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23 Tips for Targeting Your Job Search During Quarantine

23 Tips for Targeting Your Job Search During Quarantine

Here are 23 job search tips from professionals and career coaches to help make the coronavirus job search a little easier.


It’s been a challenging time to be a working parent during the pandemic, to say the least. On top of being quarantined at home with kids who are either too young to fully occupy themselves or need lots of help with distance learning, the job market essentially collapsed as COVID-19 cases rose. With fewer jobs and more competition, searching for work right now can feel daunting. So we chatted with a group of professionals, career coaches, and interview experts for some job search tips that can help propel your job search despite coronavirus.

“Yes, the job market has changed, but not disappeared,” says David Morneau, co-founder and managing director of inBeat, a micro-influencer marketing agency. Whether you’re wanting to pursue a new career opportunity or have lost your job during the pandemic and are in search of your next gig, these tips will help inspire and focus your efforts when you may be feeling particularly unmoored. 

Tips for Job Searching

Rethink yourself.

You can best conduct a job search right now by soul searching (SS) and researching (RS) first. This means getting to granular detail on what you love to do, your unique gifts and talents, the skills you want to utilize (not just skills you have), how you want to be creative and make a difference. When I work with my clients we uncover nine different elements to their ideal career and brainstorm career possibilities that fit those elements. —Maggie Mistal, career cnsultant and executive coach at MMM Career Consulting.

Pursue part-time opportunities.

Check out the MommyBites job board for tons of part-time and flexible jobs. The opportunities run the gamut from editorial to marketing, from customer service to tutoring. You can also use the site to promote your skills or post job listings.

Remember: You’re fishing, not hunting.

Finding a new position in a chaotic economy is especially challenging and is often closer to fishing than hunting. You're not relentlessly pursuing one single position day after day. You’re casting line after line into the water to get a few bites. Most of the applications you send out won't go anywhere, so don't stress if you don't find success right away. —Adam Sanders, Director of Successful Release

Use this time to network.

Get your LinkedIn profile to all-star status, upgrade your photo, and expand your connections. It’s good to have at least 500. (Think about all your current and former co-workers, classmates, vendors, fellow club members, neighbors, family, and friends.) Then begin to have conversations with your network about what type job you’re looking for and ask them to introduce you to people who can help. —Terry McDougall, career coach and author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms

Now is a great time to reach out to old friends, classmates, colleagues, and new contacts in fields you’d like to work in. Networking is about giving so giving someone a call, email, or text to see how they are doing goes a long way in building rapport and relationships. —Mistal

Make connections. 

Attend virtual conferences or events on Facebook, Meetup, or Eventbrite. Be active in the chat and ask questions. Make it known at the end of the event that you'd like to stay connected with those who also participated. And use apps to be connected 1:1 with other networkers over weekly video calls such as Lunchclub, Shapr, or Bumble Bizz. —Stephanie Thoma, author and career coach at Confident Introvert

Coordinate a Zoom chat with fellow alums from your college or high school.  Even joining virtual meetups for friends’ birthdays or graduation celebrations can be networking opportunities. Then there’s my favorite form of networking: the informational interview. People are more relaxed and forthcoming when talking from the privacy of their own homes. So now is a great time to reach out to someone in your dream job to find out what it really takes to be successful and what a typical day is like. —Mistal

Specify your success.

Write out 10 success stories from your career, with emphasis on measurable results. Use these on your resume, LinkedIn profile, networking, and interviews. —McDougall

Scour job boards.

When sourcing jobs on LinkedIn, Indeed, or similar platforms, filter to jobs posted over the past week. If the position was posted in the last week, that likely means the position will be filled regardless of the Coronavirus outbreak. —Daniel E. Santos, CEO of career counseling company Prepory

Use LinkedIn, Goingglobal, and similar job boards to start your search. On LinkedIn, follow the hashtag #hiringnow to find posts from recruiters. —Morneau

Be sure to visit specific company websites. In an effort to cut costs, many are exclusively posting open positions on their company's "career" or equivalent page. —Santos

Capitalize on keywords.

Recruiters are overwhelmed now, so make your CV stand out by adding the right keywords for the job. Modern ATS automatically screens your resume for skills, so the keywords you use are essential to get through the screening process. —Morneau

Pursue internal referrals.

When you're applying to a company you're really interested in, take some time to think if you have any connections to existing employees there. The connection doesn't have to be particularly strong. It can be anyone from your school, social network, church, neighborhood, etc. Set up some time to ask for their advice on how to get hired and then don't be afraid to ask if they'll refer you. —Sanders

Be ready to reply.

Job seekers should be responsive and fast moving, regularly checking emails and answering phone calls from unknown numbers in order to schedule interviews at their earliest availability. —Santos

Don't wait.

When times are tough it's very easy to convince yourself to wait a little while for things to improve before applying. Who is hiring when the economy is basically shut down, right? The reality is that a lot of companies are still hiring! Spend your time submitting applications. Social distancing doesn't mean you can't hustle and find a great new position. —Sanders

Tips for Video Interviewing

Get to know your interviewer.

Research your interviewer via LinkedIn, the company website, etc. Show your genuine interest not only in the job but also in the interviewer and his or her experience. Then prepare some questions to ask. —Morneau

Light and Simple

Find a simple, quiet spot in your home for the interview. Too much stuff can be distracting. Sitting by a window where there’s natural light is a good idea, just don’t let the sun shine directly in your eyes, making you squint. —Parker Geiger, personal branding expert

Dress to impress

Dress yourself fully (no shorts and slippers below the waist!) as if you were going to a face-to-face interview. It will help you project a confident, credible professional presence. —Geiger

Choose solidly.

Wear solid colors and avoid patterned shirts and tops. Sharp contrast such as black and white or navy and beige work well. Dark colors communicate an authoritative presence, while light colors communicate an approachable presence. —Geiger

See eye-to-eye .

Sit your camera or laptop at eye level and think of the screen as the face of your interviewer. Be sure that you are looking directly at them, not down at them. If possible, have a lapel mic directly connected to the laptop. This will give a much better sound. —Geiger

Do some tech prep.

Avoid any technical glitches by testing your mic, webcam, and connection before the interview. —Morneau

To virtually interview smart, I learned a lot of great tips from an Emmy award winning producer. My add is to do a warm-up chat a few minutes before your interview. It will give you a chance to test out your technology and also get you in conversation mode. —Mistal

Say farewell.

Just as you would in person, be sure to thank the interviewer by saying his or her name and that you look forward to hearing from them. —Geiger

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Whitney C. Harris

Author: Whitney C. Harris is a freelance writer and NYMetroParents' Manhattan and Westchester calendar editor. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with her husband, a toddler, and a dog. See More

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