There’s this particular meme I saw on Facebook during the early days of the pandemic that perfectly captures what it’s like to look for a job while the world is figuratively—and sometimes literally—on fire.
It is photo of a dog on his laptop, presumably searching for a company that’s hiring, while there are flames engulfing his surroundings. And boy was it accurate.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken not only lives, but also livelihood. Here in the country, latest data from the Philippine Statistics Office reveal around 4.6 million Filipinos are currently unemployed, majority of whom are in the National Capital Region (15.8 percent).
If looking for a job is already difficult, imagine looking for a job when fewer companies are hiring and the competition is tougher.
As quarantine limits job opportunities on ground, many—maybe including that dog in the meme—are turning to the Internet for help. Job searches on Google reach 30 million as of April, and online job portal JobStreet.com reports huge increase on searches for freelance jobs (+709 percent), work from home (+514 percent), and part time jobs (+53 percent).
The pandemic may have made job-hunting a lot more difficult, but it’s not impossible. JobStreet lists down smart tips to help in increasing the chances of getting hired even if the world is on fire.
Revamp your profile
Now is a great opportunity to update your resume, making sure it stands out from the rest of the pack.
“Update your employment history, key skills, contact details, and picture. Doing so will highlight your career goals and development areas which can pique the interest of hirers,” suggests JobStreet.
Aside from having a copy of your resume in a Word file, it’s also best to publish it on job portals to make it easier for employers to find you.
Career expert Vicki Salemi recommends tailor-fitting your resume to match a particular job posting by using the same words the employer uses.
Target industries that are hiring
COVID-19 might have massively affected businesses, particularly arts/entertainment/recreation and accommodation and food service, but there are industries that are continuously hiring.
According to the online job portal, industries like BPO, online teaching, banking, and computer or information technology are hiring. “Applying for companies that are urgently hiring may help you land a job faster.”
Inform employers you are up for job offers
Online job portals commonly have the option to let employers know that applicants are accepting job offers. Jobstreet.com, for instance, has recently enabled the #WorkNow feature in its platform that lets ready-to-work candidates inform employers that they are up for immediate hiring. This way, companies can easily identify which candidates are available for urgent employment.
To use this function, jobseekers only need to log in to their JobStreet profile, edit Additional Info, go to Other Information, type in #WorkNow, then click Save.
After submitting application, make sure to regularly check emails and calls for any updates. “You may miss a great opportunity by not responding to calls or emails, and hirers may consider other available candidates. Make sure your notifications and sounds are on,” suggests JobStreet.
Prepare for your virtual interview
Acing your online job interview is important to convince hirers to pick you among all the candidates. During conference calls, make sure you look presentable and have good Internet connection. Most importantly, prepare answers for questions they might ask.
Salemi advises being “overly prepared,” as in testing out your framing, audio, and background ahead of the interview. Show your engagement and enthusiasm by nodding along and smiling, as well looking genuinely excited about the opportunity.
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