Putting aside the seemingly not resumable Malaysian economy in recent years, job hunting topic is urgently relevant to most world population today due to this sudden coronavirus pandemic. While the world’s industry landscape abruptly shifted with some of the job seeking norm and rules changed, and our current 4.7 % unemployment rate reported by the Department of Statistics Malaysia is rather persistent, I felt an urge to survey on this topic. Here are some tips I read from career professionals and bloggers, with some of the source links attached.
Check your urgency
Don’t quit your current job but try your best to secure it, as employers had mostly postponed business expansion and recruitment due to uncertainty of the impact from the pandemic. If the reason of leaving your current job is that you have to work harder and longer but with lower pay, there’s no need for changing an employer since your new job may very much land you in the same condition. Just hold on first and try to push to your limits to perform well, taking this chance to earn yourself a few new skills and increase work efficiency, which will become your new capitals when the market reopens.
However, for workforce in the severely affected industries and the companies that will not survive this economy downturn, or those who have no better choice but to leave their jobs for any reasons we can or cannot imagine, job hunting strategies has to be adjusted.
Indeed Career Guide actually suggested the searching keywords “work from home”, “remote “and “urgently hiring” to be filled in the “What” field in its site.
Self-marketing: Active & passive ways
Second to using personal network (check out this article in Harvard Business Review to know the steps) and directly reach out to your targeted companies, the most effective and more common way for job hunting is still by actively self-market yourselves through recruitment websites and head hunting company. Prepare a good resume that really stands out, keep in mind that this is a critical period where opportunities are just fewer than usual.
Although more often used by experienced workers and job search on higher positions, head hunting or executive search firms are also useful for fresh graduates, especially for those who aim high or looking for oversea opportunities. Even if your profile has not been attractive enough, jumping in and going through the process itself is the only way to know how exactly to reach the required standards. If you wish to reach that height five years from now, better start now.
On the other hand, cultivating one’s work profile and network online such as a LinkedIn account has become a more and more common trend. It is a passive but effective way, just complete your profile that fully present yourself and your professional skills for millions of employers and head hunters to find you.
New net-working way in new normal
The pandemic had dramatically changed the way people connect, almost all events had been switched into virtual events. Yes, you do not get to meet people in person but the fact that people stick more on social media and joining these virtual events provides plenty of chances for this new way of net-working. Follow the veterans, like-minded people and professional groups from your target industries in social media and LinkedIn to get to know what kind of perspectives and resources they have, and what events are there for you to join.
The most important thing is, make yourself standout through the interactions when attending any virtual events, like you always do in real events. Familiarization on these virtual events may also prepare you for your coming virtual job interviews.
Be clear on your target
Keep calm and focus on the industries and positions you really want, don’t get panic by the chaotic situation and simply apply for any jobs that seems can be fit in with your profile. Everyone knows the “target audience” rule, where you have to be as specific as possible when producing your resume and LinkedIn profile. It is almost impossible to do so if you do not have a clear and specific job search target.
Reflect, upskill and reskill
If you happened to save some time through working from home or other circumstances, reflect on yourself regarding your future job or career, the achievements you want or the job satisfaction you required. Spend the extra time to brush up skills through self-learning, no matter it’s through reading or learning new skills or courses online like above mentioned.
The Future of Jobs 2020 report has found that COVID-19 has caused the labour market to change faster than expected, meaning reskilling are becoming common in the next five years. Fortunately, these new skills can be acquired in short period of just 1-5 months, it is obvious that self-learning is a necessary future skill. Check out the future needed new skills and tailor your development according to the future career path you have set.
Fill the gap in your resume well
Recruiters do still mind about a six months gap in applicant’s resume, since many lost jobs but a lot still manage to retain their job during the MCO. Have your story or narrative ready and perfect if you have a gap like that, it might turn your weakness into advantages. If you have gone through reflect and upskill process, remember to include that in your resume.
Be aware of the big and small changes and shifts in job market, the more you understand the more opportunity you will have. You will understand that you are not alone but actually in an irresistible trend where you need to adjust yourself accordingly instead of indulging in all kinds of your negative feeling and not-very-true imagination for the future. You will be managed to handle your downtime more efficiently, if you happened to be the unlucky ones.
Fully make use of the PRIHATIN and PENJANA aids provided by the government to save you time, energy and money, so that you can focus more on your job searching, self-upgrading and future planning. Do not feel bad since you don’t receive it for free but will generate more when this emergency downturn gets over.