Ace your job search, even during a global pandemic

By Fareen Shaikh

With uncertain times comes a lot of insecurities, and its only natural to feel anxious about the prospects of the job market right now.

If you were amid job hunting when the pandemic hit, you might be considering to slow down or discontinue your job search. But I'd advise you to keep that job search going by applying different approaches to be successful during these uncertain times.

Companies might not be hiring today as they are spending time to adapt to the new ways of work, but when they do figure out their new business goals, it is better to be ready and set yourself up for winning that interview.

In the meanwhile, here are some strategies that you can apply to your job search during these next few uncertain months.

Look for jobs in the right place

Besides the traditional way of hiring through job boards, it is advisable to be more current on the companies that are currently hiring. While looking for jobs through platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter that promote better search through hashtags, you can follow hashtags like #Coronavirushiring or #nowhiring for better insights.

As you continue to exercise a targeted search, relook at the industries and companies you shortlisted earlier. With most companies in the technology space like online learning, remote meeting and communication companies, digital entertainment & streaming services, gaming are still hiring. Follow them on LinkedIn or set a job alert on Google, so you don't miss out.

Candor's Live Hiring Dashboard The awesome people over at have put together a live, crowdsourced 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.

Berlin-based open job roles: This google sheet put together by Berlin-based recruiters and hiring managers to fill in their open job roles with great talent like you.

Build your network, meet your connections online

With more time at home, make use of this time to the fullest; you no more have your boss or co-worker hovering over your workspace that would restrict you from looking at job sites, other company's career pages, or networking groups.

Look for professional groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack communities and be more active. Like, comment and share to make yourself visible online. Connect with hiring managers of companies and industries that are hiring and conduct informational interviews. Also, keep an eye out of competitor companies of companies that are hiring currently - connect with individuals so you can be top of mind when they do start hiring.

While reaching out to professionals on LinkedIn, make sure to send in a personalized note and purpose of the connect. Set a virtual coffee with your new connection and prepare for the meeting in advance. List down questions that you would like to address during your chat. Keep it casual yet professional.

Resume & LinkedIn makeover

No one can write your professional documents better than you! Trust me you have it in you write a get it right. When you craft your resume and LinkedIn profile yourself, you gain confidence which reflects in your interviews.

Move away from only listing your responsibilities in your resume. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying to by stating the challenges, actions taken and listing out your quantifiable achievements. In an age where everyone is data-driven, adding numbers to your documents makes it more engaging. Treat the job description as a questionnaire and the answers need to appear on your documents.

Learn about the ATS system, keep it simple with nothing but your name in the header, no tables, use of simple yet consistent fonts, clean white space with statements in bullet points. Weave in the right keywords under the right context. Keep in mind, once it does pass through the system, an actual human will be assessing your resume.

Practice your video interviewing skills

80% of the decision is how you present yourself in a job interview. With remote work being the new normal, its important to be prepared for video interviews. To make sure you ace your video interview, be prepared for it in advance. Be sure to dress professionally, present yourself and your story concisely, test technology in advance, eliminate distractions, and sleep well before the interview, relax before the interview!

Rejections are learnings

Rejection is a part of the job search game. You’ll get ahead in some interview process or sometimes never know how far you’ve got with some companies - stay strong through it all. In retrospect when you do get a new job, all the past rejections make sense. Treat every rejection as a learning curve. You may have received a rejection email don’t hesitate to seek feedback. Some might be open to providing feedback while some won’t and that’s okay too. Always have a steady pipeline of jobs to apply to or interviews to attend. When you have better plans in place, the impact of rejection is usually lesser. To bring about structure, maintain a job search tracker to capture all details from the job title, application dates to your learnings after each interview.

Interested in some extra support in your job search journey?

In September, Fareen is kicking off her program which is designed to educate you about the different ways you can stand out in your job search by tailoring your resume, crafting LinkedIn profiles that attract recruiters, and acing job interviews.

The best part is that you will work with the support of other job seekers that share the same emotions and experience in their job search journey. You together can create your own community where you can learn, motivate, and support each other every step of the way.

Fareen pursued her passion for people as a Human Resource consultant, talent hunter, and career advisor. She worked with international organizations to develop their hiring processes, designed job descriptions, reviewed resumes of applicants, and screened them for their culture/values.

As a current Director of Talent at acework, she advocates remote work and coaches professionals from varied backgrounds to gain a competitive edge as they apply for remote opportunities. She independently also works with jobseekers by guiding them towards making career decisions confidently. Her aim is to make jobseekers independent of any coach by providing them with the right tools and resources.