How to get a new job in the age of COVID according to Jobs for Australia
Michael Delaney, a volunteer at Jobs for Australia has shared his top tips to help you land a job in an unstable, competitive job market. More Australians are unemployed than ever before and while this should make us feel less alone, instead it is adding to the stress.
The devastation of COVID-19 was felt in every industry leaving so many out of work and unsure where to begin. A group of recruiting and human resource professionals who have been impacted by COVID-19 decided to use their skills to help those who are struggling to find work. Especially people who may have found themselves needing to write a resume for the first time in many years.
Mr Delaney said that Jobs for Australia also helps people prepare for job interviews, as well as skills and techniques for meetings over programs like Zoom and Skype, which would have once been conducted face-to-face.
Modelled from Jobs for Lebanon and using Smart Recruit, Jobs for Australia was born. Together Australia spoke to Michael Delaney about what candidates can be doing to stand out from the crowd and land that job. His tips are particularly insightful, as he too, is part of the ‘job ready’ crowd after losing his IT recruitment job earlier this year.
Mr Delaney’s four core areas to improve on:
- Make sure you have a strong CV.
Mr Delaney says, this is the first moment you are considered for employment, make your first impression count. At a time where jobs are receiving hundreds of applicants, make sure your application is clear and concise. Clearly state what you do, how you do it, and why it matters.
- Update and polish your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is especially important when you are looking for white-collar jobs. Not only is it important to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date for potential employers to look at but it also provides access to your network as well as a “hidden jobs market,” Mr Delaney says.
- Prepare yourself for a new kind of interview.
Looking directly at the camera is Mr Delaney’s biggest tip for nailing your video interview. “If you look at where the camera is you seem like you are paying attention,” he said. He also says that speaking over someone else is inevitable and not to read into it. Video meeting interruptions are just part of life we can’t completely control. Avoiding the ‘office mullet’ is also essential. Dress in your best interview wear for an extra confidence boost. No sneaky slippers or pyjama pants hidden under the desk.
- Don’t obsess.
Although finding a job has likely just jumped to the top of your priority list, Mr Delaney suggests being aware of falling down a rabbit hole. “Don’t let it become an all-consuming obsession with refreshing the jobs pages,” he said.
Three sectors Jobs for Australia have seen on the rise:
- Aged Care
Jobs for Australia have seen an incredible uptake of opportunities has been seen in aged care as prior to COVID it was under-funded and under-resourced. Mr Delaney also said a lot of people from the travel sector have moved over and trained into this area.
- Public Sector – Government Hiring
Government hiring is cyclical and will continue on these cycles unless there is a significant fall in demand. Government services are currently in high demand and there has been no shift.
- Information Technology (IT)
Whilst there was certainly an initial decline, IT workers are in high demand as businesses need to recreate and rebuild systems as well as adapt to new technology “very much on the fly,” he says.
Steps you can take if you have been stood down:
- Recognise it’s not personal.
Mr Delaney says this is often the hardest step, accepting that bad things will happen to good people. “We are all mentally validated by our work and take so much pride and so much of our identity comes from what we do and the job we hold but remember this is nothing personal and this is the first global pandemic we have had in 100 years,” he said.
- Take a look at your CV & LinkedIn and make sure they’re ‘job ready’.
Mr Delaney reiterated that to stand out in the market today, you must have a very clear story about what you do and how you do it.
- Use your network.
A lot of job advertisements never see the light of day according to Mr Delaney. He suggests reaching out to your network to find out what is happening, even if there are no positions open at the moment it is good to let people know you are looking.