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How to Get Started With a Job Search During COVID-19

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Long before the Covid-19 disrupted the world economy, Kenya’s national unemployment rate was at 10%.  With the pandemic, many companies have laid-off employees. The ban on social gathering and the lockdown have further exacerbated the situation. The unemployment rate is at an all-time high, and the situation is worsening by the day.

The hard economic times have made it difficult for job seekers to secure employment. One would need more than a resume to stand out in the job market.

So, how do you reinvent amidst the pandemic and secure a job? Here is an outline to help you get started.

Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an online platform where professionals from across the globe connect and network. The platform has a huge pool of job opportunities as it is the hub for CEOs, executive directors, hiring managers, business owners, and companies’ decision-makers. So, if you don’t have an account on LinkedIn, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Getting started on LinkedIn is quite simple. You only need to sign up and set up a profile that summarizes your professional background, work experience, education, skills, and certifications. Beyond this information, you want to optimize your profile with keywords the employers are using to search for your industry’s employees. The easiest way to find keywords is to start typing your professional title on the LinkedIn search, and you’ll see suggestions of the titles within your industry.  Sieve through these options and pick the ones that best describe your role.

You can further customize your profile with the open to work feature. Here, you can choose to notify everyone in your connection that you are available to work by adding the open to work photo frame. When setting up the feature, be sure to pick the keywords that best describe the position you are looking for, the job location, and the job type. This is because LinkedIn will send you job notifications depending on this information. Next, take time to go through the job notifications and apply for the ones you qualify.

On your dashboard, there is a section that has search appearances. Here, you’ll find the number of people who viewed your profile. By clicking the link, you can check the companies that your searchers work in, their roles, and the keywords your searchers used to find you. Please note the terms and further optimize your profile to attract the right people.

Expand your network

Networking is the most underestimated way to look for jobs. Often people shy away from asking friends, family, neighbours, college alumni, and former colleagues to notify them in case of job opportunities, yet this is the best way to tap opportunities before they are announced.

Next, take advantage of the Whatsapp groups, Telegram groups, and Facebook. There are Facebook groups that allow members to post vacancies in their companies on specific days of the week. You can get in touch with the hiring managers by a click of a button. Besides, Facebook has a job’s board you can explore.

Telegram is big on networking. Just enter the term “job” in the search section, and you’ll get several options of the groups in this niche. Tap the desired group to join. With Telegram, you can view posts from the previous months.

You can also network through email. Go through your contacts to find people you can send an email inquiring about job opportunities. Be professional, precise, and use proper grammar.

There are also tools you can use to find emails of hiring managers in your dream organizations. Armed with the organization’s URL, company name, or the hiring manager’s name, you can use Hunter.io, Vocus.io, Voila Norbet, or Toofr to find their email address. When using this tactic, keep the email brief and strive to create a rapport. 

Seek a professional CV rewrite

You don’t want to explore the strategies above only to be rejected because of a mediocre resume. Suppose you can write a crisp resume; that’s great. But if you’ll fumble articulating, your experience a professional CV rewrite is the best way to go.

At a small cost, you can find resume writers on LinkedIn or the many recruitment agencies. Since most of the professions in this industry have a background in human resource, they revamp resume and coach you on the interview process.

Through this process, you’ll learn how to tailor your resume for the different job opportunities in your industry. You’ll also get some pro tips on cover letter writing.

Explore all opportunities

You might be an engineer, a teacher, or an accountant by profession. But you don’t have to stay at home until you get a job in your profession. Allow yourself to explore what other industries have to offer.

Some of the opportunities you’ll come across may be beneath your education qualifications. Other employers may pay less than expected. But with the end goal in mind, you can grab these opportunities in anticipation of your dream job.

A story is told of a man who rose from being a security guard to a banker. The guard got wind that the bank was hiring. He gathered courage and approached the bank manager with his degree qualification. He applied for the vacancy, got shortlisted, and did the aptitude test to emerge the best candidate. On Friday that week, he was a guard. On Monday the next week, he reported to work as a banker. On
the same note, don’t let the degree certificate confine you.

Also read: For Millennials Trying To Find A Job, Do This…

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