Donna Shannon, President and CEO of Personal Touch Career Services, author of the acclaimed book “Get a Job Without Going Crazy (3rd Ed)” and career coach gives you her top 4 tips on how you can improve your job search NOW during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now isn’t the time to sit back and let your job search flounder. Even with the world seemingly shut down, you need to maximize your job search potential by implementing these 4 essential tips. 

Tip #1: Fix Your Materials

Make sure your resume is populated with keywords and that it is formatted correctly. Remember that many resumes are reviewed by computer programs (aka the Applicant Tracking System or ATS) before a human ever reads them. Most resume writers, including Personal Touch Career Services, give free 15-minute consultations to help you determine if your resume is in need of a reboot.

Your LinkedIn profile needs to be dynamic, engaging, personable, and informative. Employers will automatically look at an applicant’s LinkedIn profile and recruiters search for passive candidates on LinkedIn. You want to make sure that you are layering in the right keywords to attract their attention.

Is your personal branding consistent? Check that all of your social media has the same brand statement conveying who you are, your skills and your experience. Your image needs to be professional and consistent on all your platforms. Additionally, make sure your personal brand is accurately conveyed on your resume.

Tip #2: Research Your Target Job

Go beyond simply using GlassDoor.com to find out about hiring companies. Make a list of your target companies and do a deep dive into their websites.

Many businesses will have a banner on top of their sites, talking about how they are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being aware of this current information gives you a competitive advantage in how you can focus your direct communications. Acknowledge what they are doing and see how your job search fits into their current climate.

Tip #3: Strengthen Your Network

Now is the time to reinforce the network you already have. Reach out to your contacts and simply check in.

Uploading your contacts from Outlook, Google, or other email services on LinkedIn is an easy way to connect with people you already know. However, be careful: If you don’t do this the right way, you will spam everybody from those contacts. And, even worse, that might include people you don’t want to contact, like a boss who fired you or an ex!

Weirdly enough, LinkedIn won’t let you customize your invitation message during this process. I encourage you to email your desired contacts directly from your email service first, giving them a heads-up as to what you are doing on LinkedIn. That way, they will be more inclined to accept your invitation on LinkedIn.  

Want to know how to avoid sending that invite to your ex or your former boss? Take my free  Udemy course “Using LinkedIn to Get a Job Without Going Crazy” to learn that and many other helpful hints to maximize your LinkedIn account. 

If you haven’t taken the time to write recommendations for your LinkedIn connections, do it now! Not only will people be grateful, you’ve given them a reason to reconnect with you and they will very likely write a recommendation in return.

Tip #4: Survival Jobs are OK 

Taking a survival job that isn’t in your field but brings in income is perfectly acceptable and easily explainable on your resume.

If your industry has shut down, do what you need to do to stay afloat. If you are in deeply impacted industry, HR managers will understand why you took a job at an Amazon fulfillment center. While it may be your B or C choice for a target job, staying working is what really matters.

Final Notes

As with all job searches, make sure your resume and cover letter reflect the job to which you’re applying. If you need help updating your materials, we are here for you. All of our resume and coaching services are currently on sale. Let us help you boost your job potential.

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