Finding a Job in the COVID-19 Era

By Michael Klazema on 7/2/2020

In the span of just a few short weeks, tens of millions of jobs crashed out of the economy, leaving swollen unemployment and a need for emergency aid from the federal government. As some states grapple with spiking COVID-19 case numbers, others have made progress towards reopening. With the job market showing some signs of life again, and millions still out of work, finding a new job is at the top of many to-do lists. 

COVID-19 has changed the landscape for job hunting. Some of these changes may last for months or years, while others could be permanent, particularly the emphasis on work-from-home positions. Keeping a few tips in mind will help you in your search for work. 

Look to Positions with Some Future Security

Beware of the shifting demands in many industries. Though some have seen surges, they may be temporary. Sectors that are highly susceptible to COVID-19 related volatility, such as education, may not be the best bet for all job-seekers. Instead, look for opportunities to work in sectors that may be better equipped to handle the ongoing disruptions of a public health crisis.

Shift into Industries Experiencing New Demand

Now could be the ideal time for a career change for those with the appropriate skills. The insurance industry, for example, frequently has openings and will likely continue to add new workers for some time. Other growing fields, such as communications and technology, could also harbor inviting job prospects. Take a step back to re-evaluate your skillset and determine where you might apply it for fresh success.

Stay on Top of the Latest Listings

You have to find work—work won't find you. Though crawling online job listings can prove frustrating at times, watching for the newest listings will consistently net you more opportunities to get a foot in the door. Don't overlook the value of networking online through sites such as LinkedIn. Making connections and building up a profile of your skills will open more employment opportunities.

Know Your Local Regulations on Hiring

Many businesses choose to conduct employee background checks as due diligence while hiring. Look into whether your state or local community has "ban the box" rules that require a business to interview you before using a tool such as the US OneSEARCH by 

Many employers have shifted to conducting interviews via teleconferencing, so COVID-related disruptions haven't paused these rules. You have rights as an applicant—be sure the hiring processes that you participate in follow legal guidelines and offer you a fair chance.

Be Prepared for an Evolving Landscape

From the beginning, the COVID-19 crisis has been unpredictable and disruptive. As efforts continue to mitigate the spread and develop solutions, workers must make decisions with some flexibility. With many sectors still feeling out precisely how to move forward in the coming months, additional uncertainty is likely. With a focused effort and a clear sense of direction, however, forging a new career path is still a possibility.

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