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04 May 2020 Austin Belcak

COVID-19: Job Market Insights & Job Search Strategies From Experts

How will the COVID-19 outbreak affect the job market?

If you’re a job seeker (or are worried that you might become one), this question has probably crossed your mind a dozen times in the past week.

This is an uncertain time. It’s also an unprecedented time.

It’s totally normal to be anxious and unsettled about the prospects of the job market in the coming weeks. It’s impossible for anyone to make a statement with 100% confidence and accuracy.

That said, we are seeing a lot of new data on hiring trends coming to light. We also have a lot of incredibly smart people with fantastic experience to help us make sense of that data — recruiters, hiring managers, career coaches, and job seekers.

My goal with this article is to keep you up to date with recent information on how the job market is being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and give you analysis from experts in the career space about what that means for you.

This article is going to cover four major areas:

  1. A breakdown of 15+ industries and the effect the COVID-19 outbreak will have on them
  2. A list of companies that are hiring right now along with tools to help you find open roles
  3. Actionable job search strategies from 25+ recruiters and career experts to help you get results during the outbreak
  4. A complete rundown of free resources to help you boost your job search and protect yourself during this time

This situation is developing rapidly.

Data will change, opinions will change, and advice will change. My goal is to update this article as frequently as possible and I will always make clear statements about when the data was refreshed.

This article was last updated on May 5th, 2020.

I will also be including dates next to the individual pieces of information and opportunities shared below so please look for that when reading the insights and information.

Finally, we are a small team putting this together and we are doing our best to stay current. Is this article perfect? Definitely not. But we felt that getting the information to you was more important than waiting until we had every piece of info on every single scenario.

If you have something to add to the article, or if you feel that a piece of information needs to be updated, please leave a comment below or reach out via our Contact page.

COVID-19 Recent News: Unemployment Continues To Climb

On Thursday, April 25th the US Department of Labor announced that another 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment (for the first time).

This brings the total number of claims up to 30.3 million over the past six weeks, which is roughly 18.6% of the US labor force (and does not include those who have been laid off but have not filed for unemployment).

This graphic from CNN really puts things into perspective:

Unemployment Claims Chart From CNN

 

On Friday, May 8th the US Labor department will release it’s April jobs report. That report will contain information on the most accurate unemployment rate. As of right now, a series of economists that were surveyed by Bloomberg estimate that the unemployment rate will spike from 4.4% to 16%+.

A separate survey of economists done by the Wall Street Journal also ballparks the unemployment rate at 16%. This survey added that employers cut 22 million nonfarm payroll jobs, which is equivalent to every job created in the past decade.

If you have recently been laid off due to the coronavirus, you can visit the USA.gov site to apply for unemployment benefits.

You can also visit Hireclub’s Unemployment tool which lays out state-by-state eligibility, benefits, and application processes in a simple way.

$2 Trillion Dollar Stimulus Plan Approved

On Friday, March 27th the largest economic stimulus package in American history was passed.

This visual created by u/SevenandForty on Reddit is an incredibly helpful way to understand where the dollars are going:

Visual Breakdown of 2020 American Stimulus Package Dollars

In terms of what this all means for job seekers, here are a few of the key points (if you want to understand the full breakdown check out this New York Times article from March 27th):

Stimulus Payments – As of now, most American adults would receive a single payment of $1,200 with an additional $500 per child.

Unemployment Benefits For Gig Workers – Under the new bill, contract and gig workers will now be eligible for unemployment benefits. The benefit amounts would be calculated by a combination of previous income and a formula from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program.

Increase In Unemployment Benefits – The new bill also increases unemployment benefits by adding an additional $600 per week on top of the individual’s state benefit. The additional $600 would last for up to four months, through July 31.

Unfortunately, it appears that some Americans may be waiting up to 20 weeks for their check to arrive (source from April 2nd). The IRS recently stated that they’re sending the first wave of checks the week of April 13th. They’re also launching a tool to help you check the status of your check, link to follow when the site launches (source from April 13th).

Which Industries & Companies Are Still Hiring During The COVID-19 Outbreak?

I recently did a live “Ask Me Anything” session on LinkedIn and this was far and away the number one question — and for good reason!

The great news, which you’ll see validated by recruiters in the “expert advice” section below, is that many companies are still hiring!

Getting results in this market means dialing into the companies and industries that are actively recruiting. This section is going to break down both.

Industries That Are Hiring During COVID-19

Despite the uncertainty caused by the outbreak, many industries and companies are still growing and hiring right now. The industries mentioned below are “core industries” but the effects of their growth has ripple effects into other industries as well.

For example, if a company/product focused on remote work (like Microsoft Teams or Zoom) is thriving, the advertising agencies, support agencies, and other shoulder companies supporting those businesses will likely be comfortable too (for now).

Please keep that in mind as you read through the industries and companies below.

Large Tech Companies – Companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. are best equipped to handle this situation. Naturally, the were already some of the most sought after companies before the outbreak.

Amazon announced that it will be opening 100,000 new jobs due to delivery demand from the outbreak. Source from March 17th.

Microsoft is making large investments in its remote product suites, especially Teams and the entire Office 365 suite. Teams has jumped from 20 million daily users last November to over 44 million this month (source from March 19th). They are offering free trials for their premium Teams suite (source from March 5th). They are also gearing up for the launch of a new Surface line later this year.

LinkedIn is rallying to support the entire hiring industry from job seekers, to recruiters, to companies looking for employees. They also made LinkedIn Learning courses on remote work 100% free. Source from March 12th.

Finally, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube (have come together to issue an unprecedented joint statement stating that they will be collaborating to fight fraud and misinformation related to the coronavirus:

What’s the point here?

These companies are large enough to ride out the outbreak. In fact, they have products and services that will thrive during the outbreak and they are in the best position to gain traction on those products.

Their goals, plans, and initiatives are too large to put on pause. Will certain areas of their businesses be impacted? Definitely. Will they continue to hire in areas/departments where they have needs? Absolutely.

