The Coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down in 2020, affecting almost every aspect of our private and professional lives.
The working world saw some of the biggest changes with many businesses having to close their doors and others having to adapt to operating with remote teams.
Unfortunately, this meant that many were left unemployed or struggling to find work in a changing job market.
As we move through 2021, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The government has outlined a roadmap for leaving lockdown and getting back to some sort of normal.
This means that those looking for a job this year will need to adjust their search for this new reality.
But what does this mean and how can you set yourself up for job hunting success?
Below, we’re going to share our top tips on how to deal with – and plan for – applications and interviews in a post-Coronavirus era. Read on to find out more.
Spruce up your CV
The first important step on your job search is going to be getting your CV just right. So even if you’ve applied for work fairly recently, there’s no time like the present to give it a little spruce up!
In a post-lockdown, world it’s likely that employers will be prioritising different skills and attributes. For example, the skills needed to work remotely, as well as adaptability.
So make sure you read over the job description carefully and highlight the most desirable skills and experience the recruiter is looking for throughout your CV.
Do your research
Every application you submit needs to be tailored to the specific role and company you’re applying for. To help you do this, you need to make sure you’ve done your research.
This will give you a better understanding not only of the company but of how the industry as a whole has been impacted by Coronavirus.
This information will come in handy when deciding which roles to apply for, writing your CV and when demonstrating your knowledge on a cover letter or during an interview.
Account for new ways of recruiting
As a result of the pandemic and of social distancing measures, the recruiting process has seen some changes and you need to be prepared for these. One of the biggest changes is the move towards virtual recruitment through phone and video interviews.
As such, it’s a good idea to practice your video interview techniques and prepare to be interviewed in this way. If you make it to the final stages or you have to attend a face-to-face interview, remember you’ll need to take extra safety precautions and wear a face covering.
Another aspect that has changed is that some of the pre-interview tests are now being run online so you may be asked to complete these before your first interview.
Know what questions to ask
During the interview, there might be some additional questions you want to ask the employer. These might be about the new normal way of working and what health and safety measures are being put in place.
You might also want to ask them about how they coped during the pandemic and if any new policies were introduced as a result. So have a careful think about these questions before and interview.
Keep boosting your skillset whilst job hunting
It’s important that you’re always learning and developing and right now is the ideal time to bolster your skills and qualifications. As we said earlier, employers may be placing more importance on different skills and attributes since the pandemic.
As such, it pays to equip yourself with a strong set of transferable skills, including those that are needed to work remotely. For example, communication, time-management and organisation.
What’s more, we are increasingly relying on technology to ensure safe social distancing and remote work. So you might want to take an online course and ensure you have all the basic tech skills you’ll need.
These can help to bolster your CV and make you more employable in the post-Coronavirus world.
Keep building your network online
Finally, even though you might not be able to attend industry events, careers fairs or meet with people in person, this doesn’t mean that you can’t network.
You can really support your job search by continuing to build your network online using sites like LinkedIn and even attending virtual career events.
By building your network this way you never know what job opportunities might come your way.
Using the tips above, you can adjust your job search accordingly and prepare yourself for finding a job in the new normal.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading careers advice website with a mission to help job hunters land the jobs they want. He is also a regular contributor to publications such as Forbes, CV Library & The Guardian.