedback while opening a door for you to a vast network of clients they are supporting in recruitment processes. They will also provide advice on how to ensure your profile is optimised along with additional support in what can be a dark and vulnerable time in anyone’s life.  Job uncertainty can be scary, but we are here to help.

Get online and research recruitment agencies that can support you. The best advice I can give you:

  • Be Picky: Ensure you only contact agencies which have relevant jobs for you.
  • Streamline: Only work with a small number of agencies. This allows you to engage with individual recruiters more effectively. Building a close relationship with these professionals is imperative to ensure you are at the forefront of their minds when prospective roles become available.
  • Be Transparent: The reality is companies work with multiple agencies which means there is a likelihood more than one recruiter may contact you about the same role. If you have already applied either directly or through an agency, be honest. Duplicating your applications can reflect negatively on your profile.

When applying for roles, I would highly recommend keeping a list of the role and company you have applied to as well as whether this was direct or through an agency.

The moral of this blog is to utilise the readily available tools to get you unstuck! No matter how much uncertainty COVID-19 has caused in this world, the fundamentals of optimising your traction in your job search to ensure you secure your next role have not changed dramatically. Handle the unknown with a head-on approach!

For more tips related to job-searching, dealing with stress in the COVID-age, and interviewing online, visit our blog.

Josh Barnes is a Recruitment Consultant with the science & engineering team in Collins McNicholas Cork, and his current open roles can be viewed here

Josh Barnes

Recruitment Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group