5 ways to navigate the post-COVID jobs landscape

Career advice, candidate

Finding a new role in the current climate is challenging to say the least. With the job market becoming more saturated, and interviewing and onboarding increasingly taking place virtually, jobseekers are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory. Based on the trends that we are seeing among employers and jobseekers over recent weeks, here are some tips on how to navigate this new world.

Seek out niche job channels

When it comes to the job search, with more people on furlough or out of work we’re seeing people flocking to online job-posting boards and applications skyrocket. These sites condense a wide range of positions into a digestible format for candidates to browse roles at speed. While in the talent-scarce market of 2019 this was efficient for jobseekers, now it can lead to saturation for each role. To counteract this, jobseekers can explore channels further afield in their search for a new role, exploring industry-specific job sites and company websites over the more general job listing pages.

Nurture your learnability

Employers are looking for real work experience coupled with human skills and learnability. Whether working or on furlough, it’s critical for jobseekers to continue to develop their learnability – the desire and ability to continuously acquire new skills – during the pandemic. Applicants can make the most of the abundance of online courses and opportunities to upskill or reskill which have flooded the internet over the last few months, and be prepared to showcase these skills and actions taken on interviews – illustrating how a candidate has made the ‘wait’ work for them. Here are just some of the resources available to help you upskill.

Productivity outweighs presenteeism

The way work gets done has had to shift to accommodate children out of school and family members needing more support. Employees no longer need to shy away from talking about OneLife – the balance of work and home life – during interviews. Instead candidates should highlight examples of their productivity in previous roles. Similarly, highlighting opportunities taken to spend time with family while on furlough and refresh to get ready for a new role is equally important.

Make the best impression

It’s important to remember that a virtual interview is as important as one in person. Previously, you would be evaluated on how you engage with the receptionist who greets you, small talk, the interview itself, all the way to walking to the lift to leave. These things remain true but are now online – the digital equivalent of a strong handshake is being prompt, establishing a strong presentation environment in which to take the call, and testing all the tech in advance to make sure it runs smoothly. Making eye contact is still key even in a virtual meeting, so position your notes up around your monitor to avoid dropping your eyes during the conversation. Consider your lighting, and posture to make a good impression – we’ve seen more and more people taking to standing up behind an elevated laptop, which gives a great screen presence. Finally, don’t forget that a virtual interview will be a window into how easily you’ll slot into a remote team, including how you will potentially interact with the manager or interviewer; be conscious of speaking over people, listen carefully, respond to the question at hand and, of course, the normal rules of a great interview apply: be prepared, give competency-based responses, use case studies and remain focused.

Prepare for a remote induction

Finally, be prepared that once you have a new role, you may be asked to train and onboard remotely. Across industries we have seen a huge shift to remote activities for new starters. People need to be prepared that when they get a new job, they will likely be starting in a remote capacity. We’ve seen this even for roles which would traditionally be in a physical location – running onboarding and training remotely limits the number of people on site on any given day and facilitates social distancing.

The future of work looks very different than it did just a few months ago. In this period of change, workers who are able to demonstrate their ability to adapt and remain resilient will be best positioned to stand out to organisations.