By Lisa Noonan, Workshops Facilitator & Noah Innes, Employment & Communications Specialist
Job seekers are facing challenges conducting a traditional job search right now, but there is nothing traditional about what we are experiencing today.
Employers, however, are still hiring and there are plenty of ways you can take control to improve your opportunities for job search success, even in a pandemic.
Upgrade Your Skills
Now is a great time to look at upgrading your skills through webinars and online courses, many of which are free. As things start to reopen, you're going into the market with a brand-new, fresh skill set to boost your resume and your confidence.
Perhaps you could use this time to take online WHMIS or OH&S courses, or obtain your Google Analytics for Beginners certification.
Volunteer opportunities are another good thing to explore now, because volunteering builds upon your skill set, builds your network and helps you feel productive, too. Whether it's sorting food at a food bank, doing data entry, or delivering meals, these are all wonderful opportunities to not only help your community, but also to reach out and meet new people who could help you in untold ways in the future.
Employers who may not have embraced remote work before are now able to see the value in a workforce that can keep going even when the office has closed. They may be looking for a person with your skills - translation, for instance - so be sure to post your skills on LinkedIn or other sites and offer your services to people. You might snag a project or contract, or even a long-term job for work you can do straight from home.
Networking & Relationship Building
Networking right now is probably more important than it's ever been. We feel very isolated, and employers feel the same. Reaching out to employers, whether you're using LinkedIn or whether you're calling them and doing video conferences, is a great way to feel productive and you never know where those connections are going to lead. Building your network now is a really smart thing to do and it's a good way to spend your time.
It is important to remember that everyone on your reference list should be a network connection and some of those other network connections may also be good references.
Now is the time to re-connect with those people who have acted as a reference for you in the past to re-establish those relationships. It's also a good opportunity to contact other connections to ask if they would be a reference for you. You have nothing to lose by asking - the worst that will happen is that you're in the same place.
Help is Here:
When the COVID-19 closure began, the team at Job Junction - Nova Scotia Works reacted quickly to develop a number of new remote services to meet the needs of our community to improve your opportunities for success:
Our case managers can now meet by video conference or telephone to help you develop a plan to achieve your goals
Our career practitioners are still able to provide useful feedback to improve your job search through one-on-one practice interviews and resume critiques by video conference or telephone meetings
We've launched a full schedule of interactive webinars to help you craft your pitch to make networking a little easier, to help you better customize your resume and marketing materials, and to improve your interviewing skills to get results
We've also re-launched our Recent Grad Program in a two-week, virtual format and we're continuing to develop brand-new webinars, including one on negotiating on the job to recognize the value you bring to an employer