Like you, I blinked, and the world turned to the other side of the full moon. COVID-19 seemed to come out of nowhere and has put us all in space where we are unsure what to do. While life still needs to carry on, it is literally being halted by more things out of our control than expected. Travel is being suspended, daycares and schools are closing, people are hoarding toilet paper and much more. A social worker at my day job said it best “we have never experienced this before and because of that we do not have the core foundation/tools to cope with this in the right way”. Truth. So, what can we do about our job search while this is going on? What can we expect?
Before I dive in I will let you know I was working in telecom industry during the dot.com bust, was a recruiter during the 2007 – 2009 economic crash. I was an independent consultant and career coach during the 2014 recession, and the list goes on. The thing that unites all these moments is that business is disrupted and during any type of disruption the same things happen in an organization. For a job seeker, the same things will apply and your expectations should be the same based on previous experience.
1. Expect low response – all business hands are on deck. Managing how COVID – 19 is effecting their current business is important. Future states, such as recruitment, will more than likely be very, very, very, delayed or put on hold indefinitely. The best thing to do is ensure that you have saved all your job descriptions, and know you may see that posting up in 30 days from now. They may or may not call you so have a follow up plan when you see that things are back to some sense of normalcy.
2. Reduced job postings – remember that business will be focused on their current business, and their current employees, not future items such as recruitment. Conserve your energy. Focus on virtual networking. Many people want to have interactions with people especially since most of us will be working from home.
3. Job postings will vanish – yes, they will. They will be taken down out of respect for people. This does not mean that they won’t still have your application. Take this as an opportunity to keep active on the company of interest and if they repost, just apply again.
4. Expect the unexpected – when things do get better expect an organization to call you. Be prepared. Many people will take their names out of the hat due to stability concerns.
5. Interviews will go on hold. There may be virtual interviews that will still be conducted, but many will be cancelled due to a lack of accessibility to technology to administer interviews. Keep in mind many hiring managers are parents. If their kids are home with them we will not see a lot of virtual interviews if the kids are in the background.
It is a challenging time for everyone. If your job search was aggressive, I am very sorry that things may be delayed more. Please keep your chin up and stay positive. Take this time to practice interviews and resume tips through YouTube. Maybe take a break and practice a new dance or an instrument for the next 14 days. Take the time to revisit your personal brand and learn more about the process so that when activity starts again you are ready.