How Job Seekers Can Stand Out In The COVID Recession

Written by Julia Pollak and Mary Ball

April 2021

If you’re a job seeker right now and you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Looking for a job under normal circumstances can be frustrating, throw a pandemic and global recession into the mix and job hunting can feel like an extreme sport.

The employment environment has changed drastically. We’ll walk you through these two key changes and what you can do to differentiate yourself;

First, relative scarcity and bargaining power have shifted more suddenly from job seekers to employers than ever before. In the U.S. for example, there were a million more job openings than unemployed workers for 18 months before the crisis, but now there are twice as many unemployed workers as job openings. In the UK, the unemployment rate is likely to hit a staggering 7.5% by the summer, up from 3.8% at the start of 2020.

Second, recruiting and onboarding have moved online and so have many jobs.
That’s why it’s now essential to be tech-savvy and connected and to have a conducive workspace at home - which can pose its own challenges.

So what can you do to make your CV or resume stand out? Let’s start by covering what not to do. These are a few of the most common mistakes; irrelevant information, typo’s and poorly formatted. We live in a world of automation, 75% of CV’s are never read by a human. Fancy designs will not serve you. Use a simple template, make it a clear, simple, logical, formulaic record of your education, employment history, and skills that can be read by the most primitive bot. There are some great free resources available such as Reed, MyPerfectCV, Express CV.

According to TechRepublic, 86% of companies are conducting interviews online. This can give job seekers a big advantage, saving you time and money. Gone are the days of getting lost, the stress of rushing around, trying to find the right train or secure a parking spot then arriving at the interview late, sweaty and on the back foot before you can even open your mouth. Video interviews mean you have complete control over the first impression you create. A few pro-tips: check your internet and set up before the interview. Make sure you’re well-groomed and in a suitable environment, don’t forget about your backdrop! I think we all know the cautionary tale of Yvette Amos.

Lastly - upskill! Take an online course, listen to podcasts, read some books. Getting a certificate or expanding your industry or technical knowledge can open up many more opportunities, not to mention increase your earning potential. It will also make you more competitive for the roles you want. I have been very involved in this route myself. If you’re interested, check out Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning.

You’re always welcome to email us at hello@womeninbusinessbookclub.com if you’d like some additional advice or a quick proofread of your CV or Resume! We’re here to help!

Resource Links:

Reed
MyPerfectCV
Express CV
Coursera
Udemy
LinkedIn Learning

Addendums

TechRepublic - 86% of Companies are Conducting Interviews via Video Conferencing