SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
To say that the Coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the economy is an understatement. Social distancing orders crippled thousands of businesses and companies and left millions of people without jobs.
With the US unemployment rate at an all-time high of 14.7% in April and 13.3% in May, these numbers can be disheartening to anyone looking for a job. As daunting as it may seem, there are companies from different industries that are still operating and continue to have hiring requirements.
In this article, we focus on how you can effectively search for jobs despite an economic and health crisis.
How to Look for Employment During a Pandemic:
When looking for a job during a pandemic, a little research on which industries and companies are still operating can help you effectively zero in on where you can submit your resume and applications to. While there are some industries that are greatly impacted by the COVID-19 virus outbreak like travel, hotel and restaurant, and leisure, there are still other businesses that continue to run and are even hiring more people.
Check the types of jobs that are currently in-demand and those that are least affected by the social distancing measures and start from there. Then take a look at their job postings and try to match them with your current skill set and capabilities to see which ones you’re qualified for. Check some of the industries that are still in operations below:
Companies that are Still Hiring During Covid-19:
Grocery Stores and Delivery Service Apps – People rely on food delivery now more than ever. Most restaurants and food companies only offer pick-up and delivery services these days, this means companies in this industry need more people to process and fulfill the influx of food delivery requests.
Shipping and Delivery- With social distancing in place, people rely on online shopping for their needs, whether essential or not. This means couriers and shipping companies are working non-stop despite the pandemic.
Online Training/Online Studies – With schools being canceled or postponed, parents and students now turn to online alternatives. Take note that online schooling is not limited to educational classes, there are a lot of online training programs that teach art, music, languages, and many more.
Communications Technology Companies- Internet communication is now considered essential by many as it is one of the most effective ways to connect with people whether for business, education, or family matters. Check business communication platforms like Zoom, Slack, Skype, and others to see if they are hiring.
Pharmacies and Health Industries – Health is the number one priority these days, so they are considered an essential business and thus still in operation. There are so many branches under the health industry like insurance, pharmaceutical, and many others, so do a skill check to see possible opportunities for you.
Teleworking/Customer Service and Tech Support- This is one of the industries that have established its demand even before the pandemic. With the current trend and switch to remote work, demand for teleworkers and online work has shot up.
2. Flexibility is Key:
In critical times like this, it is important to keep an open mind and flexibility on the types of jobs that you are applying for. While job security is an important factor that you should look for when looking for employment, you need to understand that the economy is still volatile these days as companies struggle to cope with the new normal of running their businesses.
What does this mean for you? It means you may need to take career pivotal moves and be open to job opportunities, even those which you do not consider as ideal.
Bear in mind that any type of job that you get during the pandemic has the potential to be a great avenue to gain skills and competencies. You can then use this experience as a stepping stone to taking your career further in the future.
3. Stay One Step Ahead:
With millions of people looking for jobs these days, it pays to stay one step ahead. This means doing research on the types of jobs that you are applying for, having clear action plans and timelines, and most importantly, prepare for job interviews.
Take note that hiring processes these days are done virtually so make sure you are ready with the different apps and online platforms being used these days. This way, you are ready to jump in for an interview at any time, should the opportunity arise.
4. Invest in Your Networks:
Take the time to connect with friends, colleagues, and mentors on social media and other platforms. Spruce up your LinkedIn profile and professional social media accounts and connect with potential employers by following them online. Most brands and businesses announce their job openings on LinkedIn, so make sure you’re on there because you want to be one of the first to know when a post has been opened. Even know how to add a resume to LinkedIn.
Lastly, be more proactive in reaching out to people in your job sector. This may sound like a bold move but this a great way to show interest. You can ask for advice, express your interest in a job, or simply to engage. This is a great way to make your presence online felt.
5. Upskill and Upgrade:
While waiting for interviews and feedback, take the time to upskill or upgrade your skillsets by taking advantage of the many online classes being offered these days. Aim for online degrees and certificates during your free time. Take this opportunity to boost or learn job-relevant skills. Not only will this look great on your resume, but this also shows great interest and preparation for the job that you are applying for. Something that a hiring manager might appreciate
If you find job hunting challenging these days, know that millions are in the same boat. Many have been derailed from their career paths and goals because of the pandemic. While it is okay to acknowledge these challenges, it is important to keep your head above the water and remember that resourcefulness and creativity can help your career go a long way.
Aubrey is a passionate writer and a contributor to contentcampfire.com. She’s interested and writes about job searches and anything about career. In her free time, she likes to read or draws.