Author: Leah Lambart, Career & Interview Coach
In the last fortnight thousands of Australians have lost their jobs as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. There is never anything good about losing your job, especially when it comes as a terrible shock, as it has for many people in the past two weeks.
So, if you have been unfortunate to lose your job as a result of this terrible situation, then please think about the following things that you can be doing to improve your chance of regaining employment when things improve in the future:
1) YOUR POSITION was stood down – YOU were not!
This is something that you must remind yourself of frequently. Your position was stood down – you were not. This is not personal, it is a result of an unprecendented situation that no employer could ever have planned for. Your employer may be keeping on a skeleton staff and they would have their reasons as to why they have kept on some staff but not others. Again, you cannot take their decision personally as often it comes down to budget and business decisions that are nothing to do with you as a person.
2) Explore options to gain government financial support
We recommend that you explore what financial support you can receive in order to ease any anxiety you are feeling about your financial situation. Refer to the following link for further information:
3) Remain positive and focus on your mindset
This situation is going to be really dire for many people, but you MUST stay positive. A negative mindset is not going to help anyone. Things will improve and businesses will start hiring again. Retail shops, cafes, gyms, events, entertainment and AFL football will return BUT these industries are unlikely to recruit the numbers they have let go until they start making profits again. You must be prepared for a competitive market even when things start to return to normal.
In order to stay positive, it is important to not play the victim and focus on what is good in your life. Be grateful for the small things, reach out to people for support and focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Lack of sleep, over-eating and over-drinking will only make you feel worse, so focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t.
4) You must be compelling
In a competitive job market, it is even more important that you can clearly articulate who you are, what you want and what you can offer. You must be able to communicate your transferable skills, particularly if you are changing to a new industry, and be able to demonstrate why you are a good match to the role. Do some self-assessment to get a true sense of your natural strengths, what you do particularly well and how you stand out from others.
5) You must employ ACTIVE job search strategies
We talk to our clients all the time about the difference between PASSIVE and ACTIVE job search strategies.
PASSIVE job search involves responding to advertisements for vacant roles most often via online job boards or recruitment websites.
ACTIVE job search means taking the driver’s seat in your job search. Developing a targeted network and contacting companies and people directly to try and create opportunities for yourself rather than just applying to roles online with the masses.
In a competitive job market, you simply must be employing ACTIVE job search strategies and this is more important the more senior you are in your role.
Start off by developing a list of all your 1st degree contacts and then think about 2nd degree connections (who you know and who they know). The people who use their network will be the ones that have greater success when the economy starts to recover so the sooner you start the better.
5) You must have compelling documents
In addition to the above, your application documents will need to stand out from the crowd. Roles will be hugely competitive when recruitment gets going again so your documents need to be well-written and well-formatted.
High volume applications will be assessed by Applicant Tracking Systems (ie. a bot) so your documents need to be keyword optimised with the words that the recruiters are looking for, in order to make it to the ‘yes’ pile.
If you have time on your hands, then get cracking with updating and re-formatting your resume or contact us if you need some help from one of our highly experienced resume writers Jeanette or Victoria.
6) Use the time effectively
Some people are going to have considerable downtime over the next few months as we are virtually isolated to our homes, whilst others will be stretched trying to continue doing some work/running a business, home-schooling and in my experience running a café (they never stop eating!!!).
If you do have time on your hands, then please use it effectively by finding ways to upskill so that you can add to your resume whilst you are not working. Recruiters will be interested in how you spent this time and those who were pro-active completing courses, freelancing, starting a blog, building a website, writing a book etc will be rewarded for being pro-active and making the best of a bad time.
This may not be possible for everyone, but there are some brilliant online free or very inexpensive courses out there including websites such as Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, CreativeLive, Futurelearn and Alison.com. Think about what you have always wanted to learn, or haven’t had time to learn, and get upskilling soon!
7) Get comfortable networking online
Many of our clients have spoken to me about the fact that they don’t feel comfortable using LinkedIn or other social media to network. If you have a very good reason to not be on social media, then I totally respect that. However, if it is just about getting comfortable being on social media, then I think you must get onto LinkedIn and get out of your comfort zone.
With the forced lack of face-to-face networking, all networking is moving online in the form of virtual conferences/summits, Facebook and LinkedIn groups and general online discussions. You will need a network to support your job search so there is no time to waste.
In conclusion, we know that this time is very challenging and I am not suggesting that the above is going to be easy. If you can implement even some of the above strategies then you will be in a much better place in a few months time.
If you feel like you need more support , then don’t hesitate to contact us via the Contact page on our website www.relaunchme.com.au/contact.
We have also started a Job Search Closed Facebook Group to support you with your job search. Please feel free to post any questions in the group so that we can support you going forward.