As a Toronto based executive recruiter for over 20 years, I have seen how political and economic change can affect the job market. The ebb and flow of growth/ recession, global conflicts and shifts in government is expected. In contrast, the current public health crisis is a unique and unprecedented new reality effecting all of us. It has left many job seekers scratching their head and asking themselves how to move forward in their job search.
Looking for work at a time when so many employees are getting laid off may seem counter intuitive. But even in times of crisis opportunities await. The abundance of time available to us is an opportunity to prepare. As Abe Lincoln once said “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will take 4 hours to sharpen my axe”. And his attitude towards preparation served him well.
The floodgates will eventually open and the demand for employees will increase. Here are five tips on preparing for job search:
· Updating and improving your resume is an obvious first step. Many candidates get their resume professionally done but there are also a lot of free resources on line including resume templates. A profile summary is veryeffective as a teaser. Keep your points short and concise. Less is more. If you have strong expertise in one or two areas of your job, highlight those areas so they really pop. Try not to cover too much ground.
· An effective Linked in profile is as important as a resume. It is your first impression to the business world. It can be invisible to employers if your title under your name does not effectively describe what you do. For example if you are looking for a sales Manager position but your actual title is Regional Manager add (Sales Manager) in brackets. A professional picture will also draw more views. Start connecting with industry contacts on LinkedIn, many new opportunities are found this way.
· Interview coaching: The interview is perhaps the biggest hurdle for most job seekers. There is a general way to prepare for an interview. Going over strengths and preparing strong examples to demonstrate, accomplishments is a very effective way to communicate your expertise. A Short, concise story that describes the situation, your role in its success and most importantly the positive, end result.
· Pick up the phone: Connect with industry contacts, to find out what is going on in your industry and if they know of any opportunities.
· Keeping current, Read about your industry and any new developments. It is a great time to educate ourselves and become better at what we do, do an online course to brush up on your skills “knowledge is power”
Ana McGovern is an executive recruiter at MMGi , a Toronto based agency specializing in placement in life science, we also provide, online coaching services. Please see our website at mmgi.ca for more information and follow us on linked in.