3 tips for San Diego job seekers during COVID-19
Jun 11, 2020 - JC Carrion
Professional preparation to secure your next job opportunity has become more valuable and relevant than in recent memory. With millions of workers being sidelined by COVID-19, no one can truly predict the depth and breadth of this current economic crisis and the slowdown in hiring that has resulted from it. Although it is painfully clear that the economy is experiencing a significant downturn, we must remain confident that hiring will once again pick up momentum. In May, the last week in May in particular, Eastridge Workforce Solutions clients initiated a noticeable increase in the number of professional placements made when compared to the previous eight weeks (80% more in May than April). This is a potential early indicator that companies are loosening up restrictions in their hiring processes.
Now is the time to prepare to land your next job by reflecting on the type of roles you are seeking, as well as the organizations and industries you are interested in joining. Start by listing various job titles that represent the roles you are passionate about. Research companies that mirror your core values and have mission statements that resonate with you. Focus on the overall potential fit of your skills and their culture.
The following three tips will prove highly beneficial once you’ve created a target list of roles and organizations.
1. Focus on improving your skills.
Once the target list has been drafted, it is time to go through the different job postings. Luckily, many organizations have kept updated career pages even though some roles might be on a temporary hiring freeze. Also, popular online platforms such as LinkedIn, Dice, Facebook, etc. continue to be great resources for job opportunities.
Analyze the skill requirements and confirm a match or potential gaps in the skills required. This is the ideal time to focus on strengthening and acquiring the skills necessary for your next job. The good news is that there are lots of free and low-cost online platforms supporting the job seeker community with a wide range of skill tutorials such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Microsoft training and tutorials, and edX courses. Professional preparation goes a long way when it comes time to start the interview process and it will allow you to have a competitive advantage.
2. Focus on your online branding and presence.
Start by building or strengthening your online branding through a relevant online platform based on job titles and the professional community represented. If you are using LinkedIn as your platform, there are many articles (for example, 20 steps to a better LinkedIn profile in 2020) that offer guidance on building a strong professional profile.
Once your online professional profile has been created, join different online groups that are relevant to your expertise and interests. There are times when these business groups will post job opportunities or comment about upcoming openings for their organizations. One word of advice is to be an active member of the group. Don’t be afraid to join conversations, offer your point of view and thoughts, post relevant material and information, etc. This is a way to be noticed and demonstrate your areas of expertise or passion.
3. Focus on building relationships and staying “top of mind”.
It is essential to cast a wide net when it comes to job seeking. As I mentioned above, resources such as company career pages, online job platforms, professional networking groups, and recruiting organizations are strongly recommended. Connect with professionals who hold roles that you are interested in. They can be very informative and serve as potential connectors between you and a hiring manager. Whichever vehicle you use to connect with business influencers, continue to find ways to stay “top of mind” with those individuals. Whether it be through responding or participating in professional postings on LinkedIn, commenting on company press releases with potential managers, or periodically checking in with connectors (without overdoing it), consistent communication is always a key factor.
In San Diego, you can seek out professional organizations or interest groups like San Diego Tech Hub, that are hosting virtual networking sessions.
While there are unlimited tips and methods for finding your next role, these three tips reinforce the importance of professional preparation and relationship building while searching for your next career opportunity. Do not be discouraged by the current hiring pace. Instead, deposit into your professional development, and stay connected with others who can help you land the job!
About the author:
JC Carrion is the Executive Vice President at Eastridge Workforce Solutions. Founded in San Diego almost 50 years ago, Eastridge, an employee-owned organization, is a technology- integrated workforce recruitment and solutions provider.
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