1. Is your job search urgent?
Maybe you have reassessed your current employer and concluded that it is best to seek out new pastures. While this might initially seem like a good idea, it can end up being a great mistake, especially amidst the pandemic. Maybe there is something that you can do to improve your current role. In case you currently don’t have a job, it might be difficult to land your next dream job and you might require a short-term job to help you cope during these tough times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on different industries, however, there are plenty of companies that are still hiring. Harnham share thoughts on the new normal in this article. If you are in the search for a job, be it a permanent job or a temporary job to act as a safety net, you need to go for an opportunity that fits your livelihood.
2. Grow and nurture your network
You might have heard of the phrase, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’ Well, there are some grounds for this argument. While it goes without saying that you need academic qualifications as a Chartered Accountant, having a thriving network of key professionals can significantly boost your chances in the job market.
In these unprecedented times, many people have found themselves with a lot of free time and without much to do. There is no better time than now to reach out to your contacts on social media and LinkedIn and catch up with them. If maybe you follow a certain managing director online who has initiated a debate on a particular topic you have an interest in, consider getting involved and getting yourself noticed.
When things are normal, it is usually difficult for most people to find time for such activities. Make use of this time to reconnect and build upon your relationships. Besides, they might be the ones to connect you to potential employers and help you land your dream job.
3. Focus on professional development
Regardless of if you currently have a job or not, focusing on your CPD right now will go a long way in helping you land your next dream job. Besides learning some new important skills and further developing your existing skills, CPD helps to demonstrate dedication and commitment on your CV and in your next job interview. Some companies are currently offering free online courses since they are sensitive to the current market.
You can also take assessment tests and training to gauge your skill levels and find out if there any gaps that should be filled before heading to your next job interview. You might also discover that there are other roles out there that you qualify for besides the one you are constantly applying for.
It is also worth noting that the ICAEW is conducting webinars where you can stay informed about all the industry-related updates, and also learn how to adapt to the new remote way of working.
4. Keep your CV relevant and updated
After securing a new job, many people tend to forget all about their CVs as they normally don’t intend to leave that job at any time in the foreseeable future. However, after a couple of years, you can find yourself ready to switch or advance your career by seeking a role elsewhere, and you will need your CV once again. Getting your CV and cover letter updated can be quite a struggle and it often takes time. It can be difficult to know what to write down despite having achieved a lot over the years. You need to think about the things you are proud of, the challenges you have overcomed, and the cost savings you have implemented over the course of your career. Consider all the key milestones that should be highlighted in your CV. Take time to think back to all your important achievements in your most recent role and draft an eye-catching CV. Fortunately, we all currently have some extra free time on our hands, even if it is just the time saved on the daily commutes. This is enough to allow you to get your CV and cover letter updated. Regardless of if you are currently searching for a new job, or maybe in the foreseeable future, you will be happy that you got your CV optimized and updated while you had the time to.
5. Be patient with HR professionals
Keep in mind that many people, including HR professionals and hiring managers, are currently working from home (and they will be for months to come). With the number of people getting back on the job market soaring given the current situation, they have to sort through a large number of applications. Decision-making on which applicants to interview is done much faster in the office. However, now those decisions have to be made over video calls and emails, which causes the process to take longer.
Thus, you need to be patient whether you are seeking confirmation that your application arrived or are seeking feedback on an interview. Understandably, the wait can become excruciating with the slower processing times. However, it is important to remain patient as the long wait may work out in your favor.
6. Remain positive
This doesn’t just apply to your job search, but also in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on your daily life. It is crucial to stay positive for the sake of your wellbeing and also to enable you to stick to a routine and retain your focus. When it comes to the job market specifically, there are compelling reasons why you should stay positive. While hiring may have stalled in many companies, this is only short term. Keep in mind that the recruitment sector is normally among the first to recover after economic crises. And besides, there are still a lot of companies that are hiring and searching for people to work remotely. There is no better time than now to apply for more permanent roles. Furthermore, the competition currently isn’t as aggressive as usual. In addition, you will have ample time to focus on your application, handle calls from hiring managers, attend interviews (ideally video interviews), and receive job offers.
7. Plan ahead
This is probably the best time to contemplate your career and look towards the future and how you picture that future panning out. Now is the time to ask yourself that age-old question, “where do I see myself in 5 years?”. While the hiring process may completely change after the pandemic in our new normal, the skills required by employers won’t change.