Four Tips for Navigating an Unprecedented Job Market

With many employers laying off workers or putting a freeze on hiring, it's not the easiest time to wade into the job market. But a combination of smart tactics and tenacity can help.

Whether you’re new to the job market or looking to take your next career step, you’re probably wondering: Is it even possible to get a job right now? With the right skills and the right set of circumstances, the answer is yes.

After years of a highly competitive hiring environment where the most qualified job candidates got snapped up almost the minute they posted their resumes, the current slowdown in hiring may be creating strategic opportunities for employers looking to recruit for previously hard-to-fill positions. Even in a hiring freeze, if the resume of someone with an amazing skill set that an organization needs appears on an employer’s desk, there may be room for an exception.

With that in mind, here are a few considerations for job seekers in the association space looking to navigate a new normal:

Is it worth applying? Yes. You might wonder if you’d be better off waiting out the crisis. But that may be a mistake, noted Glassdoor’s Alison Sullivan, though “you may have to adjust aspects of your job search as things change during the coronavirus outbreak,” she told Marketplace. “For instance, the types of opportunities and abundance of them will look different, depending on the industry you’re in.”

You may want to add video to your outreach tactics. With in-person interviews sidelined for now, one way for an applicant to stand out is to use of video, according to recruiting experts contacted by Forbes. Lewis Fawsitt, corporate sales director at Acorn Global Recruitment, said a resume may no longer be enough. “Successful candidates have proactively thought beyond the usual CV, getting around social distancing factors by producing short videos that allow recruiters and their clients to get a richer snapshot of them as an individual,” Fawsitt said.

Expect more automation in the screening process. This week, Bloomberg reported that some employers are relying on chatbots to help hire for nonprofessional roles, such as those in the gig economy. However, demand is growing for such automated screening processes in hiring other workers as well, with startups such as Lever and Greenhouse managing some of the earliest screening processes for professional firms. The reason these services are on the rise? They help simplify the application process at a time when in-person recruiting events are not possible.

Maximize your downtime. If you have more time on your hands these days, it’s a good time to spruce up your LinkedIn or other social media profiles,  a recent CNBC report suggests. And don’t be afraid to get entrepreneurial, either: Consider starting an email newsletter, a YouTube channel, or some other form of creative outlet that shows off your skill set. You’ll have a better chance to stand out to prospective employers if you keep your name and capabilities out front.

(Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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