Companies With A Seasonal Need – Guess what? Tax season is here and in full swing. You may have forgotten about it (and rightfully so), but the IRS is expecting your return regardless of the outbreak. Don’t sweat the usual April 15th deadline, the government has postponed the deadline by 90 days (source from March 17th).

In the wake of the outbreak, people will be looking to remote options for filing. That places companies like Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax, in a great position. They are currently hiring for a ton of remote roles to help support TurboTax and their other applications (source from March 1st).

There are many companies with e-file software like CreditKarma Tax, Liberty Tax Online, H&R Block, TaxAct, & E-File.

Companies Offering Products That Support Remote Work – Video communication, remote collaboration, and remote productivity software companies are seeing a spike in demand.

Zoom, the cloud-based video conference software company, saw shares jump 48% between January 31st to March 18th and is expected to continue to climb (source from March 18th). As of March 18th, Zoom has dozens of jobs posted on its Careers page.

Other remote productivity and collaboration tools too look into are Slack, Asana, Trello, Zapier, and Basecamp.

Online Learning Companies – Over 30 million students are currently out of school due to the coronavirus (source from March 18th). On top of that, millions of adults are using this time to learn new skills and adjust to this situation. Online learning companies are preparing to help and they’re hiring to do so. For example, Outschool is hiring thousands of teachers to help them meet demand.

Food Delivery Services & Online Grocery Giants – As social distancing becomes a mandate, most Americans are turning to food delivery services to help sustain them. Blue Apron, the meal delivery service, saw its stock price shoot up 70% this week.

According to a recent Rakuten Intelligence study of online receipts, Amazon Fresh and Instacart sales effectively quadrupled in two days between 3/12 – 3/14 compared with the same period last year. Source from March 17th.

Most recently, Walmart announced that they are opening 150,000 jobs to help meet demand during the outbreak. Additionally 7Eleven is hiring 20,000+ store employees (source from March 21st).

“Essential” Businesses – With settle-in-place mandates happening across the country, “essential” businesses are seeing a spike in demand. Essential businesses are business that are critical to society continuing to operate – hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants with take out/deliver, etc. (you can read a full list here).

These companies have ramped up hiring in order to meet that new demand. CVS is hiring 50,000 full time and part time employees. Walgreens is hiring 9,500 workers. Other companies opening new roles include Dominos, Papa Johns, Costco, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and more (source from March 23rd).

Digital Entertainment & Streaming Services / Video Games – With quarantine periods and social distancing on the rise, streamable content is following suit.

Disney+ has signed up 28.6 million subscribers in the past 3 months and that number is expected to grow (source from March 15th). Netflix subscribers have also spiked, especially in countries where cases are high and quarantines are in effect (source from March 17th).

The video game industry is also seeing a boom from the same circumstances. Steam, the online video game distributor, saw 20.3 million concurrent users online on March 15th — a record for them (source from March 16th).

Warzone, Call of Duty’s new free-to-play battle royale hit 6 million downloads in 24 hours and topped 15 million download in 3 days. That set a new record for the video game industry of most players acquired in the shortest period of time. Source from March 14th.

Healthcare – As COVID-19 spreads, it eats up more and more of our health care system’s resources.

Affected areas like Washington State and New York are concerned about having enough beds, resources, and staff to tend to patients with and without the coronavirus.

I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but this year’s flu season is appear to be worse than last years (source from March 17th) and all of those patients with non-corona ailments are still in need of help.

According to a recent Glassdoor Economic Report (updated March 2nd), the following jobs in healthcare industry have seen a spike in applications:

  • Registered nurses
  • Data specialists
  • Researchers and scientists
  • Communications specialists

Note that, unfortunately, not all areas of healthcare are surviving. Many private practices that rely on face-to-face interactions with patients are closing down.

Healthcare Supply Companies – Hospitals and medical centers around the country are facing a massive shortage in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). That includes things like N95 face masks, surgical masks, gowns, googles, etc.

According to a Twitter update from Craig Smith, Columbia Medical Center’s Chair of Surgery, the New York Presbyterian system is using 40,000+ masks per day. That number is expected to increase to 70,000 masks/day:

 

Companies who manufacture these types of medical PPE supplies are expected to see a boost in hiring. Over the weekend, Honeywell and 3M both announced that they will be ramping up production of N95 masks. Honeywell specifically stated that it will add ~500 jobs to its Rhode Island plant (source from March 23rd).

Additionally, plants from GM, Tesla, and Ford (who halted production for 30 days in US, Canadian, and Mexican plants last week) have been given the “go ahead” to start producing ventilators. This likely won’t results is a massive hiring boom as the companies will want to maintain job security for their current workers, but it’s worth noting. Source from March 22nd.

Cleaning & Sanitization – According to ZipRecruiter, ads for cleaning and sanitization companies have surged 75% in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Unemployment in the industry is at a record low 2%. The downside is that many of these jobs require a specialized skillset and/or licensing making the barrier to entry high. Source from March 12th.

Manufacturing & Construction (Wait & See Situation) – According to Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics (a New York-based economic research company), manufacturing and construction companies will be hesitant to lay off workers.

Farooqi said, “in construction and manufacturing, you can’t just hire someone with no experience, especially if they expect a rebound.” Employers “will be hesitant to lay off workers [to cut costs].” Source from March 16th.

Manufacturing may see a rebound if the federal government makes the decision to assist industries and/or subsidize the production of vital medical equipment (or other equipment needed to combat the outbreak), such as respirators.

As mentioned above, a source from March 22nd talks about Ford, GM, and Tesla getting the go ahead to begin producing ventilators but it’s hard to estimate the impact that will have on hiring, if any.

Companies That Are Hiring (Right Now) During COVID-19

Rather than keeping a limited, static list of companies in this blog post, we’re going to share some tools and resources that are keeping tracking how specific companies are impacted along with their hiring status:

Candor’s Live Hiring Dashboard

The awesome people over at Candor.co have put together a live, crowd sourced list of companies who are hiring and companies who have frozen the process. You can view the full dashboard through this link for the most up to date information.

They’re also compiling the info into a handy chart to show you which industries are hiring and which are laying off the most employees (the image below is from May 4th, 2020):

Candor.co Industry Hiring Status Chart

LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index

LinkedIn recently announced the launch of its Workforce Confidence Index.

