It’s a strange time to be looking for a job, and while some companies are not recruiting at the moment due to the coronavirus, now is not the time to put your job seeking efforts ‘on pause’. There is still plenty to do to keep actively focused on yourself as a candidate in the market.
What could you be doing now to be the best you can be when interviewing in a difficult market, and when recruitment is in full swing again? Here are some tips from us at OSA Recruitment on how to spend your time constructively and to channel your energy into positive action.
1. Become an expert in virtual interviewing
As a result of lockdown and social distancing, employers are undertaking interviews virtually instead of face to face. It’s important therefore to understand the less obvious differences and learn how to perform well via technology.
Apps such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp bring video interviews to your living room, but it’s important to prepare for them in the same way as you would a face to face meeting. Ensure you are well-presented in business dress and behave in the same way as you would normally in an interview scenario – be careful not to let your relaxed home surroundings give you a sense of informality. Take note of your posture and body language; perhaps avoid sitting on your sofa.
It’s a good idea to ensure that you have the correct and up to date technology, that your settings are fixed to video and audio at the appropriate volume, and that your internet connection is strong. You’ll need a quiet space with a clear uncluttered background, and where there are no distractions.
Your interview may instead be via telephone, and many of these same rules apply, however, remember also to speak clearly, focus on your intonation and ensure there is energy in your voice.
It can be more difficult to connect and build a quick rapport via phone or video link but just try to relax a little and remember to smile! And practice, practice, practice.
2. Hone your interview skills
Spend time on honing your interview techniques. There are lots of resources online and we are also on hand to help you. You can utilise your time to learn about competency-based/behavioural style interviews for example, understanding the STAR method. Take time to think of good examples of your working practices, successes and achievements, and occasions when you have overcome challenges and adversity. You will thank yourself that you are armed with real examples if you are asked for them in an interview, as opposed to trying to think them up on the spot.
3. Understand remote working
With the workforce now working from home (WFH), it’s important to understand how this operates and what different organisations are doing to ensure their businesses continue to function as well as possible. Research online to learn how employees are set up at home, what technology they are using to communicate with each other, and how people are structuring their working day from their homes. You could learn about WFH productivity, techniques to keep morale up, and practice with platforms such as Microsoft Teams, so that if you are recruited whilst the office is closed, you can slot in from home on day one.
4. Fine tune your CV
Now is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at your own marketing materials – your CV and your personal brand. Examine all aspects of your CV, paying attention to grammar, sentence structure, tense, tone, layout and formatting. Think about your personal brand; this is unique to you and encompasses your own qualities as well as your skills. Spend time working on an opening statement/personal summary for your CV, and compose a standard covering letter that can be tailored to each application.
5. Connect and network
Spend time on updating your LinkedIn profile, making sure the content and your photo is current and appropriate. Connect with people already in your network, ask them for recommendations, and create new contacts. You could also post relevant content, post comments on others, join groups that you’re interested in, and follow organisations to keep up to date with their business. Most of all, it’s a key time to be visible online and utilise social media as another tool in your marketing kit.
6. Enhance your skills
Objectively assess your skill set and define what areas you could improve on. Take time to enhance your skills and qualifications to make yourself an even stronger candidate in the employment market now, and for the future when things pick up again. Online courses, tutorials, webinars, TED talks – there is a multitude of resources to choose from. Maybe you’ll opt for fun or for intellectual stimulus; learn a language, to draw or paint, take up creative writing or an instrument. It’s about adding extra talent to your unique combination of skills – your personal brand.
In summary then, now that we have the luxury of time, use it well and wisely. Set yourself this to do- list and work hard at making yourself the best you can be, for now in a challenging market and for later when you will be at the top your game. Above all, try to remain positive, and remember we are here to help you along the way.
You can call us via the office on 01481712891 where our phones are diverted to our consultants, or you can email us on email@example.com for questions, advice, or if you would just like a chat.
We’ll be happy to hear from you.
As you are all aware Guernsey is now on lockdown and we wanted to reassure everyone that the whole OSA team are working remotely and the office space is closed.
Whilst in person meetings are no longer taking place, our work is still continuing: clients are still recruiting, candidates are seeking jobs and interviews are still happening - all done via email, calls, Skype, Zoom and Teams. Technology ensures everyone stays safe and the community is protected, but also means we can keep going even on lockdown, our new business as normal for now!