The new rules for landing a job in the Covid Era
- Consider your goals—and be specific
When you are unemployed, it may be difficult to identify professional priorities beyond getting a paycheck. Still, Ms. Mazzullo says job seekers she coaches often don’t have clear goals. That can slow down their hunt. “They haven’t defined what they’re looking for next, and therefore can’t articulate it to recruiters or people in their network who might be able to help them,” she said.
Developing clarity around what you are looking for, she said, isn’t the same as being picky. It helps you focus your search on areas where you are more likely to be successful.
- Be flexible—and realistic—about location
Complicated office reopening and social-distancing measures have led many companies to reconsider the importance of an employee’s proximity to the office. The number of remote jobs posted on job-search site Glassdoor has increased 53% compared with a year ago.
That shift is freeing some to pursue far-flung roles. But job seekers should be prepared to be upfront about their plans, such as a relocation for a partner or a move to be closer to family. Unless an employer has confirmed that a role is fully remote, and will remain that way, candidates should be prepared to return to the office at least occasionally.
“There’s a huge difference between a job that’s 100% remote and 90% remote,” said Daniel Zhao, Glass door senior economist. “If you still have to go into the office even just once a month, does it make sense to live up in the mountains in a cabin?”
- Zero in on who is still hiring
Health care, retail and food service had the most U.S. job openings as of Aug. 10, with e-commerce and delivery jobs seeing particular growth, according to data from Glass door. Finance and insurance, construction and real estate, and business services had the least.
- Be prepared for a 100% virtual interview process
Just a few months ago, candidates who were interviewed and brought into new jobs virtually were considered pioneers. Now, it is normal to start a new job without meeting anyone from your new employer in person. Job seekers need to be prepared to stand out, even when they’re sitting alone at home.
“Bias and immediate assumptions about a person are really powerful,” said Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of Zip Recruiter, at the WSJ Jobs Summit. “You get one second, the moment you first come into frame, where they’re going to develop a whole idea of who you are, and it’s incredibly difficult to get them off that. You have full control over that one second.”
Ms. Hendler-Grunt recommends candidates perform a test video call with a friend to make sure their technology is working and their background looks professional. “You have to bring a higher level of energy than you would have previously if you met somebody in person,” she said. “It’s fine if you’re the most dressed-up person on the video call.”
Mr. Barnes, who found the job at a software company, says being prepared with anecdotes helped him in a video conference. “I treated the resume as more of a really boring summary of my life and those different jobs, and looked for ways to create a more exciting story to take into an interview and talk about skills,” he said.
Kyle Ewing, Google’s director of talent and outreach programs, suggests being aware of what is happening in the location where the interviewer works and what they might be experiencing, then kicking off the interview with some simple, friendly questions.
“It’s really important to be more deliberate in the connection that you’re making,” she said. “There’s an opportunity to bring more of a human connection, even in a virtual environment.”
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