If you're looking for a job right now (or you're about to), you probably have questions.
Should you pause your job search due to the coronavirus? How can you find a job now? Has the hiring process changed? Do you need to adjust your job search strategy? Should you say yes to whatever jobs you get?
And the list goes on. But to make your life at least a bit easier, we’ve made a selection of 15 most frequently asked questions from job seekers in times of the coronavirus outbreak on Quora.
And as we know a thing or two about job search, we’ll try to provide helpful answers to them.
Will the coronavirus impact my job search?
Sadly, yes. But that's the way the, ehm, cookie crumbles. Coronavirus has an impact on a lot of things right now, including the way we search for jobs.
First of all, the job application process is be a bit different. Your resume and cover letter now matter more than ever. Also, if you’re successful and proceed to the second round, your interview will probably take place online.
Secondly, and somewhat unsurprisingly, it’s a bit more difficult to find a job. But it’s not impossible. It mainly depends on your industry and what kind of job you’re targeting. Which brings us to...
How can I find a job now?
Firstly, apply for jobs in companies that are least likely to struggle for survival in the upcoming months.
Even better, focus on companies that are currently hiring. These include grocery stores, online retailers, delivery, tech, or digital entertainment. You can find a full list here.
Secondly, if you can do your job online, you can look for a full-time remote job. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to temporarily change careers to supplement your income.
Sure, it’s not ideal. But this is an unusual situation and we need to adapt. To help you out with that, here’s a guide on how to write a career change resume.
Alternatively, you can find some side-gigs. Speaking of which...
How do I supplement my income during the quarantine period?
If you can do your job online, look for a full-time remote job or try freelancing.
If your job revolves around face-to-face interaction, you should try to look for a job in a different field. The best option is to look for remote part-time gigs. You register at a freelance website and offer your services.
Alternatively, you can also let your customers pre-order your future services now. And when life gets back to normal, you’ll deliver them.
If none of these work for you, you can try to find a job as an on-site temporary worker for companies which are currently hiring. More on supplementing your income with gigs here.
What changes should I make to my job search strategy?
First of all, you should prepare your resume. Circumstances have changed a lot. And your resume should always reflect those circumstances if you want it to have the right punch.
How to do it? Focus on digital and technical skills, highlight remote work experience (if you have any), emphasize adaptability and self-motivation, and try to boost your resume with a new skillset. More tips on preparing your resume for a global pandemic here.
Secondly, prepare your cover letter. Most interviews will be conducted remotely. That means that cover letters will now play a key role in initial screenings. If you’ve never sent one, this is the right time. Learn how to write a killer cover letter here (oh, and don’t forget to tailor it for each company).
Thirdly, narrow down your job search to companies currently hiring, be flexible and get out of your comfort zone (if necessary).
And finally, video interview! This will be the new normal in recruiting, at least for a while. Learn how to pass it without turning yourself into a potato.
How has onboarding changed?
Apart from the changes mentioned above, for some companies that switched to working from home, the onboarding process has changed as well. It’s all remote now.
How does it work if you're hired remotely?
Your new company will probably provide you with a laptop, all necessary devices (such as headphones) and all login and set up details. Your soon-to-be employer (or hiring manager) will give you the necessary information about the upcoming processes.
They may also organize a virtual welcome day for newbies. In the end, the whole process is quite the same, everything is just done remotely now.
What is the best remote job to have during these coronavirus times? Where to look for a remote job?
Any kind of remote job. But top industries for remote work include web development, web design, user experience, customer support, online education, digital marketing, or writing.
When looking for a remote job, go to job boards and filter your search by keywords like “remote work”, “online work”, or “remote job”. Also, check out remote-specific job boards like We Work Remotely, Working Nomads, Remote Circle, Flex Jobs, or Virtual Vocations.
How are new graduates finding jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic?
That pretty much depends on their field of study. Obviously, healthcare is in a huge need of new employers right now. In other words, if it’s within a medical sector, it’s very probable that they'll be employed even before they graduate.
Other sectors are booming as well, such as tech. These jobs can be done remotely and some tech companies are hiring even more now than before. Take Zoom, for instance.
However, it won’t be like shooting fish in a barrel for all graduates. Other career lines will probably struggle. If you’ll find yourself in one of these, temper your expectations but don’t loose your hopes.
Send out your resume, apply for jobs, network online and follow up on the submissions. Use this time to extend your knowledge. Since it may take a while to find your first job, you could find a temporary job while pursuing the position you really want.
Remember, high quality talent is always in short supply.
Should I suspend my job search because of coronavirus?
No, don’t give up! It might feel tempting to cocoon yourself and wait until it’s all over, but we don’t know when is that going to be. I know, it’s not an ideal time to be looking for a job but that doesn’t mean you should stop.
In the end, there are still many companies which are hiring even in hard times like these. The most important thing is to figure out who’s hiring. This list could help you figure that out.
These jobs may not be the jobs you would have chosen before the crisis blew up, but uncertain times call for increased flexibility.
Will job offers be rescinded due to the coronavirus?
Some jobs have already been rescinded and many more will be. There are many companies that had to freeze their job openings for the time being. But don’t loose hope. Even though some companies reduced hiring, many companies enforced it.
We still receive emails from our customers about them getting hired. That alone proves it's still possible.
If you don't get hired in the end, don't worry. Stay in touch with these companies. You never know. You might get that job once the circumstances change for the better.
I got an email that my interview is cancelled because the job is on hold, probably due to the coronavirus. How should I reply?
Don’t burn any bridges. Reply politely and thank them for letting you know. Also, thank them for their time and effort.
Express your interest in the job position in the future and ask the hiring manager to keep you in mind when they renew their search.
Things will get better in the future and you may get another shot.
What kind of questions should I ask during the job interview in relation to coronavirus?
Always try ask at least a small number of questions at the end of your job interview. Especially in the times of corona.
Start by asking about their current job hiring process and their timeline. This is an unusual situation and many processes have changed.
Also, since your interview will probably take place online, feel free to ask about the company culture, the team you’d be a part of, and what it’s like to work there normally.
You can also ask these questions:
- Has the pandemic impacted your company’s goals?
- What changes did your company make due to this emergency situation?
- Are your employees working from home at the moment? (Of course, this one depends on the job you’re targeting.)
- How is your company supporting employees during this time?
- When can I expect to hear from you again?
If your interview looks promising and they’ve expressed their interest, you can also ask about their current onboarding process.
Should I say yes to whatever jobs I get since it’s extremely hard to get a job now?
If you get an offer and your gut isn't sounding an alarm about it, take it. This is a truly unusual situation and we can’t be too picky. The key is to remain flexible and accept a job even if it doesn’t meet you expectations.
It’s better to be working and earning money instead of feeling desperate and showing employment gaps in your resume. In the meantime, you can start looking for a job you truly want.
Should I put a cancelled internship (due to COVID-19) on my resume?
Why not? The key is to be honest. Mention the employment gap in your work history and put a blurb about your internship being cancelled due to COVID-19. The same applies if you were laid off from your previous job.
But don’t leave it at that. Mention how you spent this time doing meaningful activities – whether it’s volunteering from home, doing online courses, certificates, and so on.
It will make your future job search a whole lot easier.
How will employers look at resumes with gaps in work history due to the COVID-19?
Employers and recruiters will understand. After all, we're in this together. And if you meet an employer who won’t, you probably wouldn't want to work for such a person anyway.
However, this goes hand in hand with the previous answer. If you show them that you spent these times proactively, you'll make a much better impression.
What are the best job search resources for those laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Why not start with our Kickresume blog? We regularly publish new articles for job seekers in times of coronavirus pandemic, whether dedicated to job search, resume writing, video interview, and so on.
Also, you can check out Monster's regularly published list of companies which are currently hiring. You may also have a look at Indeed which created a page dedicated to job search during the coronavirus.
Last but not least, research your government’s websites for any information regarding unemployment benefits in times of coronavirus.
Final words of encouragement
While you may be tempted to put your job search on hold during the coronavirus outbreak, don’t do that. Yes, a few things have changed. You may need to do some changes to your job search strategy as well. And it may take a bit longer to get hired than normally.
But despite all of that, you can still score a good job. Even if it seems harder now, there are many opportunities out there and that might be a good time to stand out.
Take time to write an outstanding resume and cover letter, apply for jobs, connect with employers and hiring managers online, prepare yourself for video interviews. In the end, this little homework will land you a good sustainable job.