It’s a scary time. I’ve spoken with more candidates than normal over the last few weeks. From folks who were looking for jobs pre-COVID to those who have been laid off/furloughed and are now in the market.
My overarching advice to everyone has been—be bold. Expand, don’t contract. Take control of the things you can. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Get your professional house in order. Update your resume. Refresh your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a copywriter, designer, or any kind of creative, update your online portfolio—make it straightforward, curated, and about your work/how you think. (If you’re a creative and don’t have an online portfolio, create one now. It is essential.)
Reach out to your recruiter. Let people like me know you’re available so we can activate/reactivate your job search.
Work through your networking to do list. Attend a professional event in February and been meaning to reach out to the people you met? Or maybe there are people you should be connected to on LinkedIn, but you never have the time. Now is the time.
Be flexible. The more open-minded you can be, the more opportunities will be available to you. For instance, if you’ve never tried contracting before, this may be the time to consider.
Lean into who you know. While many folks are busy, most want to talk and help. One thing we’ve learned in recent weeks, connection is paramount.
Take those classes you’ve been meaning to take. Build upon or brush up on the skills that will keep you engaged and make you more marketable.
Talk to peers, friends and family. One of the most difficult things about looking for a new job is figuring out what you really want and what makes you unique. Talk to the people closest with you to help crystallize your direction and strengths.
Be ready. When we come out of this, and we will come out of this, the candidates who have been keeping themselves sharp and relevant during this strange time will move to the front of the hiring line.