As an increasing number of employees worldwide are laid off or furloughed it might feel like the worst time possible to look for a new job. Rumours of recessions abound and face-to-face networking opportunities are diminished. It might feel easier to simply put your aspirations on hold and give in.
At Bramwith, we believe in maintaining a positive approach. Procurement and supply chain professionals are resilient and adaptable people after all! For both your mental wellbeing and your career prospects, making the effort to keep the recruitment process going remains the best course of action - providing you’re willing to adapt your approach. Read on for some top tips for job searching during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Easier said than done, perhaps, but you are unlikely to endear yourself to prospective employers if you don’t exercise some patience during the recruitment process. Particularly if they have already advised you of timelines or to wait until they get in touch. Keep in mind that everyone has their own challenges and worries at the moment. These could include personal, health, family and work. The application process may also be slower due to the impacts of video calling, changes in team responsibilities, furloughed staff and so forth. By all means, vent your frustrations in the privacy of your own home, but avoid sharing them with your potential employer.
Brush up on your video/phone interview skills
Any interviews right now are likely to take place via video or phone call. For many of us, this situation is less than ideal but try to approach it in a positive manner. Practice with a friend beforehand, taking note of how you come across on these channels; body language, eye contact, clarity of speech etc. Try to be as natural as you would in a face-to-face scenario and pay attention to verbal or physical cues from your interviewing panel, indicating when more information is required or if it’s your turn to speak.
Remember that the situation is an odd one for all parties involved and everyone is trying to do their best. If technological issues arise (and make sure you test the platform before the interview) laugh them off and don’t let it interrupt your flow or focus more than necessary.
Discover some top tips on preparing for your interview.
Be prepared for the possibility of interview cancellation
It’s always disappointing when an interview or meeting is cancelled. If this happens to you, try not to take it personally. Many businesses are in a state of flux, with budgets suspended, operations scambled and a workforce scattered and struggling to function remotely.
Before you make contact with the recruiter or potential employer, take a deep breath and remind yourself that there could be a number of reasons for this. Resist the urge to try to convince the interviewer that they should reconsider and conduct the interview despite their reasons. In this situation, it’s far better to use this opportunity to show what an empathetic and understanding person you are.
You’re well within your rights, however, to ask in a respectful manner what the reasons for the cancellation are and to find out if they have plans to reschedule in the future. If it seems like the recruitment process is only stalled for now, reiterate your interest in the company and the role and say that you’ll be looking forward to hearing from them in the future. If the recruiter is unsure of what the future holds, or the role is no longer available - for whatever reason - thank them for the opportunity and ask them to keep you in mind in the future.
Conferences and networking events aren’t the only ways to get noticed, or even headhunted, by prospective employers. LinkedIn is a fabulous platform for getting your name out there. You might even find that hiring managers are more open to connecting as they’re working from home and have more time.
Make sure your profile is current, well-presented and that you have included some recommendations from colleagues. You could even mention in your profile header that you’re looking for new opportunities - though if you’re currently employed you might want to think about the visibility of your profile! Have a think about the companies you’d like to work for and request connections with appropriate team members, adding a short, personalised introduction letter to open up the conversation. It’s also worth sharing some pertinent industry news on your feed to demonstrate your credibility and engaging with group discussions.
Try to be flexible
While we are all adjusting to new living and working conditions during Coronavirus, it’s important to remain as flexible in your career outlook as possible. Naturally, there are bills to pay and other logistical challenges and responsibilities to consider but it’s a good idea to try to accommodate, or at least consider, new types of opportunities.
Perhaps there are part-time roles available that you could look at. Or jobs that are outside your usual remit that might be worth a look. When it comes to expected salaries, you don’t want to dip too far from your usual remuneration, but if a role looks great and a lower pay band is the one downside, have a think about how you could manage the reduction. If appropriate, talk to your recruiter or your contact at the company about your options and how they see such roles developing in the future. With so much unknown right now, you might not get the clear-cut answer you’re hoping for, but you may get some clarity on what’s viable for you, at least in the short term.
If you aren’t in a position to compromise right now, consider putting your search on hold. It’s a tricky time to get noticed by employers and you might be better off applying your energies to upskilling or honing your CV and interview skills.
Find out more about upskilling during Coronavirus.
Try to keep busy and motivated
The worst thing that job seekers can do right now is to lose motivation. Working remotely is tough and can be lonely and the same applies to going through the recruitment process. If you’re still employed, don’t be tempted to relax your efforts with your current employer. This won’t go unnoticed, even when working from home. You don’t want to endanger your job and you don’t want to let your company or your colleagues down.
Whether you’re currently employed or out of work, consider putting a timetable in place for your recruitment efforts. A few hours devoted to reviewing and enhancing your CV, for example. Some time allocated for brushing up your interview skills, and, of course, an ample amount of time dedicated to keeping up with the job search itself and keeping abreast of important developments in your sector and the business world in general.
You should also stay in touch with your recruitment company and, where appropriate, with potential employers. Do this in a thoughtful, considerate way, making it clear that you don’t have expectations and you simply want them to know that you’re still keen and available.
Perhaps most importantly, try not to take any negative impacts to heart, keep your chin up, and remain focused. Just because your job search has stalled for now, doesn’t mean it won’t start up again in a couple of months time. And when it does, and you have that CV perfected and your interview skills polished, you’ll be in an even better position to take the procurement and supply chain world by storm.
Find out more about how to keep the recruitment process going.
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