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5 months ago by Helen Tilson

Job hunting during Covid-19

CMD Recruitment job hunting

With many uncertainties facing the future economical bounceback from Covid-19, it can feel like an anxious time to be a candidate searching for new employment opportunities. Our Senior Recruitment Consultant, Helen Tilson comments on how best to be prepared when searching for that perfect position:   

Whether you are a student, about to graduate, have lost your job due to the global pandemic, or are looking for a better opportunity, we know that many of you will be anxious about how COVID-19 could affect your career opportunities. Don't be disheartened - be prepared.

When you are searching for a new job, working with a skilled recruiter can make all the difference. A recruiter can help open doors to companies, provide help with your CV and coach you on what works and doesn't work during interviews for a specific client — which can be extremely valuable during your job search.

You may reach out to a recruiter yourself or a recruiter may seek you out but no matter how you end up working with a recruiter, the following tips are aimed to guide you on how to build a positive relationship and get the most out of your partnership.

First Impression

Your CV is the most important document you have. Ensure your CV is current and up to date and showcases all your skills and achievements, and provides a comprehensive overview of who you are, alongside your work and education history.

Vamp up your LinkedIn profile

Did you know that more than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn? It is the best social media platform at your disposal when it comes to job searching but it is also an opportunity to create your brand. Once a recruiter reads your CV, they may look you up online and if your LinkedIn profile matches the information you have given in your CV, they are more likely to see you as a trustworthy candidate.

Know your goals

What is your forte? What type of company culture is a good fit for you? What is your dream position? What companies would you love to work for? The clearer you are, the easier it will be for a recruiter to identify the right job fit for you.

Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone
Yes, some companies are still recruiting, but others have chosen to pause their search for new employees due to having to send staff to work from home. This means there may not be as much variety within the specific industry you are wishing to work in. Therefore, it is worth keeping an open mind as to the kind of job you are searching for.

Track your submissions
Keep a book or list of your job submissions. It can be frustrating for both you and recruiters if you receive a call about a position and you have no idea which position is being referenced.

Help recruiters help you
You will be sharing a lot of job-related information with recruiters, so do not be afraid to share important information with them that you might think you need to hide. For example, if you have held several positions in a short period of time or have gaps in employment, it can be helpful if you advise the recruiter with information as to why. That way, he or she knows how to best represent you to employers.

Tip: Treat conversations with recruiters as if they are interviews with hiring managers. The way you communicate with your recruiter is an indication of how you will represent yourself with a hiring manager, and you want that impression to be positive and professional. 

Get comfortable with technology in the interview process
If you manage to get to the interview stage of an application this is now likely to take place over the phone or over video platforms like Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. It can feel more casual to be on a video call from your living room, but remember, a virtual interview is still a real job interview!

Before any call, make sure you understand how the video platform works. Ensure you have an appropriate backdrop and are well lit, with adequate sound and battery power.
Do your research and follow the same advice that recruiters would give for an in-office meeting:

Learn about the company, its values, history, and mission: it will show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested.

Study the job description and list your skills and expertise against the requirements: in the interview make sure you can demonstrate how and why you are the best candidate for the job.

Wear something professional just as you would for an in-person interview. Dressing up even while staying at home also helps you to get in the right frame of mind for a job interview.

It is also good practice to make sure you have a go-to space in your home where you can do these interviews

Follow through with commitments
If a recruiter has scheduled an interview or meeting for you and you have agreed to attend, follow through. It reflects poorly not only on yourself but also on the recruiter if you don't.

Be patient
It is a very unsettling time for companies everywhere. While many are still hiring, recruitment processes are taking longer than usual. Try not to feel frustrated and stay in regular contact with your recruiter for updates.

Keep in touch even after you have landed a job
In some cases, a recruiter can become a lifelong career advocate. You never know when you might be in search of a new job, so if you click with your recruiter, try to stay in touch with him or her for the long term. This can be as simple as an email every six months to remain on their radar. This also gives you an opportunity to offer up referrals and possibly help a colleague of yours out, as well.

It is a competitive job market out there, and recruiters can help you navigate it. Put these tips to use to create a partnership that will help you land your next job.