Eight tips to help you job hunt during the coronavirus pandemic

IF YOU’VE lost your job due to Covid-19, you’d be forgiven for wondering if it’s even possible to find a new opportunity – but we take you through ten tips to help boost your chances of securing work.

Nearly 750,000 Brits have been made jobless since the start of the lockdown, and that number is only set to grow when the furlough scheme winds down at the end of October.

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Economic think tank, The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), has warned that 1.2million Brits will be unemployed by Christmas.

With the UK in recession for the first time in 11 years, times are undoubtedly  tough for job hunters.

But The Sun has spoken to career experts and experienced job hunters and asked them for their tips and practical advice on how to get hired during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Be kind to yourself

Losing a job is an experience not dissimilar to a bereavement, particularly if your identity is tightly wrapped up with the responsibilities and title of that role.

And if none of your friends or family have been laid off, it can feel as though you’re one of the unlucky ones.

It’s important to remember it’s not your fault – and that there are thousands of people up and down the country going through the same painful process as you.

Take a break, call a friend or professional, get some exercise and practice self care.

"This is often overlooked but self-care is so important during job hunting because your role search is largely powered by your confidence," said Charlene Deleon-Jones, a career coach and founder of The Careers Sanctuary.

Ms Deleon-Jones added: "A loss of confidence can lead you to feeling not good enough and overwhelmed so pay attention to how you are feeling and take the time to look after yourself.

"Remember all the things that are great about you and think about your past accomplishments. This market is tougher than normal but people are getting hired.

"The key is to have a really clear understanding about what you bring to the table."

2. Set a schedule

"Job hunting is like a full time job in itself," said Kimberley Salmassian. The 39-year-old from Wimbledon lost her job in events at the end of April due to the impact of Covid-19, and has been job hunting ever since.

Kimberley told The Sun: "Brush up your CV and cover letter and be organised. Review job boards daily and put job details in a table to keep track of deadlines, how to apply, and the salary – note most salaries have dropped drastically – and so on."

She advised: "Complete the application as soon as possible. There is fierce competition at the moment and many organisations are shortlisting from the minute they receive applications, and may close the job early."

If you get an interview, be it in person or online, make sure you’re ready. This means looking the part and having a pitch ready in case they ask you about yourself," said Kimberley.

3. Learn to adapt

It might be that it’s simply not feasible to look for work in your industry – sectors such as hospitality, high street shops, travel, theatre, entertainment and events have all been decimated.

In which case, it’s time to be flexible and think outside the box.

Some sectors are in a much stronger position than others and opportunities are increasing in IT and digital technology, supermarkets and cleaning businesses and for warehouse pickers and delivery drivers.

If you felt stuck in your career pre Covid-19, this could also be a time to learn new skills and do something different with your life.

HR specialist Sital Ladva told The Sun: "We don’t know when life will get back to normal so do what is necessary and don’t worry about what people think.

"However if you do land a role that isn’t exactly your dream position, company, or industry, it’s important to not get stuck in that place."

4. Don’t limit yourself to local options

Remember the company you wrote off because you would never move to Manchester? Look them up. 

The Covid-19 cloud has had one silver lining: it’s forced organisations to be open to remote-friendly work.

Provided you can fire up your laptop and connect to WiFi, you can live in the south of England, the Midlands, the north of England, Scotland, Wales or even Barbados and work without any issues.

5. Stand out from other applicants

Broadcast assistant, Sarika Unadkat, who graduated during the last economic recession and entered an uncertain world, told The Sun: "It’s important to stand out.

"There can be thousands of people applying for roles so list your past achievements clearly.

"For example, I highlighted my years of voluntary hospital radio experience when trying to break into the BBC."

Sarika added: "Be selective – the market is saturated so to stand out you need to really want the job, tailor your CV for each application and always do your research on the role and the company.

"Being informed makes you more credible."

6. Be patient

It’s fair to assume that the average job search in 2020 will take considerably longer than it did this time last year.

While supermarkets and warehouses might be recruiting quickly to meet pandemic-specific demands, most companies will experience a slower hiring process for the foreseeable future.

Some firms have gone so far as to freeze recruitment for the rest of the year, in a bid to cut costs.

7. Get free help

Check out the National Careers Service which offers free career tools – including a nifty skills assessment and careers advice tool.

There’s also advice for those who have lost their jobs or been furloughed, while the "finding job opportunities" section lists current vacancies.

Many institutions are currently offering free training courses and tutorials – again these are listed on the website – which could help you gain new skills for your job search.

Upskilling will also show potential employers that you have been productive during the coronavirus crisis.

8. Start your own business

For many people, starting their own business in the midst of a global economic crisis might sound crazy. But that’s exactly what Hannah Vatani has done.

When her travel agency work dried up as a result of the coronavirus, the 35-year old decided to take the plunge and set up her own cleaning business, Rosemond Inventory and Cleaning Services.

Hannah told The Sun: "Someone once said to me "life is like being on an escalator. If you aren't moving forward, you're  going backwards." 

"Covid stopped the escalator and that’s why my business partner and I took the opportunity to start Rosemond Inventory and Cleaning Services. 

"The business has put us back in control. We no longer feel like we are waiting around unsure of what's going to happen."

It’s a smart move as there’s been a rise in demand for cleaning amid the coronavirus.

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