How to Find Work in a Financial Crisis: Resources and Tips
America is seeing the highest numbers of unemployed people in almost 100 years due to the COVID financial crisis. No one person is going to get rid of the coronavirus, but as we get back to work and gradually move to a more ‘normal’ situation, there are many opportunities being created for those that are prepared.
Here are a few steps you can take today that could pay dividends in the near future and set you up for future success in the job market.
Pull out Your Resume and Redo it
Most of us either do not have a resume, or we have one that is horribly out of date. Now is your chance, being out of work, to redo it and make it better. Spelling and grammar errors are a no-go to most employers. Spell check tools are available and really good, so use them before you give your resume to a potential employer.
Also, make sure to ask a friend or relative to review your resume and use their inputs to improve what you have. If you have considered a career change, now is the time to develop a new resume just for that purpose. It is okay to have 2-3 resumes you can use depending on the situation.
When you have your resume complete, be sure to upload the best version on professional websites like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, SimplyHired, LinkedIn, and others. You can Google to find more if you like.
Most of your job search expenses are tax-deductible. Check with your accountant or even on the IRS website if you have questions about what qualifies as deductible.
Expand Your Skill Set
If there is an advanced skill you can learn while waiting to return to work, do it now. You could set yourself up for a raise soon after your return. If you are considering a career change, then start learning as much about that position as possible. You can still get a job in a new career even if you do not have any experience.
By learning about the position and knowing as much as possible, an employer will see your enthusiasm as a big asset that can overcome the lack of experience. You can gain a competitive advantage in your field by learning advanced skills. There are many free online resources that can assist you in your current or potentially new career.
Again, use the internet for your benefit. Sites like FlexJobs, AARP (if a little older), LearnHowtoBecome, GlassDoor, and others may provide the information you are seeking. Do not forget to check local resources too. There are many adult learning programs with very low fees, community colleges, and trade schools that may be able to assist you.
Always Be on Your Best Behavior
Job opportunities can come from many sources. Being on your best behavior is important as someone you meet casually may hold the key to your next position. You never know who someone else knows. When online, be very professional and do not take the bait of over-the-top political statements that could be seen as biased or ignorant in nature. Also, review your voicemail and make sure it is professional, short, and to the point.
Establish or Re-Establish Your Network
The biggest, single source of new jobs has always been networking, yet few people do it regularly. There are countless business network groups to consider, and most are free to visit.
Get out there and start making connections. But before you do so, make sure you have a clear, concise 30-second elevator pitch perfected that instantly conveys what you are looking for in your next position. This may seem like a very short time, but people tune out quickly and like a direct, no-nonsense message.
Practice it in front of a mirror and a friend, spouse, etc. and get direct feedback. If they love it, then others will too. You can find many sample elevator pitches online as well as advice on how to create your own.
No matter what, there are many resources out there that can help. You will have to put in some effort to find them and use them. But it is your career, right? Take charge, and you will reap the rewards and be ahead of others trying to recover in this financial crisis.