They’re calling this a “bi-weekly pulse on the mood of workers” which essentially means that they’re crowd sourcing data from their 675 million users to see how these people are feeling about their jobs, their industry, and the market.

Their Workforce Confidence Index uses a scale from -100 to +100 to reflect professionals’ current sentiments about the labor market and their expectations going forward:

LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index Scores - Week of April 13th 2020

LinkedIn is sharing some fascinating insights in this bi-weekly release so I would recommend hitting the link above (or this link here) and hitting the subscribe button to make sure you get the most recent data as its released:

Subscribe to LinkedIn Workforce Index Report

Cultivated Culture x ZipRecruiter Role Finder

In an effort to help you quickly find open roles, we partnered with ZipRecruiter to give you access to the hundreds of thousands of roles that are open right now. You can easily search for them using this tool (filter by “Posted In The Past 1-5 Days” for best results:


 

Industries That Are At Risk And Will (Most Likely) Not Be Hiring During The COVID-19 Outbreak

There are many industries that have been immediately impacted by this outbreak.

When reading through the industries below, remember that these effects have ripples. For example, when I say “Sports” is affected, it’s not just the MLB but everything associated with the MLB. News networks that cover it, advertising agencies that create ads for it, etc.

These industries act as the focal point, but you need to think strategically about how their struggle will affect other shoulder industries that serve them.

Restaurants & Bars – In an effort to contain the outbreak, states and cities across the US are closing down restaurants and bars. California, Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington have been ordered to close with the exception of take-out services. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also agreed to close movie theaters, gyms and casinos in addition to banning gatherings of more than 50 people. Source from March 16th.

Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement and career-transitioning firm, estimates that the restaurant and bar industry may see up to 7.4 million lost jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. Source from March 18th.

You may read this and say “but you mentioned that Papa Johns is hiring earlier.” When I say restaurants and bars, I’m talking about independently owned, local establishments that don’t primarily focus on delivery. Delivery-focused restaurants should be ok (and should be looking to hire) through this time.

General Travel – As of today, the United States has placed travel bans on 26 European nations as well as the United Kingdom and China. The US and Canada have both agreed to limit non-essential travel. Source from March 18th.

Additionally, Uber and Lyft has halted their “pool” services in the US and Canada which may be indicative of suspensions of their other services. Source from March 17th.

Hotels – The hotel industry has requested $150B in assistance from the federal government. Marriott, the largest hotel company in the world, announced that cancelations will force it to cut hours and/or furlough workers.

This has the potential to set a trend with the $660-billion hotel and lodging industry that includes theme parks, ski resorts, cruises, etc. who look to Marriott as a leader in the space.

Without federal aid to the travel and lodging industries, the U.S. could lose as many as 4 million jobs in 2020, pushing the unemployment rate from 3.3% to 6.3% across the country. Source from March 17th.

Keep in mind that this industry isn’t just hotel giants, but includes smaller companies like AirBnB.

Airlines – Airline flights have been canceled and stocks have plummeted. Last year, 200,000 flights carried passengers between the United States and the 26 European nations affected by the travel ban. That averages out to ~550 flights with ~125,000 travelers per day. Source from March 12th.

In terms of major airlines, Delta stock was down by 20%, American Airlines was down 17%, and British Airways was down 16% according to a source from March 12th. Those declines have continued. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz even “threatened” to make major cuts if the airlines didn’t receive help from the federal government:

 

Airlines are now seeking a $50B coronavirus aid package from the federal government to help them weather the storm. Source from March 16th. Unfortunately, Congress has stalled on a decision due to controversy around the type of aid that would be provided (source from March 23rd).

Sports – The NBA, MLB, NHL, and the NCAA have all indefinitely suspended operations over the past week. Major League Soccer has suspended it’s season by 30 days. Source from March 12th.

The NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS make up an annual $24.1B in annual revenue. If the NFL follows suit and suspends its season, that will add an additional $20.2B to the pot (sourced from Wikipedia). With these leagues on hold, shoulder industries like apparel manufacturers, stadium vendors, sports news, sports marketing/advertising agencies, etc. will all be affected.

Automotive – Production at Ford’s US, Canadian, and Mexican facilities will be halted on March 18th for 30 days according to a statement from the company (source from March 18th). Additionally, Ford has now expanded their production halt to India, South Africa, the UK, and parts of Asia (source from March 23rd).

Local dealers are seeing a dramatic decline in visits and service appointments. For example, Russ Shelton’s Buick/GMC dealership in Michigan has seen customer visits drop by 30% and sales drop by 40% due to the outbreak (source from March 16th).

These examples appear to be the beginning of a trend we’ll see nationwide that spans from production to the showroom floor.

Some automotive manufacturer’s are pivoting production to help with the shortage of medical equipment. This could increase if President Trump decides to enforce the Defense Production Act. The President has invoked the act, but has not pushed it on companies stating that private companies will do the right thing. As of now, we can except production to ramp up but I doubt we’ll see new jobs created at these companies.

Tips From 25+ Recruiters & Career Experts For Job Searching During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Now that you know who’s hiring and where to focus, it’s time to dive into the tips and strategies that career experts are recommending to get results in this market.

Austin Belcak | Job Search Strategist & Founder of Cultivated Culture

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Right now, companies are still hiring! I’ve had two clients receive offers this week and two more in remote final round interviews (written on March 18th).

The keys for them have been:

  • Targeting industries and companies that are growing despite the outbreak
  • Leveraging LinkedIn to increase visibility and take their networking online
  • Being politely persistent by following up with empathy during the interview process

If you follow the same steps, you can get the same results right now.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

The future of the job market is a big unknown right now. Chances are good that a lot of companies and a lot of industries will suffer. As that happens, and as people begin to recognize which companies are still growing and hiring, competition will drastically increase.

The best bet for job seekers is to be proactive and put the pedal to the metal right now. There are a ton of resources listed further down in this article to help you do that.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

First, keep applying!

Don’t let up, the market still has opportunities and the people who land them are going to be the ones who are intentional and persistent with their search.

