Sure, you’re stuck at home and just when you were in the midst of searching for the next, better job. Great timing, everything is on hold, right? Wrong.
First, stay safe. Follow the national guidelines as well as those of your state and city.
Second, stay in your house; and practice “social distancing” with strangers if you go out.
Third, stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’re healthy so step up that job search!
Most businesses are closed but their managers and HR staff are likely working from home. They still have vacancies to fill now or when return to the office.
Use this time to:
1) Take a beat and give real thought as to where you are in your career, and where you want to go. Draw a line on a sheet of paper. Use about half the line, starting at the left: mark your jobs during high school and college; then graduation, then each job since graduation. Now on the second half of the line, go to the far right and dream big—marking your title (and possibly company) from which you’d love to retire. Now the hard part—make several marks of titles and/or companies for whom you aspire to work. Don’t add more pressure, but if strategic, assign goal dates for each.
To get from where you are to where you want to be, should you stay and advance within your current company? Seek an internship? Leave for a new city? Finish that college degree or work on your next one?
2) Assuming that your decision is to get a new job, research the companies that you want to contact. Go to their websites and search for names and titles of people in the department in which you want to work.
3) Then, find them or their company in the “search” field in LinkedIn. Once you find someone that works or used to work there, contact them by “connecting” or a message through “InMail.” DO NOT ask them for a job!
If they reply, then the door is open to write back, “Hi, I’m Mary and I saw on LinkedIn that you work for the Acme Company. How are you doing during this lockdown? I’m a fan of Acme and would also like to work there. Can you please tell me if you’ve learned a lot and enjoyed your time there?” That’s it…no more until they respond.
4) If you’ve already been in touch with a company and are waiting to hear about an interview or a hiring decision, email those key people—remind them who you are, when you were there, and for which position. Ask how they are doing during this lockdown. Just remind them of your continued enthusiasm, and hope to hear from them when things settle down.
5) Check-in with your network. Ask how they’re doing…then remind and update them on your job search. Thank them for their ongoing support to notify you of prospects, offer advice, or for being a reference. A phone call is best, but if you email, then remind them of what you’re looking for and attach your latest resume.
6) Use the chance to rehearse your elevator speech. Get it down to 30 seconds and memorize for a confident, professional pitch. Practice it in front of a mirror, family and friends until feels and look natural. Recite it when going for a walk, bike ride, or working out. So much you can accomplish during this temporary period of isolation.
7) Order business cards so you’ll have them to pass out when able to socialize again. Even if you’re unemployed, it’s always more professional to exchange cards when they give you theirs. You don’t need a job to have a card. Give yourself a title, like “Marketing Specialist,” “Recent USC Graduate,” “Customer Service Professional.” Include your contact information, and make all in a larger, bolder, legible font. Lots of templates at Vistaprint.
Now, if you’re finished reading this…do everything I suggested.
And, go wash your hands!
Ferris Kaplan is founder of Best Of You Resumes.