Adapting to the changing job market is a part of the new normal we’ve welcomed since the coronavirus pandemic changed the way we operate in our everyday life. And while change is always a tricky thing to adjust to, learning a new way of navigating the job search will empower you to take ownership of your career goals with enthusiasm and confidence.
In this job search webinar, we explored the various ways to adjust your job search online, in addition to ways you can begin to prepare when the Canadian job market picks up again post-COVID-19. The webinar provides valuable information and advice on how to adapt your job search from trusted experts Tricia Jose (Co-founder, Arrive), Laurel Falconi (ACCES Employment Services), and Laura Kirsch (Co-founder, Prepped).
It may feel like things are at a standstill, but there is so much you can be doing while you’re at home to prepare yourself for potential job opportunities. Here are some highlights from the webinar to help get you started.
Start by building a job search plan
Research shows that those who set clear, measurable goals are 5x more likely to get a job. Crafting a plan for your job search with long and short-term goals in mind is a great place to start. Begin by planning out what you wish to achieve in the next several steps of your career, but hone in on those steps by creating goals week over week. These goals should be measurable so you can hold yourself accountable, and realistic enough to achieve in the timeframe you’ve outlined for yourself. Start small so you can build bigger goals later.
Create the right resume based on your experience
There are two main resume types that recruiters and hiring managers prefer in the Canadian job market, which include skills-based or chronological formats. A chronological resume is the most common and our best recommendation for job seekers. However, if you are new to the job market and don’t have a lot of detailed experience, you may consider the skills-based format instead.
Chronological resume format – Presents your work experience in chronological order or by date. The rule of thumb is to start with your most recent experience and work backwards.
Skills-based resume format – Best suited for those who do not have enough professional experience yet to create a chronological resume. This format may also be of use if you don’t have the exact experience for the role you are applying for.
Include impact statements when applying for a job
An impact statement informs what you were accountable to lead, manage or accomplish in a specific role and what the impact or result of those actions was. If you can quantify those results, — even better, as it will provide credibility in relation to your experience.
Avoid simply providing the job description for a role you had in the past. This only lets a recruiter or hiring manager know what you were responsible for instead of what you actually did in your role.
Practice your elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a way of describing who you are, what you’re great at and what you are looking for in a concise manner. The goal is to describe yourself in 10-15 seconds so you can feel confident in your delivery in any given situation. You don’t need to memorize it, but knowing the main points will allow the words to flow easily if you’re put on the spot.
Prepare for common interview questions
Getting to know and understand common interview questions takes time, and right now, you are in an ideal position to really focus your attention on the interview process. Practicing for your interview is an essential step. It helps build your self-confidence in addition to answering questions with ease.
General questions – There are generic questions you will likely come across in an interview. They often consist of things like “take me through your resume” and “why are you interested in working for our company?”
Behaviour-based questions – Recruiters want to take the insight you give them in the interview to leverage how you may perform on the job. They are looking for the opportunity to understand your capabilities with examples you provide from your past experience.
Read more about how to prepare for a virtual interview in a digital world.
How to network and build professional trust
The goal of building a professional network is to create a network that you can feed into and benefit from throughout the course of your career. Your network should be viewed as something you build, maintain and add value to while you are growing your career.
Build your credibility – Showcase your expertise when the moment calls for it, but make space for thoughtful questions that can’t be answered by Google. It’s also important to genuinely show your interest in someone else’s career and experience.
Be an active listener – Listen when you are engaged in a conversation and remain humble throughout to establish professional trust.
Be reliable – Come prepared to a meeting and follow through by confirming the time or place. And don’t forget to send a thank-you note after!
Don’t make it all about you – Of course, you can ask for help, support and advice, but giving back to your network is just as important. Show that you care about others in your network by offering help and advice as well.
Check out our Q&A webinar on networking during the coronavirus outbreak
Plan and tackle your job search in an organized way
Sign up for Prepped today to gain access to My Plan. This feature breaks down the job search into actionable steps so that you can feel confident that you’re approaching your job search in the right way. We also offer free access to templates for resumes and impact statements, an elevator pitch generator, and videos to help you practise your networking and interview skills.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.