5 tips for jobseekers in the face of the Covid-19 crisis

The coronavirus outbreak has hit every part of society, and one part of our lives that looks to be especially affected is employment. Already, preliminary modelling done by Business For South Africa (B4SA) has indicated that more than a million job losses could occur in 2020 as a result of the impact of the virus.

If you’re a jobseeker at the moment, you might understandably be feeling discouraged about your employment prospects, but that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels – here are five tips for jobseekers in the time of coronavirus.

1. Networking, networking, networking

With most people working from home, this is the time to expand your professional network and build contacts that can be valuable in the future. Don’t underestimate the power of networking: some studies have found that between 70% and 80% of jobs are never posted online, because positions are filled through personal referrals. If there’s a professional in your field you’ve always admired, now is the time to send an introductory email and to ask them about setting up a virtual coffee date. It’s unconventional, but might just you to make an impression – and when the time comes to fill a position at their company, your professional hero will remember you.

2. Clean up and update your social media profiles

Now, more than ever, potential employers will make use of your online presence to try and get an impression of who you are. Take a good, hard look at how you come across online – if you prefer to keep your private life private, hide your Facebook and Instagram pages, or get rid of anything that doesn’t bode well for future employment. One profile you should take special care with is your professional page on LinkedIn.

3. Look for opportunities at companies that won’t be as hard hit

Not all companies fall on hard times when economic disaster strikes. Look for employment opportunities at organisations that may even stand to benefit from the current circumstances, like textile manufacturers (who will be producing masks), delivery services and retailers.

4. Ramp up your résumé

Your CV is your chance to make a good first impression on potential employers. While you have time to do so, you should make sure that your CV stands out amongst the rest – check out these tips.

5. Expand your skillset

If you aren’t currently employed, this is a great time to upskill and gain extra qualifications. Many institutions of higher learning offer free courses in a wide range of fields, and especially qualifications in the online and IT realms look to be highly sought-after as the world turns to remote work.

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