Landing your dream job during a pandemic…. Yes, it’s possible!
With all the ambiguity, doom and gloom floating around in the media and our socials, The Nudge Group wanted to share some optimism and insight as we are seeing it during the current climate.
Let’s get real.
The pandemic is real, it’s scary and it causes uncertainty and stress for all. But when we are pushed out of our comfort zones and really challenge ourselves, remarkable things can happen. Having worked in recruitment for nearly 20 years, I agree, the volume of opportunity for job seekers has reduced since this time last year and previous, but throughout the pandemic, (March till July), Nudge has helped 31 job seekers secure their dream job, (across Sydney, Melbourne, and Queensland).
How to navigate through this
How? Through tackling this head on, creating a solid routine and innovating. Working harder than ever before, rather than letting doubt consume us, keeping positive and staying mentally in check. Sadly, a lot of recruitment firms have reduced head count or reduced working hours, we on the other hand are working longer hours and have a higher volume of roles available to fill. We are offering expanded consultancy services and digital recruitment experiences, making podcasts, panel interviewing, webcasts, and supporting clients with remote on-boarding, brand storytelling, and talent health checks.
So, from a business perspective, innovating through challenging times is really important and the same can be said for job seeking. Shake things up a little!
Time to innovate people….
If you’re currently unemployed, use this time to up-skill, rather than binging on Netflix series or sleeping till midday. This is a great opportunity to new learn skills, gain a certification, do things you’ve always wanted to, but didn’t have the time. Re-write your resume and customise it to align with each role you’re applying to. Don’t be generic. (NB there are currently between 100 and 200 applications per job posted)
Stand out in the crowd.
If you’ve managed to secure an interview, do something more than just “show up”. For a marketing position, for example, you could put together a top line marketing plan, or write a piece of content that shows you understand the business and their tone of voice. For a technical role, ask if they have a test you can complete to demonstrate your knowledge of a certain code. Do more than your competitors are doing. Work harder and innovate.
Awesome real-life story:
Recently I worked with an excellent Marketing & Communications Manager in Melbourne, Kate, who, despite these uncertain times an increase in the job seeker competition, was able to land her dream role… below is a snippet of Kate’s experience and what she did to really stand out and land the job!
After working in a glamorous fashion job in the major events the industry for the last 5 years, my professional world was turned upside down when covid-19 hit and the ban on mass gatherings came into effect in March. With such an uncertain future looming over the events industry, I left that role and used some extra downtime to reflect on what was important to me and consider ‘where to from here’. I always had a personal passion for environmental conservation and wildlife protection, and decided I wanted to use my marketing expertise to make a positive impact on the planet. BUT, despite extensive marketing experience and a suite of impressive ‘runs on the board’ how on earth was I going to make a career pivot at this time and break out of the fashion and beauty pigeon hole, and into a whole new industry, I had little experience in, and was still learning about. But, I did it. Here’s what worked for me –
- Find a great recruiter to work with who understands what you’re looking for, is well connected in the industry you want to get into, and will go in to bat for you. Dayna from the Nudge group was fantastic to work with, she was like my own real life cheerleader! She took the time to understand what I was looking for, provided really helpful interview insight, and helped me negotiate an increased salary package.
- Perfect your resume and cover letter – aside from updating it with the most relevant information and providing as many quantifiable achievements as you can, ensure you’ve got a beautiful looking template that’s easy to read and tailor to the role and industry you’re going for (I had 3 different versions I used and still made tweaks for each application. It took time to do, but its time well invested)
- Use the extra downtime to upskill or volunteer– I spent more time on the marketing pro bono work I do for 2 animal welfare charities. This allowed me to include relevant experience to the industry I was trying to break into, add some new achievements to my resume and it made me feel good because I was contributing to a meaningful cause.
- Stay positive: in these conditions, it is easy to feel anxious, stressed or disheartened. But the reality is, this won’t help land a new role any sooner. By staying positive, I could see things from a different perspective and focus on the things that were going right and what I can be grateful for. Filter out doom and gloom news or negative people. Remember all the things you’ve done professionally and let that be a reminder at how capable and amazing you are. This fuels your confidence so that when that interview finally comes around, you are able to let yourself shine and present your best self. Have faith that everything will turn out ok, and in fact, even better than it was before.
I’d love to hear your stories on this topic. What do you do to differentiate yourself as a job-seeker in the current market? How do you stay positive and motivated during stressful times? Are you seeking assistance from experts in your field?