Second, leverage LinkedIn!

The platform is an amazing resource right now for two reasons:

  1. It’s a search engine that recruiters are using to find candidates. If you want to show up you need to optimize your profile for the roles you want (here’s a link to my comprehensive guide on that)
  2. With a spike in remote work, relationship building is moving online. There’s no better place to do that then on LinkedIn. Start getting active! Comment on posts, engage with people, share things you like. All of those things will push people to your profile.

Finally, if you’re in the middle of the interview process, follow up with empathy. Everyone is dealing with a lot right now. Being mindful of that while showing your commitment and enthusiasm for the role is going to win you some jobs. I included the template I’m using with my clients below in the resources section.

Tabitha Cavanagh Headshot

Tabitha Cavanagh | VP of Talent Strategy at SomethingNew (A New York Based Recruiting Firm)

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

I’m seeing people slow down, reevaluate and find clarity. This pandemic is forcing us to use the resources we have in a creative way. It is pushing people out of their comfort zones and bringing to light the MANY ways we can (and should) be working. Leaders are trying new things that are long overdue, like remote work.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Keep in mind that, as things slow down, you may see a lull in decision making. On-sites are being moved to video calls. Phone screenings are being rescheduled. Budgets are effected. In some cases, I’m seeing hiring suspended completely. With that being said, there are many companies still hiring! If you’re unsure about where you stand, don’t assume. Ask questions. Be proactive.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

While you’re waiting for interviews to be scheduled or rescheduled, brush up on your skills. Take courses, listen to podcasts and focus on strengthening your mindset. You’ll want to be prepared to talk about how you’re thriving through this situation. What did you do to control your “controllables?” How did you handle the things you couldn’t control?

Madelyn Machado Headshot

Madelyn Machado | Talent Sourcer at Microsoft

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Consumption of talent has not slowed down here at Microsoft. If anything, we are making it more convenient for hiring by moving to all virtual interviews and allowing new hires to start work remotely. We have seen better interview-to-offer ratios with this move and are excited to see this as a potential for hiring moving forward.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

A lot of companies may have to slow down hiring, especially if there are lay offs. Don’t be too concerned if recruiters aren’t reaching out to you immediately, things are constantly changing with hiring needs. It doesn’t mean companies are not hiring, it just may be a bit slower of a process.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

I would recommend for job seekers to keep their options open, but do not leave jobs out of desperation and do not take jobs out of desperation. Uncertainty can lead people to do things they may not normally do, you may feel as if you have to take a job that you aren’t happy with or a job that pays significantly less. Please think whats best for you long term as you are making decisions.

Sarah Johnston Headshot

Sarah Johnston | Executive Resume Writer & Founder of Briefcase Coach

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

The two major things I’ve noticed are that hiring is still happening and people are really coming together during this time.

As people begin to settle into a routine, we should see a lift in “virtual networking.” Referrals are still just as important as they were before the outbreak and I’m optimistic that we’ll see a good environment for relationship building despite those relationships happening remotely.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

As we’ve seen from the past week, situations can change rapidly – even overnight. The job market is shifting on a daily basis and people need to be prepared for anything.

Most people have removed a commute from their schedule. Reallocate that time to updating your resume, optimizing your LinkedIn, and creating a list of contacts that you want to network with.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Job searching almost always takes longer than you think.

Putting together a great resume can take you a whole week (most executive resume writers who do this professionally spend 15 to 20 hours on document creation).

Putting together a well researched target company list can take days.

Setting networking appointments can take weeks.

And that’s under normal circumstances!

The job market is evolving rapidly, if you want to get results you have to act now. Define your job search process, create a daily schedule, and stick to it. That’s how you’re going to get results in this market.

Adrienne Tom Headshot

Adrienne Tom | Executive Resume Writer, Career Coach, and Founder at Career Impressions

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Hiring is still happening.

Although some industries are not hiring, CNBC reports a rise in the need for individuals in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and government. Position requirements are diverse, covering everything from communications and project management to technical and medical skills – here are some industries and companies that are opening up roles.

Spend a portion of your day researching the market in your area/region. Conduct a search online or within LinkedIn to identify open positions. Add job details, company information, or decision-makers names into your job search spreadsheet (yes, you need one). Prepare and send applications, but be patient if responses are delayed.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Be mindful that market details and hiring practices are continually shifting or evolving. Be prepared to adapt your job search strategy accordingly – such as learning and practicing how to interview via video. Consider if now is the right time to conduct outreach. Make a plan that is both systematic, yet fluid.

Finally, qualify job search advice carefully so you are not sidetracked by misinformation or poor practices. Search for tools and insights from trusted experts and sources. To help, Jobscan just released a list of Top Job Search Experts to Follow on LinkedIn for 2020.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Focus on things you can control right now in your job search, not on the things you can not.

Things you CAN control in your job search:

Actions. Continue to develop and manage your job search action plan. Don’t yet have one? Now is the time to create one. Assign activities and for each day/week and work to address them systematically – leaving room for adjustment as needed, of course.

Preparations. A robust job search revolves around preparation. Take advantage of quieter times to reassess and update career tools (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn), do research, or make virtual outreach with connections (LinkedIn is a great place to visit and get active on every day).

Commitment. No need to take your foot off the gas, unless of course, circumstances warrant it (you fall ill or have other pressing family needs). Avoid distractions or an urge to sit back and wait. Remaining on top of job search tasks and outreach may put you at an advantage.

Emotions. If you are starting to feel overly anxious or overwhelmed – reach out for help. Speak to people about how you are feeling and take a break. It is healthy to build breaks into your job search activities (go for a walk, read a good book).

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Madeline Mann | Human Resources Leader & Career Strategist at Self Made Millennial

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

There are opportunities to “pitch in” all over the place with some companies and organizations being overloaded right now. This could be a great way to get your foot in the door or build relationships that could lead to a job or key experience on your resume. Organizations like “Helpful Engineering” have gathered to help in the pandemic. This could be an opportunity to build relationships and your resume while doing good.

