Finding a job right now is hard but not impossible. Here are some tips

Are you searching for a job? Is a loved one looking for work? There’s no denying that the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout have made the job market pretty bleak. But it’s not impossible to find a new role. “At the end of the day, you only need one job,” notes Lori Shreve Blake, senior director of alumni and student career services at the USC Career Center.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen spoke with Blake and other experts to gain insights about job hunting during the pandemic. Here are a few tips:
— It can pay to be flexible. Don’t limit yourself to applying only to companies you’ve heard of before — and be ready to take on some virtual work. “There is still hiring happening,” said M’Chelle Ryan, associate director of industry relations and experiential learning at the UCLA Career Center. “It just may not look exactly how you planned.”
— Think about who’s making money right now, because they might be hiring. Tech companies facilitating virtual work, retail management, deliveries, and at-home healthcare are good places to start in a job search. If you’re short on experience in these fields, emphasize your transferable skills, such as organization and time management.
— Network and ask for informational interviews. Check out your high school or university’s alumni network to learn where your connections are working. When you reach out, ask for a short informational interview to learn more about their workplace, and during the conversation, ask whether there’s anyone else you could speak with at the company. Repeat this process until you’ve spoken to someone in the department you think is the best fit.
— Practice good video-call etiquette. During interviews, look straight into your computer’s camera to simulate eye contact, not the screen. Be sure your background is neat, simple, and well lit. Dress for the role you’re hoping to get and don’t forget to test your audio, video, and internet connection before your interview begins.
— Don’t overlook temporary jobs. Project-based work and short-term paid internships can be a helpful foot-in-the-door at a company that may be looking to hire farther down the line. Showing future employers that you took advantage of this time will reflect positively.
— Consider the gig economy. Older workers shouldn’t rule it out, especially because some platforms actively court recent retirees.
It’s also a good time to brush up on your remote-working skills, writes Kathy Kristoff. These skills will be useful in nearly every industry, whether you’re searching for work or just looking to strengthen your resume:
— Teleconferencing: If you haven’t had much experience using Skype or Zoom, it’s a good idea to practice with a friend, says Amy Pocsik, co-founder of rising Recruiting. No one knows what the future of workplaces may look like, and it’s likely many companies and organizations will continue to rely on these programs for meetings and interviews.
— Active listening: Take time to practice active listening, especially with day-to-day distractions at home. Children, pets, and chores can make it particularly difficult to focus on remote work, so it’s important to get in the habit of taking notes, reiterating the main points of a conversation at the end of professional calls, and getting rid of distractions such as your cellphone.
— Recapping: After work meetings, write follow-up emails that restate everyone’s tasks and due dates. This project management skill is key when teams are working remotely.
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