As we head into the final months of 2020 – a year which has been full of uncertainty and change, it’s a great time to begin preparing to implement some positive outcomes for 2021. Perhaps you were planning to make a career move earlier this year, but the Covid-19 outbreak interrupted your plans or made you lose confidence in facing the job market at this time. Remember that the pandemic has impacted organisations in varying ways, with many experiencing urgent growth. A recent pulse poll, conducted in a LHH Conversations Series webinar, showed that 75% of organisations are currently hiring and another 10% plan to hire before the end of 2020. There is always a risk associated with taking a career move so now really could be a great time to invest energy into resuming your job search. Here are some of our top tips to help you take steps in the right direction.
The format of interviews has changed
Many firms have adapted their interviewing processes in wake of the changing work environment, and you can expect to be screened and interviewed virtually. If you haven’t experienced this kind of interview before, it’s wise to make some preparations so that you are comfortable with this transition. Are you comfortable with using the interview software and aware of your body language whilst talking over webcam? – see our advice here
If you are called into a socially distanced interview you will likely still need to make some extra preparations which you may not have had to before. Research how the organisation has adapted their work setting in response to the pandemic, be certain to show empathy and concern for the wellbeing of others in the office, and consider how best to greet your interviewer when you cannot shake their hand.
Have confidence and be proactive
Update your CV and, whilst you do so, consider your accomplishments and the challenges you have successfully overcome throughout your career to cultivate your confidence.
Whilst the job market may begin to feel more competitive, concentrate on your own journey of professional progress and growth in order to care for your own wellbeing and optimism whilst job searching. You must remain confident as you look for a new job so that you can be more upbeat and effective when selling yourself to employers and displaying the value that you will bring to a role.
Networking events are on hold and opportunities to meet potential employers to make beneficial connections are not as frequent, you must remain proactive. Continue to make new connections online, do your research, send applications with tailored CVs, and give extra attention to focusing your cover letter on the job description.
Get in contact with a recruiter in your industry who will have trusted relationships with many hiring managers of different businesses you may want to join. This valuable relationship can provide you with a foot in the door when new opportunities arise.
Spend some time on your CV
Research lots of different job descriptions for your ideal role and determine the keywords which will be important to include within your CV to market yourself to employers. It’s important to optimise your CV for each application you send, so now is a great time to make sure you’re happy with all of the skills and experience you have listed and how you have highlighted your most important achievements. Ensure that your personal statement is strong and sells you as a valuable colleague. Remember that your CV is your first opportunity to stand out to employers, so it's worth putting in the extra time to get it right.
Upskilling now will help your chances of making impactful career progression – especially as many of us have more time to fill whilst remaining indoors! If you have identified any gaps in your skillsets or areas which you can build upon, take advantage of the many resources which are accessible right now. These include virtual events and conferences, webinars, online training programs, virtual courses, books, and listening to podcasts. Your current employer may even have development resources which they can offer you.
Taking responsibility for your own personal development is a strong signal to any future employer of your commitment to your career and continued development and will make you more employable.
Right now, the step which you expected to take in your career may no longer be the one that is most beneficial. With the business strategies of many organisations changing, consider whether a horizontal career move may be more appropriate.
If you are willing to be flexible with the sectors on which you focus your job search, you can be more strategic with your career choices. For example, industries such as Life Sciences and Technology will be hiring more professionals than others at the moment. Further to this, in addition to a vertical move, consider the type of employment you seek and don’t pass up contract roles or temporary positions which may be more readily available at present. These are a great way to add to your experience and build relationships with fellow professionals in your market. And that’s before mentioning that there could be chances of this progressing to a permanent position.
Build your personal brand
Perfect your use of professional social networks and work on your personal brand. It’s particularly important that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and highlighting your expertise. We recommend you keep this updated and regularly revisit this to add new skills or projects you’ve worked on.
Get involved in the conversation on LinkedIn to increase your visibility within your network by contributing to posts, commenting on articles, and posting regularly. You can share relevant industry updates and news, add in your own opinions and comments on these developments, even consider writing your own content to share online. This initiative and interest will increase your personal brand awareness and you never know who’ll you’ll end up debating with
Since it may be some time before we will be able to network in person, professional networking platforms are a great way to gather market information. Find relevant groups on LinkedIn and get advice or give your opinion whilst making connections with people who are in roles that you would like to be in.
As the new year gets closer, prioritising the above should help you prepare to hit the ground running as you delve into your job search or next career move. Our recruiters are market experts and specialists within their industries and can help you through every step of your career progression – contact us today to be put in contact with one of our experienced recruiters.