Additionally, the world has never been so attentive to online articles, videos, and games. Going all in on a personal project that addresses a need during this time (even if just for amusement) has the potential to take off much faster in this climate.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

The hiring processes will be slower, recruiters will take longer as they now need to get additional buy-in for these roles. Don’t rely on one opportunity to land, pursue many opportunities.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

I am seeing a sense of hopelessness, and questions of, “Should I even apply? Should I assume they are not hiring?” This is the wrong mentality. There will be significant hesitation on the employer side as they maneuver these unchartered circumstances, but the candidates who stay top of mind will get the job.

Make sure to follow up every one to two weeks. If they end up hiring one person instead of the three they were intending, those who are most proactive are likely to land that offer.

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Ed Han | Talent Acquisition Geek at Cenlar FSB

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring is still continuing unabated from what I am seeing personally, although peers in recruiting tell me they’re seeing a slowdown.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Many employers are switching to a remote workforce, at least in large part if not entirely. If you accept an offer, be sure to ask what their timetable is for onboarding and what it involves.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Every organization that’s hiring is doing phone/video interviews, no onsite. Never ever entrust a business deal to a technology you haven’t tested first. Use the technology to do a test call.

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Ashley Watkins | Job Search Coach, Nationally Certified Resume Writer, and Founder of Write Step Resumes

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

With nationwide office closures, many employers are shifting to work-from-home (WFH) options for their workforce. While this comes with the added expectation of meeting productivity requirements without constant supervision, it is a great way to maintain gainful employment. If your company has not yet offered WFH options, you could pitch the opportunity by detailing the benefits of working remotely. Focus the pitch on decreasing downtime, saving money, and improving the customer experience.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Because employers are scaling back on nonessential roles to minimize exposure, employees and job seekers must focus on ways they can contribute positively to the company’s bottom line by reducing service interruptions or generating revenue. If you have a customer-facing role, considering offering the same service virtually. Research tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or even FaceTime to meet with customers and keep the business running at an optimal level. Employees and job seekers who think creatively and can proactively solve problems have a much better chance of remaining employed.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Now is a great time to consider a side hustle. If you’re out of work or have been impacted by office closures, research ways you can utilize your skills on a contractual or freelance basis. Sites like FlexJobs.com offer a comprehensive listing of remote, contract, part-time/full-time, and telecommute opportunities. Many state and community organizations are offering assistance with basic-living necessities, including transportation, meals, and Internet/Wifi services. A good place to start is CareerOneStop.org.

Hannah Morgan Headshot

Hannah Morgan | Job Search Strategist and Founder of Career Sherpa

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Many companies are still recruiting and hiring. I’ve seen recruiters talking on Twitter about continuing to source candidates for jobs. Additionally several of my clients have landed jobs this week. Candidates also tell me that scheduled interviews have been shifted from in-person to video or phone. And sadly, some interviews are being postponed for now.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Job seekers may not see as many jobs posted, however, that doesn’t mean companies don’t have positions that must be filled, even if they say there is a hiring freeze.

During the Great Recession, job seekers did secure new jobs when there weren’t any posted. They were able to secure those jobs through networking. That is going to be the best way to gain traction as more companies implement hiring freezes.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

For many professionals, this is their first week working from home and they are adjusting to the new routine and schedule. Be patient but also be persistent and empathetic. You don’t know the personal situation of the individual you are trying to contact.

Another tip is to not rely on LinkedIn messaging to communicate. Many people who are employed don’t spend a lot of time there and your message/invite may get overlooked. However, everyone checks email. So find the person’s email address and use that to communicate.

Austin’s Note: You can use a tool called Mailscoop.io to find anyone’s professional email address for free!

Biron Clark Headshot

Biron Clark | Former Recruiter & Founder of CareerSidekick.com

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

I’ve been seeing more employers show flexibility when it comes to their hiring process, and how they allow employees to work. So while this is a difficult time for everyone, I think it’s going to push employers in the right direction in the long term, to be flexible, offer remote work options for those who want it or need it, etc. This will bring about changes that employers have traditionally been slow to adopt.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

One thing to prepare for: The possible influx of many new job seekers into the market as companies experience layoffs from the global economic slowdown. That means more potential competition for you as a job candidate. While you can’t control these factors, you can get a head-start by continuing to job search now. Line up interviews, keep networking and contacting hiring managers, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding a new job.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Don’t just apply online. Talk to your friends and colleagues. Tell people you’re job searching. Ask who they can introduce you to. Offer to help them, too. This is a great time to reconnect with past colleagues and catch up with friends who you haven’t spoken to recently. People are coming together online and helping each other. This is the best time to network because people are open to talking and open to helping!

Donna Svei Headshot

Donna Svei | Executive Resume Writer at AvidCareerist

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

I’m seeing broad support for federal government intervention to preserve jobs as many industries and companies experience significant drops in demands for their goods and services. I particularly like this proposal from Jeffries, an investment banking firm, for the federal government to make loans to companies to preserve payrolls.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

I’d be wary of accepting the idea of a recession/depression without taking individual action to prevent it. The federal government will be investing in our economy. Don’t expect that your Congressional delegation will protect your job. Make sure they know you expect them to take action to protect your employment. Why? Because all the job-seeking advice in the world won’t do you any good if there aren’t any jobs to seek.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

I would immediately call each member of your Congressional delegation to demand that federal economic policies and investments be designed explicitly to preserve jobs. They listen to their constituents when they call. You’ll find their phone numbers through this link.

Maureen McCann Headshot

Maureen McCann | Executive Career Strategist and Founder at Promotion Career Solutions

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Collaboration and empathy. People are reaching out to one another, virtually, to connect and support one another. This collaboration piece is a perfect example of how career professionals are finding ways to collaborate, expand our reach and help support as many job seekers as possible.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

I prefer to reframe worry/concern as opportunity. How can we look for opportunities to support one another, through our businesses and our communities and our industries? What do these (people, business, community and industry) need right now and how can I, a job seeker, provide value at the greatest time of need?

That said, now is also the time to tread lightly, to be fully aware and empathetic to people’s situations. We can’t possibly know what’s happening in the lives of those we are trying to reach out to. We must be vigilant in our communication. While we have an objective to secure a job, we must remain respectful and sensitive to changing conditions and personal situations that would prevent our job searches from moving quickly.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Know that markets have shifted and there will be changes.

