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how to nail your application during the pandemic job search

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

Are you a job seeker or an ambitious graduate looking for an opportunity, but you find yourself struggling with the job search? Then this is the guide for you - with clear tips on how to #getthatjob in the coronavirus era, calls-to-action & useful career program modules, courses and an insightful list of sectors adjusting to the pandemic - because we have no time to waste. WE GOT THIS!

Lockdowns and social distancing restrictions translate into fewer jobs and automatically tougher competition amongst applicants. As the Youth Futures Foundation report says, young people are the most hit demographic group by the plummeting job market. The research findings of the institute for employments studies may be disheartening at first sight, as it was found that:

  • young people account for 46% of the overall fall in employment.

  • young people are bearing the brunt of lockdown – 47% of people furloughed aged under 24.

  • almost 200,000 young people who are out of work have been unemployed for over six months.

The reason for this may also be that young people typically hold jobs in industries that have been most affected by the pandemic, making them more vulnerable to being laid off. Although the situation seems a bit gloomy, this shouldn't be a reason for you to feel disheartened; and because we've got your back, below is a JOB SEARCH SURVIVAL GUIDE:

tips to follow to land the desired opportunity

1. consider widening your horizons

We all have a dream industry we would love to contribute positively to, but if it happens to be one that was deeply affected by the pandemic, we might feel discouraged to further our career on this path. This article on the sectors that are floating or sinking during the pandemic might help you analyze where you are more or less likely to find a suitable position.

However, don't tick off your list any sectors or jobs just yet. First, try to find available vacancies out there and only if you don't find yourself enthusiastic about what you find, try widening your horizons.

If you eventually choose to move away from your desired position, decide on priorities you must stick to and compromises you are willing to make in balance for a clearer picture.

What's your willingness to keep your role but work in a different sector, how would you react to changing your environment if the pay benefits your current position more? Are you open to trying new things and enhancing your knowledge and skills?

If possible, engage in an internship and see how easily you can adapt to a new role or industry. Check out the open internship opportunities available at the female factor, ranging from marketing to strategy and development to HR and many more. They can also be done remotely - how cool is that?

Instead of dwelling on things you have no power over, try shifting your energy and focus on things you can optimise.

2. make yourself stand out and invest in your personal brand

You really want your application to stand out, especially when the competition is extremely high. Think of yourself, your achievements and career as a brand. It's all about how you productise and package yourself in order to appeal to potential employers. Are you feeling lost and with no clear direction on where to start? Look over this course and get inspired.

As remote working becomes more popular and there is a greater emphasis on flexible work opportunities, communication skills stay at the top of the recruiters' list. A good place to demonstrate strong communication is at the very start of the application process, so we would recommend revising your CV and LinkedIn profile. Make sure the layout is looking crisp and professional, that you include all your best points and relevant experiences.

Despite the high degree of formalisation, remember that LinkedIn is a social media platform and it is a great place to show more of your personality - add photos, projects you've been working on, insights from the courses you have completed. Passionate about a specific topic or industry? Write a blog article directly on LinkedIn and position yourself in that niche!

3. continue to improve your skill set

Getting involved in extracurricular activities might be difficult due to social distancing, but this should not get in the way of upgrading your CV. You can boost your experience by learning a new language or get a hold of a new skill through online courses.

As companies are currently heavily relying on technology, being a digital connoisseur is contributing positively to your success. A great starting point would be to get familiar with online collaboration platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom, in order to ensure a smooth working experience. From there on, you can continue with other courses tailored to your career experience and industry. Platforms such as Udemy and Coursera offer free courses or LinkedIn Learning has a free one month trial.

Don't limit yourself to hard skills only - employers are also looking for applicants with a high degree of emotional intelligence, which is why overlooking the importance of soft skills (we call them power skills) is not advised. Our career success program is focused on personal development, career training and upskilling and it is designed to help you discover your inner potential and get you where you want. Show your potential employers why choosing you would be an asset for their company and achieve success on your own terms.

4. engage in mock-up interviews

Ok, so you've checked all the things on your lists: widening your horizons and considering new opportunities - check, CV and LinkedIn makeover - check, skill set on point, both hard and power skills - check…now it's time for the interview.

Confidence is key when it comes to interviewing and it is not something you can build overnight. A great thing you can do during the pandemic is to be proactive and conduct mock-up interviews. Yep, you’ve read that right! As silly as it may sound, they are a great way for you to articulate your ideas and get comfortable with speaking about yourself. You will not only become more confident for your real life interviews when the time comes, but it's a great way to test your ability to showcase your strengths and really put yourself out there.

Here is our challenge for you: have a look over our interview checklist and ask a friend to help you set up a Google meet or Zoom interview. Ask for feedback, improve your performance and repeat until you feel prepared enough.

really believe you will make it

This time period has been and still is undoubtedly difficult for our mental health. Especially for highly ambitious people, this pandemic can be perceived as the main reason for the latent status of their career. No matter how many difficulties you have encountered during your job search, you have to remember that this is not your fault.

Another important thing you shouldn't overlook is the importance of having a community - don't forget that our community of kick-ass women is not only celebrating your success, but also trying to lift you up whenever you experience any low points. Allow yourself to have a vulnerability moment and let others give you a hand - after all, #WeRisebyLiftingOthers, right?

Moreover, instead of dwelling on things you have no power over, try shifting your energy and focus on things you can optimise. It may seem like a dead-end situation, but remember - you've got this.

To help you stay on track, we made a cheatsheet for you to better track your progress, which you can download below.

career cheat sheet - the female factor
Download PDF • 86KB

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