“There can only be one” is a famous line from the movie Highlander which should be used to capture the mindset we must have when looking to take that next step in our careers given today’s environment.
Yes, the unemployment numbers are at their highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, so clearly the competition for vacant jobs will be fierce. But keep in mind that the employer can only hire one person per open position. It’s a fact.
Regardless of the number of applicants for the roles you’re pursuing, remain calm, stay active, and focus on being the best you. You’ve been you all your life, but your audience doesn’t know you so you need to sell yourself as “the candidate.”
As employers reopen for business there will be an initial wave of furloughed employees returning to work. And there will also be some terminated employees who will be asked to return to work. As an outside candidate some of your initial opportunities to be hired will arise from:
- gaps in targeted headcounts created by employees who decide not to return;
- changes in desired candidate profile given the new landscape;
- leaders leaving after having steered their organizations through the pandemic crisis.
In addition to pursuing a reactive job search (“I see a job online and apply for it”) it’s important to also execute a proactive search to capture the interest of prospective employers. Perhaps easier said than done, so we have put together a brief outline to get you started.
5 Steps for a Proactive Job Search
- Assess and match your background with careers and jobs of interest by connecting your experience and expertise to the requirements of the professions you have in mind. Complete a SWOT Analysis of yourself as candidate.
- Review/work on your documents and online presence to ensure effective presentation. Resume, application support documents, cover letters, and profile on LinkedIn.
- Do the research to identify where you want to work: geographic markets, desired industries, types of organizations (size, culture, environment, etc.)
- Develop a Strategic Career Plan for direction, and a Target List to keep track of potential employers while ensuring timely follow-up on your end.
- Market and Network online (LinkedIn) and in-person to secure meetings and interviews. Here’s a suggestion to get started. Call two people a day just to say hi and see how they’re doing.
Finally, we realize it’s easy to lose hope whenever reading and hearing about all the bad news, so we wanted to inspire a bit by sharing that several of our Career Advisory clients are actively interviewing and some have received and accepted job offers midst this crisis. It can be done!
Stay healthy and drop us a note as we’re here to help you navigate through the ups and downs!