  1. Breathe. Slow down. Take your time to get your communication right.
  2. Be thorough with your approach. Have a strategy, not a reaction.
  3. Be thoughtful about your career choices. Don’t waste people’s time applying to jobs that are not meant for you.
  4. Be sensitive/ aware of the needs of hiring personnel.
  5. Be ready. Prepare now so you can respond to opportunities.

Erin Kennedy Headshot

Erin Kennedy | Executive Resume Writer & Founder at Professional Resume Services

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Employers are being protective and generous with their employees. From hand sanitizer at every work station to remote work options, they want their employees safe.

They are also going out of their way to let you know they are hiring. Despite the changes and uncertainty, many companies are still moving forward recruitment plans and employee expansion.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Some of my clients expressed concerns over having to go back to an actual office versus remote working. They feel that they are far more productive at home than in an office setting. They can work when they want, take breaks when they want, and more importantly, there are no distractions (i.e coworkers poking their heads in their office, meetings at a moment’s notice, etc.).

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Be prepared to have your phone and video conference interviewing skills honed. Make sure you know how to use the equipment they will need to conduct the interview. Do a test run with a friend. Be prepared for a longer than normal hiring process as employers have to base their data through the camera lens versus in-person. They may want to bring you into the office to meet you and that may take time.

Virginia Franco Headshot

Virginia Franco | Resume & LinkedIn Writer, Executive Storyteller

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Now that they have shed commute times and possibly because they crave more interaction with others, I’ve seen an increase in engagement on social media chats and people’s willingness to hop on phone calls — making it a great time for informational interviews!

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

The interview process will likely take longer because group or panel interviews may not be as likely. I urge candidates to practice EXTREME patience.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Use this time to do your research, connect with others and get your career marketing collateral (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, etc.) in tip top shape so you can hit the ground running when this passes.

Bob McIntosh Headshot

Bob McIntosh | Career Coach at MassHire Lowell

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

I’m cautiously optimistic about the labor market turning around, as employers are still interviewing candidates for positions they need to fill. My only concern is the speed at which they’ll fill their positions. My clients are mostly job seekers who utilize One-Stop career centers and rely on unemployment insurance during their time of unemployment. One promising sign is that we’ve approached a time where working from home (#WFH) has become a thing for many employees, and we’ll get better at doing this. For this reason, employers in certain industries will most likely retain or recall employees who are capable of working from home.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Job seekers should be weary about being their own worse enemy. What I mean is that they can’t give up hope. In fact, they need to accelerate their job search to warp speed. Instead of focusing on the layoffs that are happening, they need to focus on what they can do for their job search. We’ve read from other job-search pundits about employers continuing to conduct interviews, albeit virtually. Job seekers must find solace in this. I repeat, don’t focus on the layoffs.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Now is the time to listen to what career-search pundits advise and observe how successful job candidates have recently landed. Job seekers need to abandon applying online as their only means of job searching. They need to develop a plan that includes more research, networking, and interview practice. This is going to call for spending more time using their computers, so they need to set up a space which is conducive to the aforementioned.

Jessica Hernandez Headshot

Jessica Hernandez | Executive Resume Writer & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

The camaraderie, support, understanding and grace during this time have been incredibly uplifting. I am seeing employers who need more people jump in offering to hire those laid off on the spot.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Everything is so uncertain right now it can be very nerve-wracking. I would caution job seekers to balance what information they’re consuming and if they notice their anxiety level increasing to take a break and catch their breath. Setting your phone down or not checking the news for a couple hours offers a much needed reprieve from the stress of current events.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

The best piece of advice I can offer during this time is to prepare but not panic. Think about what you need to do now to give yourself security and peace. Maybe that’s updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, connecting with recruiters in your industry on LinkedIn, amping up your online networking efforts, or engaging more with your current connections. You don’t want to be blindsided and it’s not disloyal to your current employer to take the necessary precautions to manage your own career.

Amy Volas Headshot

Amy Volas | Founder & CEO of Avenue Talent Partners

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

That people are breaking down the normal barriers to have real conversation. In such a time of uncertainty, the vulnerability is bonding us together more.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Do not spew all of your thoughts on social media. This is temporary, but your published words are permanent. Please use caution!

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Focus on what you can do to learn and get better and connect those dots back to how you can help a future employer get better as a result.

Kamara Toffolo Headshot

Kamara Toffolo | Resume Writer & Job Search Strategist

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Current conditions have “won the fight” for remote work for many of us. As the ability to work remotely becomes more and more essential, I’m hopeful even after the dust settles that we will see a significant shift toward more remote-based jobs in the market. I’m, dare I say, excited for the future of work!

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

This is an unprecedented time for all of us. This means that we’re all watching this unfold live, day by day, hour by hour – even the experts. Conditions are changing rapidly and what was true about the job market today, might not be tomorrow. Be adaptable, flexible, and patient with your job search more than ever before.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Focus on what you can control, including:

  • Be proficient in tech needed to interview or work remotely
  • Know the government COVID-19 financial relief programs for which you’re eligible, and apply
  • Use Twitter to monitor your target companies and develop a deeper understanding of their pain points to inform your applications and interview answers
  • Watch Twitter hashtag #RecruiterTwitter for insights from the hiring front lines
  • Prioritize your physical and mental health

 

Laura King Headshot

Laura King | Director of Recruiting at CorTalent (A Minnesota-Based Recruiting Firm)

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

There are still plenty of companies that are moving forward with hiring, but it’s going to be a much longer process unless the company is extremely motivated to fill the role. We at CorTalent have had 5 offers extended and accepted over the last 14 days with our clients in the Twin Cities.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

The hiring processes will be slower, we as recruiters will likely take longer to get back to you because we’re inundated with many inquiries. It’s truly a numbers game. Connect with as many people in your network, pursue many opportunities. Focus on a goal each week to connect with x amt of companies, for instance. What you do in week 1 might pay off in week 6. Commit to the process. The glory is for those who stay committed.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Do not come off as desperate. You want to come off as confident and capable, and when you’re desperate people can sense that, even through the phone, video or email communication.

