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How to job hunt successfully, even if you're on lockdown

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Posted 3 months ago by Mark Staniland, Managing Director of Hays Ireland

There is no doubt that these are unprecedented and challenging times. However, you might still be thinking about your career and what your next steps might look like.

Here are our tips for job hunting during lockdown:

1. Get the basics ready
First things first: ensure you have an up-to-date CV – take a look at our tips on getting your CV ready, or find out more about building a strong graduate CV.

Then, be sure you know what you’d like from your next opportunity. What kinds of responsibilities have you had in the past, and what would you like in a new role? Are there any areas in which you want to improve, and what kind of roles would play to your skillsets and strengths? What kind of company size are you more suited to – would you fit in better at a corporate organisation or a start-up? Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years, and what do you need from your next role to help you achieve these goals?

Answering all these questions in advance will help you streamline your search – and help you better answer ‘why I want this job’ should you get through to interview stage!

2. Keep in regular contact with your recruiter
Of course, in-person contact is out of the question for the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t speak to your recruiter. Here at Hays, all our recruiters are working as normal, albeit remotely. Whether you are looking for a permanent job or a temporary or contract role, get in touch and if you can, use video-calls to ensure better face-to-face interaction.

During your call, be sure to cover all the above points, so they understand as much as possible about you and your unique professional ambitions. Be clear with your availability, whether you are able to take video interviews and provide feedback throughout every interaction with them or after any interview.

3. Be open-minded
The ongoing global situation has inevitably caused some changes in demand, with some industries seeing a clear surge in demand. If you are on the lookout for a temporary role, it may help to have a degree of flexibility. Showing an open mind and taking on new challenges may mean that you get experience in an area you might not have otherwise, and discover strengths you didn’t realise you had.

Consider what factors you are willing to compromise on, and what factors will be integral to your workplace wellbeing and career goals. Make sure your recruiter knows what these are, so they don’t to pass you up for a promising opportunity just because it didn’t match all of your criteria.

4. Get virtual-interview ready
Should you get through to an interview, it will be remote for the time being – whether by phone or via video. If you are being interviewed via video link, be sure to do a practice run with your tech beforehand, set up your interview space (being aware of your background), and check with your recruiter beforehand what the company culture is so you can dress accordingly.

For more on how to prepare for and ace your remote interview, download our handy video interview guide now.

5. If you get the job, you may be onboarded remotely
Don’t let this phase you. Working remotely may not have been the way you intended to begin a new role, but there are things you can do to ensure you get the best possible start. Create a great home working space, log in early on your first day, ensure you understand your daily expectations and get to know your colleagues from afar via video calls. For more, read our guide on how to start a new job – at home.

6. Look after your wellbeing
Job hunting during lockdown may throw up some unique new challenges, so make sure you are looking after your physical and mental wellbeing. Make sure you get some physical activity and reach out to family or friends regularly – lockdown can be a lonely and isolating experience. Try to keep a positive mindset, as this will help ensure your hunt stays on course. And remember, your recruiter is always on hand to advise about any worries you may have, even if all you want to do is have a virtual catch up.

If you’re considering your next step, get in contact with one of our expert recruitment consultants for a confidential chat about the career options available to you, or to access a host of resources for helping you adapt to the new way of working, visit our Inspire ME Remotely Hub. As your lifelong career partner, we are with you every step of the way and will be updating the hub regularly with new guides, blogs and information to support you.

About this author

Mark joined Hays in 1985 as a trainee consultant and has been in various roles, sectors and locations during his time at Hays. He is a Board member and in 2019 his responsibilities extended to Hays Ireland.