The 7 Deadly Sins of Post-Pandemic Job Searching Jobseekers Need to Avert
Are you unhappy in your role? You are not unlike many others who were forced to put off their job search for the last year due to the pandemic. The economic outlook is feeling brighter these days and people are in the mood to finally find the roles that they have wanted. According to SHRM, as many as half of employees plan to look for a new job in 2021. You read that correctly. A 50 percent turnover.
Employers were already experiencing high rates of turnover prior to the economic shutdown in 2020 due to the pandemic. Then quit rates reached their lowest levels in almost a decade. Experts now believe that those who put off their job searches for the last year are about to resume them- creating what has been called a ‘turnover tsunami’. So, are you also looking for a new role? As a Career Coach, my clients have landed new roles since the pandemic. The following are the 7 deadly sins of post-pandemic job searching to be avoided so you, as the jobseeker, forego some of the pitfalls that can keep you from receiving the long-awaited job offer.
Not Giving Yourself Time to Regroup Before Starting Your Search
When we lose a job or are laid off, we tend to automatically beat ourselves up or start automatically searching for a new role right away. But is that the right thing to do? It is not.
You suffered a loss, so you need time to regroup, think, plan, strategize, and come out stronger. A job search can be taxing and mentally draining. It also requires you to put your best foot forward and confidently sell your skills, knowledge, and expertise. How are you going to do this if you have not prioritized your own mental wellness? You will get frustrated faster and will likely become a desperate job seeker eager to land a role and end your search even if it is not a good fit. My advice is to take the time necessary to regroup so you can come out on top.
Do not Underestimate the Recruiter’s Timeframe
One mistake a client was making was underestimating the recruiter’s timeframe. She was becoming slightly impatient after applying, assuming that there was still something wrong with her resume. The truth here is that, if you have not received an automatic rejection, do not make that assumption. There are lots of roles to be filled, keeping recruiters, and hiring managers quite busy. It may take them a bit longer than usual to get back to you. The good news is for my client, she got so impatient that she applied to a bunch of jobs and ended up with a series of interviews! If this, is you, then stay mindful of how long it has been since you applied and if or when you have heard anything back before doing anything drastic because it may lead to additional mistakes and lost opportunities.
Not Paying Attention to ATS
COVID has created a competitive job market. Ignoring Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is a mistake because HR departments receive more resumes than ever because job applicants have more options than ever to apply, which means that they must be filtered more carefully. I have previously written about ATS, what it is, how it functions, and why it matters for job seekers. ATS is how recruiters are narrowing down the applicant pool using keywords instead of searching through them by hand. These resume keywords might be job titles, hard skills, soft skills, or qualifications. I have seen applicants who have been highly qualified for positions get overlooked because they have not used the proper terms or formatting. Unfortunately, some job seekers just are not informed enough about what ATS is, how it functions, or how it impacts their job search. Be sure to seek professional assistance if you need it.
Not Using Your Network
A typical job ad can receive approximately 250 applications, however, magnet companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, & Amazon typically receive around 1000 applications per role- so why wouldn’t you use your network if it would benefit your job search? In addition, approximately 70 percent of jobs are never advertised meaning that utilizing a referral is the best way to receive an interview. Referrals typically have a 50-50 chance of receiving an interview. Those without a referral only have about a 3 percent chance of receiving an interview. It is crucial to utilize your network, whether that be through LinkedIn, previous co-workers, managers, or alike.
The job market has changed from before the pandemic, so your approaches need to change as well.
Not Prepping for Digital Interviews
You should always prep for a job interview- whether that be by learning more about the organization or through mock interviews. Virtual interviews can make the process a bit more complex and difficult. In April 2020, I wrote about how to ace virtual interviews, which included assessing and understanding the company’s culture, learning about who you will be working under, knowing exactly what the company does and practicing. Beforehand be sure you have questions prepared and have already checked your tech, lighting, and environment. Failing to do any of this will put you behind from nailing a job offer and can harm your chances with future opportunities as well.
Ignoring Your LinkedIn Personal Branding & Presence
Personal branding is the means in which you stand out in your career online and offline. It is how you present yourself. Your personal brand represents you as the professional, expressing your talents, skills, and abilities. It is a mistake to ignore your LinkedIn profile because the more competitive our economy and job searching becomes, the more important personal branding becomes to stand out.
This means you must have an up-to-date profile, current headshot (no selfies!), SEO-effective headline, the right information under experience that will market you to the employer, and a compelling summary. Your profile must be complete.
Also, almost a 100 percent of recruiters view LinkedIn profiles as a part of their strategies so it would be foolish not to incorporate LinkedIn into job search. The days of siloed searching while isolating your social media are gone. Be sure to continuously connect with others and expand your network to also employ networking strategies utilizing your LinkedIn presence.
Not Reimagining Your Career Path
As a Career Coach, I believe that it is a mistake not to wisely use your time to reimagine your career path. This requires creativity and seeking advice to ensure if the planned career path should be re-considered to a new one. It can be difficult to learn how to apply your skills and interests to other jobs or companies, so I do not advise trying to do this without a career coach. It requires commitment, creativity, and flexibility in your approach to the job search process. The benefits and rewards are endless and skipping this process could keep you from a successful, promising, prosperous future.
The job market has changed from before the pandemic, so your approaches need to change as well. Opportunities exist if you are willing to be committed, work hard, and be flexible. It allows you to open doors, create opportunities, and a land a new role in a career that you are truly passionate about despite the pandemic.