This has been an unusual year for employment, to say the least. The United States went from having record low unemployment in February and a roaring economy to a total shut down with 30-40 million people losing their jobs, at least temporarily. We have never had a recession on purpose before, so this has been new territory for us all.
According to Inc.com, a job posting, on average, receives 250 resume submissions. Most employers use software to automatically scan your resume and most of the resumes will be rejected before any human ever looks at them. Only a handful of people will receive an interview request and, of course, only one lucky person gets the position.
If you are struggling to find a job right now, you are not alone. But if you know what the issues are, you can get a step ahead to find the right job for you. Yes, even this year!
What is happening to the job market in 2020?
The crippling of our economy for several months greatly impacted young adults who are now living at home with their parents at the highest rate in recorded history. Even more young adults live at home now than during the great depression in the 1920s.
Some industries have been hit very hard by COVID-19, including many entry-level positions. The tourism, entertainment, travel, oil drilling, non-essential retail, and restaurant industries have struggled due to continued limits on their business and safety precautions due to the global pandemic. Many of these employees have not returned to work.
Other industries were considered essential and kept going with some employees barely being financially affected by the pandemic, but they experienced greater strain and stress at work in the medical field, public safety, as well as the grocery and trucking industries.
Millions of white-collar workers discovered they were suddenly able to work from the safety and convenience of home. Employers worried their teams would be much less productive but found that, in many cases, employees’ productivity actually stayed the same or even increased at home. This has opened opportunities for certain jobs to be done remotely that haven’t necessarily been available in the past.
Still, other sectors of the economy have actually experienced an unexpected boom. Homebuilders, online sales (like Amazon), tech jobs, IT jobs, swimming pool builders, home delivery companies, and gaming companies have done very well
Cities are losing a lot of residents right now as COVID-19 brought a lot of entertainment and recreational activities in cities to a standstill. Many workers are heading to the suburbs and rural areas across the country as they seek more space and freedom while adjusting to their new remote work lifestyle.
Although the economy is different this year and reliable standby jobs may not be available, there are jobs, if you know where to look. As restrictions are lifted, we may also begin to see some of the stalled industries pick up steam again.
Can’t find a job after college?
This can be a problem during any time period, but right now, it may be even tougher due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy. Now more than ever, there is a high level of competition for open positions. Only the most qualified, well-prepared candidates have a shot for the best jobs.
If you have a degree but haven’t been able to find a job, what can you do? Many companies want lots of experience and you haven’t had a chance to get out in the work field yet.
How to find a job with no experience
It’s critical that you produce a resume that will get an employer’s attention, or at least get through the automatic scanning process. Automated bots & scanners look for certain keywords and information within your resume. You could be the most qualified candidate for a job, but if your resume isn’t stellar, you may miss out on a great opportunity. It’s important to include phrases that may seem redundant or unnecessary if they are what the bot is looking for.
Interviews are now held almost exclusively online. For those who are not comfortable being on camera or working Zoom or other platforms, this may present a new challenge. You need to be engaging on camera, confident, and proficient with technology to come across professionally online. Those who do this well have a significant advantage over those who are intimidated by communicating on video or those who fumble with the technology.
Instead of talking about what you want from a job, it’s more important than ever to present your value to a potential company, your personality, and any special job-related skills in your resume and interview.
Mention aspects of previous work experience or internships you do have and how the skills you developed there are transferable to the new position. Even include the talents and abilities you used in volunteering. Perhaps you have experience working with audio/visual equipment and you can bring that knowledge and value into your new job. Or maybe you have a social media page with a large following and you can mention that you have social media marketing skills.
Also, be sure to apply for a job that matches your qualifications as closely as possible. Employers want people who are well-qualified and who will be able to get up to speed quickly. They don’t generally want to hire someone who will require a lot of extra training.
7 Tips for finding a job
Looking for some ways to find a job? We’ve got some pro tips to help you land a great job even in a competitive market.
Have a top-notch resume.
- Tailor your application to the company you are interviewing with.
- Make sure everything is up to date.
- Check to make sure your resume will get through the scanning process.
Network by asking for referrals from people you’ve worked within the past and even from college professors.
- Don’t forget to ask people who supervised you in any volunteer positions or extracurricular activities.
- Remember coaches, club leaders, and internship directors can vouch for your character, work ethic, personality, and dependability.
Be COVID-19 savvy.
- Understand how COVID-19 impacts the role you want to have in the company.
- Be sensitive to how COVID-19 has affected this industry and company.
- Don’t appear desperate, needy, or impatient.
- Demonstrate that you can be positive, optimistic, and steady in a crisis.
Look and act professionally for your interview.
- Don’t push for an extremely high salary right now. Many companies are struggling with keeping costs under control during the pandemic.
- Dress professionally for your interview and make sure your background looks polished and put-together with good lighting.
- Check to be sure your equipment works before your interview.
- Look directly into the camera during your online interview to mimic eye contact.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer to show you have done your research and are interested in their company. Have a few well-thought-out ideas ready about how you could make the company better.
Clean up your social media accounts
- Remove anything that could be offensive.
- Delete anything that makes you look unprofessional, dramatic, or lazy. Also get rid of anything that could be construed as poor taste, insulting to others, or inappropriate.
- Clean up sloppy grammar or take those posts down.
- Hide your friends from public view.
- Change your profile picture to something professional with you smiling a genuine smile.
- Hide your likes.
- Be sure your school and work history is up to date.
- Consider being open to lower hours, different locations, remote work, or lower pay.
- Think about freelance gigs, if needed. Your patience may pay off down the road when things calm down.
Hone your skills.
- If you worked in an industry that has been hard-hit, consider taking online courses or improving your professional skill certifications in other industries.
- Think about public speaking classes, negotiation, or marketing courses especially anything that is relevant to the job you want.
How to find a job you love
Maybe you have a job but you aren’t happy in your current position and you have a dream job in mind. If you are looking for how to find a better job, consider using this time to strengthen your professional skills. Enroll in training courses, attend webinars, and learn how to work with new software and platforms.
Find out what skills and training are needed for your dream job and begin acquiring those on the side. Then you can be prepared for the job you really want.
How long does it take to find a job?
In March of 2020, Indeed.com said the average job search was about nine weeks. That was when the economy was doing really well. Things have changed a good bit since then so most job seekers can expect the search to take longer, depending on their field of interest, experience, and qualifications.
To find a job fast during COVID-19, it will take a bit more creativity. Some sectors of the economy may not be hiring for months. Maybe even longer. Others have opportunities available now. Although they may be limited compared to before the pandemic hit. We believe job seekers need to be prepared for a job hunt to last at least several months.
How to find a job in another state before moving
Finding a job in another state can seem a bit overwhelming. But if you have a network of people who know someone in that state, it makes your job easier. Or you can find a recruiter in that state or who is familiar with that state.
Be sure to include, “Relocating to (state’s name) in December 2020” (or whatever month you plan to move) on your resume near your address.
Or consider applying for a remote work position and you may be able to live wherever you would like to.
Do I need a recruiter to help me find a job?
Companies that help you find a job can be a huge asset in a tough job market. Should you have to pay someone to help you find a job? No. Agencies that help you find a job are paid by the companies they partner with.
Agencies are especially helpful for those who have special skills, work in an industry with a talent shortage, and have lots of management or executive experience.
If you are looking for an entry-level position, you may not need a recruiter.