Before you have an interview, review your “brag” folder if you have one. If you don’t have one, start now – compile all positive feedback and review when you need a little boost. We become more confident as we rehearse. This is what separates those top performers from average. Remember to practice kind self talk.

If you tell yourself “I’ll never find a job” that will manifest. You must adopt a positive attitude. Someone will be lucky to have you on their team (really believe that!) and chant it over and over and over again.

Mark Anthony Dyson Headshot

Mark Anthony Dyson | Career Consultant & Founder at The Voice of Job Seekers

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

The best thing is there are a plethora of resources available at the fingertips in the form of video, audio, books, blogs, and more importantly, connecting with others. Support from peers and colleagues are at your fingertips. More importantly, there are companies actively hiring quickly.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

I am often concerned job seekers are underestimating how fast things can change. For you to disengage from ongoing job search in the form of professional development, networking, industry engagement, or interviewing is risky. It’s not often imminent job loss is anticipated. Unemployment, more often than not, is sudden. When you’re unprepared, it takes months for most people to prepare for a job search.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Find temporary agencies who are looking to hire such as Wonolo. They have condensed the hiring process to an interview, a call, and a reference check. Research companies that are wishing to hire you. You’re a business, not just a body. You’ll need to discern between choices and not accept the first opportunity by not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Be as shrewd as you would expect of the company.

Adam Posner Headshot

Adam Posner | Founder, NHP Talent Group (A New York Based Recruiting Firm)

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Everyone is being incredibly understanding, patient, and empathetic to the current situation. If you have an interview coming up and you’re worried about kids in the background, a bad connection, etc. email your interviewer in advance and give them a heads up. We’re all adjusting.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

That the hiring process will in most cases take longer. Some roles that are not a high business priority may be put on hold or be cancelled. Just be mentally prepared for that.

The best thing you can do is be persistent but also be mindful of the situation in your communications. We are doing our best to move things a lot, there are a lot of pieces to the hiring puzzle and most of them are not in the same office anymore (and not quite used to it yet).

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Patience and empathy will prevail. Be persistent, but be polite and patient in follow up communications. This too shall pass and we will all come out so much stronger together!

Joel Lalgee Headshot

Joel Lalgee | Account Executive at Pointone Recruiting

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

There is a lot of uncertainty and apprehension in hiring plans on the company side and with candidates who are looking for work. This is an unprecedented and uncertain time. The people who are doing well are the ones who are being patient, persistent, and focusing on what they can control.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Being empathetic to hiring manager, recruiters, and hiring team. We are doing our best. We may not have concrete timelines for when the hire will take place or when the next interview will happen. We appreciate candidates who are persistent and mindful of our situation, but don’t be the candidate who follows up TOO much. Every week or two is a good bet.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

This is one of the best times to invest in yourself. Learn new skills, take courses, start projects, work on a side hustle. Most importantly, network! Keep positive and keep your head up.

Vannessa McConkey Headshot

Vennessa McConkey | Founder, Vennessa McConkey Coaching

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

I’m seeing opportunities to create your own destiny. With people at home and getting laid off, they have the opportunity to assess the value they add to a company and to their communities.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Be ware of being sucked into depression and negativity. It’s hard, but if you remove yourself from the news and social media and set a plan in place for your job search then follow it, you’ll be way ahead of most of your colleagues!

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Get clear on the value you add (think outside the box), don’t give up and research all companies you have an interest in, whether they have a position available or listed. This is the BEST time…plan now to be on top once this all blows over!

Eric Termuende Headshot

Eric Termuende | Bestselling Future of Work Author & Co-Founder of NoW of Work

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

Because of COVID-19 and a large portion of the workforce being mandated to work from home, that leadership is trusting their employees on a deeper level. In times of uncertainty when business and work comes secondary to family and health, I’m seeing deeper connection and community being built, work being done on a remote basis rather than time basis, and our teams getting to know who each other is rather than simply what they do.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

In uncertain times like these, being insensitive to those we’re trying to connect with is something to be cautious of. Think of the remote single mom or dad that has now defaulted to part time teacher and chef. A response might not come as quickly as it did a few months ago, and that’s ok. Be patient, empathetic, and put yourself in the shoes of who you’re talking to to the best of your ability.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Go the extra mile. Do that extra project, put in that extra time, and show people not just what you can do, but who you are and what separates you from the rest of the pack.

Tim Salau Headshot

Tim Salau | CEO of Guide

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

The rise of remote work. We’ve all made fun of “that meeting that could have been an email,” but now employers are faced with the reality of a fully remote workforce. This could completely change the way we work forver.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

Only relying on a resume to get in the door. The job seekers who are winning during this outbreak are the ones who are fully leveraging LinkedIn’s capability for online relationship building. Referrals are still the way to get in!

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Personal branding is more important than ever. What shows up when someone Googles your name? When they look you up on LinkedIn?

The way you show up online matters. Do people see links to Instagram and Tik Tok? Do they just see roles, but no activity on your profile? If you want to stand out, you need to control your online presence.

Start getting involved online. Blog on Medium. Write posts on LinkedIn. Engage, engage, engage! That’s how you’re going to win in this market.

Josh Goldstein Headshot

Josh Goldstein | Co-Founder, Underdog.io

From your experience with clients and candidates, what is one good thing you’re seeing in the market?

By working from home, it should be easier to participate in the early rounds of an interview process.

What is one thing candidates / job seekers should be wary of or concerned about?

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. We’re still in the early innings of this, and the hiring trends were starting to see tell us that companies are going to have more power in the candidate/company dynamic in the near-to-medium term.

What is your best piece of advice for job seekers during this period?

Whether or not you’re actively looking, now is a great time to take stock of your recent professional experiences and update your resume, website, LinkedIn, etc.

