It may seem like the world has stopped because of the coronavirus outbreak, but does that mean your job search also needs to?
In short, the answer is no – do not stop your job search! The job search is so much more than just submitting your resume and cover letter to an open position online. The phrase “looking for a job is a full-time job” is true. The world may seem to be rapidly changing, and market conditions may be unknown, but remember that not all industries are affected equally during difficult times.
When we built Prepped, we combined HR experience with research from a study spanning over 35 years with over 10,000 participants. One of the key findings is that people who used these job search strategies are up to 6x more likely to get a job than those who don’t, in both good times and bad1. Here are five strategies to help you in your job search2:
1. People who ask family and friends for help are 4x more likely to get a job
Don’t be shy, your family and friends want to help you succeed. LinkedIn is a great place to start narrowing down who to ask for help. If you have a list of target companies or roles, you can search for those on LinkedIn and see if you have any 1st-degree connections that you can easily message. If so, don’t hesitate to reach out and share your interest. Read more about how to use LinkedIn to get your next job.
If you don’t have any 1st-degree connections, check for 2nd-degree connections and determine if your immediate network can make a warm introduction. Warm introductions are a great way to expand your network and get you one step closer to your next job!
If you need help with starting a message, we have email and LinkedIn message templates for you. You can copy and paste them straight into an email and customize as much or as little as you want.
2. People who set specific, measurable career goals are 5x more likely to get a job
The job search is not a sprint, but a marathon. Set up weekly goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Maybe you start off simple, like searching LinkedIn and making a list of your 1st-degree connections that you would be interested in chatting with. Or maybe you’re ready to hit the ground running, and you make a list of goals you want to accomplish.
If you need help with creating goals, check out our feature, My Plan. My Plan is a free weekly to-do list of goals, all crafted to help you improve your chances of getting a job. Once you complete a goal, check it off your plan and move on to the next!
3. People who boosted their confidence are 3x more likely to get a job
Feeling confident doesn’t come naturally to many of us, but luckily, it is something that can be gained through practice. Are you connecting with someone for the first time? Practise how you want to introduce yourself with your elevator pitch! This can be done with family or friends, or even by yourself in front of a mirror. With Prepped, you also have the option to create an elevator pitch with our elevator pitch generator, and you can also practise it by recording yourself and reviewing it after.
Another quick way to boost your confidence is to practise power poses. It may feel awkward at first, but they really work! Our favourite pose is the “Wonder Woman,” where you stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance, and your hands are on your hips. Hold this pose for 2 minutes and see if it makes a difference for you. Despite the name, this pose is great for everyone!
4. People who are proactive in their job search are up to 6x more likely to get a job
Being proactive in your job search means that you’re constantly putting yourself out there and going beyond simply applying to open job postings online.
It means still reaching out to your friends and family for help. Businesses are pivoting their plans, and their needs are constantly changing. That doesn’t necessarily mean their hiring needs have changed – they may just be on hold for now. If leads and referrals were initiated before the pandemic, check in with them and ask for an update. It’s important to be mindful during this time and be understanding to how responses may take longer.
It also means widening your job search to include other companies and roles. Each job is unique and is shaped by the company and the team. Focus on what experience and skills you want to gain. You never know, your ideal job may look very different from what you had imagined!
5. People who are taught job search skills, and how to present themselves well in interviews and networking, are 3x more likely to get a job
Some people think that job search skills only include things like networking and interviewing. While networking and interviewing play important roles in the job search, equally important skills include defining your career path and knowing your skills and capabilities (aka what are the most amazing things about you).
This is where we can help. Prepped has a full suite of videos, exercises, and resources, all specifically designed to help you focus your job search and build the important skills to help you succeed. Creating an account is completely free, and it gives you access to everything we have to offer.
Most importantly – take care of yourself, your family and your community. This is a difficult time for so many of us and for so many different reasons. If you need a little break or are feeling overwhelmed, check out our most recent webinar on applying mindfulness to your job search.
We’re here for you and your job search – stay connected with us and keep an eye out for live webinars hosted by our Prepped team and career search experts.
1 Songqi Liu, Jason L. Huang, & Mo Wang (2014). Effectiveness of Job Search Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1009-1041.
2 All of the statistics cited herein are based on the study: Songqi Liu, Jason L. Huang, & Mo Wang (2014). Effectiveness of Job Search Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1009-1041.
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.