Over the past month COVID-19 has turned the job market upside down. Companies are instituting hiring freezes, innovating their remote work policies, and in some cases, furloughing and laying off employees. This has left some employees out of work and made others anxious about future job security. In this webinar Gina Jenkins, director of the Wisconsin School of Business MBA Career Management Center, breaks down steps you can take to prepare and execute your job search in this new environment.
Your timeline will determine your overall strategy. Think about when you’ll need to receive your next paycheck, and move at a pace accordingly. You need to set specific goals for what kind of position you want. Are you wanting a similar position, a career change, or whatever is available in the current market? Think through your interests, skills, and how the market looks to determine your goals.
The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and confident you will be when asked for an interview. There are four materials all job seekers need to prepare to share their story with an employer: resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, and your story. These items should highlight your unique skills, accomplishments, responsibilities, and your values and passions.
Establish an outreach plan to get your story out there. Think about your network and reach out to your closest circles. It’s also beneficial to have a tracking process to document what jobs you’ve applied to and when you’ve followed up.
Continue to progress in the search even if you don’t hear back right away. Follow up with recruiters or employers after two weeks of not hearing from them. During this time it’s appropriate to follow up in a week because things are changing day to day. In the meantime, continue to apply for other positions.
Now you can start to schedule networking conversations and applying to positions. Focus on the positions that target the goals you set while strategizing so you can fully prepare and concentrate on submitting the best application you can. When posting to LinkedIn, be specific by asking for exactly what you need, so those reading your post can help effectively.
Gina Jenkins delivered these insights as part of the WSB Alumni Webinar Series. Gina is director of Career Management for MBA and Master’s Programs, overseeing both student career preparation and employer relations and development. She also serves as a career coach to students throughout the job search process and in their overall career development.