How to make the most of your job search during social distancing
- Posted on April 15, 2020
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
For those who were job hunting before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it can be easy to feel like your search ground to a halt along with the closing of schools, offices and restaurants. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Potential hires can use this time to hone their job searching skills, complete interview prep and research and polish up resumes. We reached out to a few of Avanade's recruiters, Monika Owsianna and Lisa Trier, to get their best tips on how to make the most of your time during the outbreak.
Avanade News: What’s the best way to stay on top of job searching during this time?
Lisa: It may be tempting to put your job search on hold during this COVID outbreak, but that would be a mistake. Positions may go on hold however there are many that are still interviewing. At Avanade, our workplace platforms – the likes of Office 365, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and more – are enabling us to continue delivering work seamlessly. Of course, there will be some changes to the recruitment process. For example, in-person interviews have changed to virtual interviews. I recommend you continue your job search! And if you are just starting it or considering a new job, now could be a great opportunity to have exploratory conversations with companies.
Monika: Having an updated LinkedIn profile with current and past work experience is always a best practice. Treat your LinkedIn profile as the main source for personal marketing. Take the time to not only list the companies you have worked at, but also provide a short write-up highlighting your core responsibilities to paint a more accurate picture of your capability. If you have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and are an active job seeker, change your LinkedIn status to “open to new opportunities” to let potential employers know you are seeking work. If you do receive an inquiry from a recruiter expressing interest in your skill set, respond in a timely fashion to start the conversation early getting your foot in the door before the competition. Of course, you’ll also want to have an updated resume at your fingertips to share once an interesting opportunity presents itself. Do market research to seek out and follow companies that are of interest to you. Become a company follower and join a talent community to receive job postings and relevant trending articles that are meaningful to you. The key is to stay connected, network and seek out opportunities!
Avanade News: How is preparing for a virtual video interview different than preparing for an in-person interview?
Lisa: Preparing for a virtual interview compared to an in-person interview can present unique challenges. Primarily due to technology, the ability to show enthusiasm, and the management of setting. Check to make sure your technology that is being used for the virtual interview works properly. Test the internet connectivity and your microphone. If possible, position your computer and web cam so a blank wall is in back of you. Try to create the background to appear you are in a professional setting. Isolate yourself in a quiet area, and dress for a virtual interview the same way you dress for an in-person interview. Because you do not have the benefit of the face to face meeting, you want to make you’re your body language is easy to read: Sit up straight, make eye contact by looking at the webcam, and show enthusiasm. Practice before the interview to manage responses to potential questions; ask a friend or family member to be your test interview.
Avanade News: And what if I don’t have the ‘perfect’ environment for the video interview? Will I be penalized? My kids/pets are at home with me and it’s hard to have a distraction free space.
Monika: Many companies, including Avanade, have implemented a mandatory work from home policy amid the spread of COVID-19. For many, this is a drastic change to the typical day-to-day operation, especially for those that balance working with child care responsibilities. It’s not easy! We are dealing with a first-of-its-kind pandemic and we are all in this together. If you find that you cannot completely isolate yourself from the chaos in the house and expect there might be some disruption during your interview, do not stress; communication is key! Send a note to your interviewer beforehand explaining the circumstances giving them a heads up that there might be some background noise or an interruption – they will understand (we have mini and furry “co-workers” show up in many of our meetings now). Before scheduling a time to interview, think about which times work best for you. If there is a time slot during the day when the household is quieter, propose to speak at that time so that you are more focused and at ease. Remember, we are all human and in this together!