A Complete Rundown Of The Best Free Job Search Resources To Help You Get Results

First, I held a LinkedIn Live session on March 16th, 2020 specifically aimed at answering common questions and providing actionable advice for job seekers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We talked through major questions like:

  • Are companies hiring and will they continue to hire?
  • What should I expect over the next few weeks?
  • How should I change my job search strategy during the outbreak?
  • What should I do if I am in the middle of an interview process?
  • And a whole lot more

You can watch the full session by clicking here or on the image below:Austin Belcak COVID-19 LinkedIn Live

More recently, I brought my friend and fellow career coach Madeline Mann on a LinkedIn Live session to break down the step-by-step process we would use if we had to start a brand new job search tomorrow.

I took the role of a job seeker who was in hospitality and wanted to change industries into a User Experience role.

Madeline took the role of someone who was recently laid off.

You can see how we’d both approach those situations by watching the live below:

Austin and Madeline Mann LinkedIn Live Session

Tactical Tools & Resources For Job Seekers

Now that we’ve covered the industries/companies you should be targeting and the specific strategies you should be using, I want to cover off on some free resources to help you make it happen.

I’ll break these down into three categories – Job Search Materials, LinkedIn, & Interviewing. I’ll also be updating this as I come across more:

Job Search Materials (Resumes, Cover Letters, Etc.)

My Job Search Strategy – When it comes to job search success, the largest factor in your success is having a proven plan you can implement. This article walks through my job search system from end to end, including all of the tools, templates, and scripts you’ll need.

Free Resume Builder – My free resume builder lets you create a highly effective resume in minutes using preloaded, recruiter-approved templates. It’s 100% free – there are no fees, subscriptions, or limits.

How To Write A Job-Winning Resume – This is a comprehensive guide that will walk you through the process of writing a resume that passes the ATS systems and will help you win more job interviews. It comes with industry-specific examples and editable templates you can download for free.

How To Write A Great Cover Letter – This is a comprehensive guide that will show you how to write a highly effective cover letter, complete with examples and templates.

LinkedIn

The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn For Jobseekers – This guide covers every single aspect of optimizing your LinkedIn profile for maximum visibility and networking.

How To Craft An Effective LinkedIn Headline – This guide takes a deep dive into creating a great LinkedIn headline which will help you show up in more recruiter searches and land more opportunities.

How To Snap The Perfect LinkedIn Profile Picture – This guide will show you how to create a perfect LinkedIn profile picture without breaking your bank. Pictures are one of the most important parts of your profile and a great one can significantly boost your visibility (yes, for better or worse, unconcious bias is alive and well on LinkedIn).

How To Create An Eye Catching LinkedIn Cover Photo – Your cover photo is the largest piece of visual real estate on your profile, but most people don’t leverage it. This guide will show you how.

Interviews

The Complete Interview Preparation Guide – This is the exact process I use with my clients when it comes to preparing for interviews. It’s the same process that’s helped my clients land offers at Deloitte, Intuit, Booz Allen, Freddie Mac, and more during the outbreak.

Common Interview Questions & Sample Answers – This guide will walk you through sample answers to the most common interview questions so you can crush them on interview day.

Post-Interview Thank You Template – This post will show you how to write the perfect thank you note after your interview (complete with a copy and paste template).

What To Wear To Your Video Interview – With interviews going remote, a lot of people are asking me, “what should I wear?” You should wear exactly what you would if you were going in person and this guide will show you how to do it.

My COVID-19 Interview Follow Up Script – Being politely persistent during this time is going to pay dividends. We’re all going through a lot and adjusting to new ways of life. Being empathetic and mindful of that while showing your continued interest and excitement is the way to go.

Here is the template I’ve been using with my clients:

COVID-19 Interview Email Follow Up Template

Hi [Name],

I hope you are doing alright given everything that’s happening right now.

I know this is an uncertain time and that there is a lot to deal with both personally and professionally.

With everything going on, I completely understand that there may be delays in responses and/or with the process. Please take the time you need and stay safe.

I did want to reach out to let you all know that I am still very excited about this opportunity. If there is anything I can do or provide that would be helpful, please let me know.

I’m sending my best to you, your family, and your colleagues.

Best,

[Your Name]

If You Were Recently Laid Off, You Can File For Unemployment Benefits

If you’ve recently been laid off, you can send an application to your state for unemployment benefits to help you weather the storm.

Benefits and restrictions vary by state so please check with your local officials. You can find your state’s information and links to submit a claim on the USAGov website.

Many states are lifting restrictions and increasing benefits due to the COVID-19 outbreak so please be sure to check with them to see what is available to you.

I sincerely hope that you’re staying safe and healthy during this crazy time. I’m sending all the positive energy I can and I hope this guide offered some insight into the current market and what you can do to get the results you want.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a work in progress that will be updated regularly. It is not perfect, but I felt that it was important to get the info out there as quickly as possible. I’ll do my best to keep the information up to date and to include companies that are hiring.

If you are a company that is hiring, if you have a suggestion for the post, or if you have feedback, please let me know via the Contact form on this site.

If you have questions or concerns about your situation or anything mentioned in the article, please drop a note in the comments below. I will be reading and replying to as many as I can!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

9 thoughts on COVID-19: Job Market Insights & Job Search Strategies From Experts
  1. Donna says:

    I have a question regarding the follow-up note for active interviews. Clearly, sending that note to the recruiter in question makes sense. Would you recommend sending to the hiring manager or anyone else you’ve interviewed with as well, or just focus on the recruiter?

    Thanks!!

  2. Linda Smith says:

    Austin – excellent article and incredible in-depth research. I have been a Career Coach for >20 years and have learned a great deal from you! I have sent 100’s of people to your website and hope they can learn from you and appreciate your guidance!

    1. I appreciate you Linda! Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing the site!

  3. David says:

    This article was extremely helpful, thank you!

    1. I’m so happy to hear it David!

  4. Myles Franklin says:

    Love it, thank you!

    1. Awesome, glad it was helpful Myles!

  5. Great article! There is another great resource for people who are unemployed, especially if they were laid off: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) can pay up to $10,000 (amount and availability varies by county) to get someone trained, certified and then get help with job placement assistance. This is a great way to upgrade your skills at no cost. Even the exam is covered. For examples, a large number of project manager jobs require a PMP certification. This would be something the person could get through this program.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this Dewey!

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