These are still not normal times. And job search is no exception. Many of my clients have reported job leads that quickly dried up and budgets for new roles that vanished in the aftermath of the pandemic.
While it might be more challenging to secure interviews right now, you want to be ready when someone reaches out to you with an opportunity. The pandemic has also provided a unique opportunity to focus on certain activities that go on behind the scenes of your search campaign, but are critical to your success. Here are a few of them.
Organize Your Connections
Most people find a new job by leveraging their network. But few apply a systematized approach for reaching out to contacts. Now is a great time to get a handle on the quality and quantity of your network and make decisions about how to connect with them.
Export your contacts into an Excel spreadsheet and rank order them based on the strength of the relationship. Use #1 for contacts you speak to regularly, #2 for contacts where there is a strong relationship, but you have not engaged with the person for over a year, #3 for contacts that are acquaintances, and #4 for relatively cold lead/contacts; i.e., a LinkedIn connection you accepted without knowing the person.
This ranking system will help you determine how to conduct your future outreach and uncover the gaps in your network.
It can be awkward to reach out to people if some time has elapsed since your last conversation. But the pandemic has provided an authentic reason to reach out to people to see how they are. Most people are genuinely concerned with how their connections are doing, and this outreach sets the stage for rekindling the relationship and folding that person back into your network which may be important as you move forward in your search.
Personal and Professional Development
Use this time to read or listen to podcasts or webinars that keep you up to date in your industry and provide opportunities for you to share your thought leadership.
Rewrite Your Resume
In this pandemic environment, be prepared to answer interview questions that revolve around how you managed this crisis or others during your career. Add examples to your resume that showcase leadership, resourcefulness, working under pressure, and your ability to pivot based on unforeseen circumstances.
Master a New Skill
Chances are that whether you are in a full-time search or you are still working and conducting a part-time search, the rhythm of your day has changed.
If your role entailed business dinners or lunches or extensive multi-day travel, reallot that time to learn a new skill that will position you for your next role. Many in-person programs and certifications have moved online, and now might be the perfect time to take advantage of some of these opportunities.
Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern