Keep Your Career Search in Perpetual Forward Motion During COVID-19

The Beverly clock is the closest anyone will ever see to a “perpetual motion machine.” Invented in 1864 by Arthur Beverly and located in the foyer of the Department of Physics at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand this clock has yet to be wound and dependably keeps running on atmospheric pressure and changes in the temperature. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last three weeks and, for those still working, the ways we work have changed dramatically. And, while economists expect a hard hit to the economy and the timing of the subsequent recovery remains uncertain, companies are still hiring and that means keeping your job search in perpetual forward motion. Here are 10 tips:

  1. Update your resume and be sure that it is achievement-driven. It’s not about listing all the things you do or have done but rather what has all that achieved, quantifying your contributions wherever possible.
  2. Get savvy about Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and format your resume to get through these programmed gatekeepers.
  3. Tune-up your LinkedIn Profile. Be sure you have a compelling Headline, achievement-driven About section, and that your Professional Experience is in synch between your resume and Profile. Prospective employers look at both.
  4. Skills = Search Words. Inventory the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile to make you you’re searchable and findable. Check the skills prospective employers are looking for in your target job descriptions and double-check them against the ones you have listed. Include them if you’ve got them. Acquire them if you don’t. Working from home during the COVID-19 quarantine is an ideal time to take virtual workshops and online classes to make you more marketable.
  5. Join LinkedIn groups that support your job search strategy and actively participate in them to increase your visibility in the hidden job market.
  6. Keep the pedal to the floor on your networking. Although social distancing has put a damper on meeting in person, get creative: virtual coffee meetings, informal interviews, emails, social media, webinars, and online group chats and forums are powerful mediums for networking as well as opportunities to get proficient with video conferencing software and online communication platforms.
  7. Turn back the clock and refresh dormant connections. Check in with former colleagues, old classmates, and relocated neighbors. COVID-19 is an instant conversation starter to inquire as to how they’re doing.
  8. Be the good news messenger. Share new information with current customers, former clients, target prospects, and anyone in your target industry through emails, posts, groups, and social media. Reach out, contribute, support, connect, enlighten, and encourage.
  9. Be a recruiter’s and hiring manager’s most likable candidate. Show empathy for how they are coping with massive change and trying to figure out the rapidly moving tectonic plates of the job market. If you recently interviewed with a company and have not heard back, by all means follow-up but give them breathing room to respond at their own pace. Be patient.
  10. Showcase any experience you’ve had working remotely and your achievements doing so.

Stay in PERPETUAL FORWARD MOTION. Steer in the direction of your career goal. The world around us is moving quickly and trying to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19. Keep pace with it. Find your place within it. The ability to adapt is one of the key ingredients in any recipe for career achievement. Make methodical adjustments in the way you approach the new challenge and always with your career big picture in mind.

We will get past COVID-19 and move forward. However, change will always be a fundamental part of work. Change is going to happen whether we want it to or not and one thing forever remains constant is our ability to change. Use this unique time in your career to reflect, refresh, optimize your value, and take your career to a new level.

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