“Unprecedented” is rapidly becoming a hackneyed term as we sit playing “Buzzword Bingo” during government briefings, but it’s a pretty good adjective for the carnage caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
I am not jumping on the government bashing bandwagon as I actually think they’ve done a pretty good job of acting to save the economy, particularly with the speed this all unfolded. However, no action plan will protect every company, every job or every household and sadly some people will be displaced as a result of the crisis.
So what can you do if you are an active candidate in an “unprecedented” economic crisis? The list is long and subjective, but below are a few suggestions based on our experiences in prior recessions.
- “Perfect” your CV. Your CV is your marketing tool and is something so many candidates really need to work on. Write your CV to get you the job that you want, rather than just show the jobs you have done. Highlight achievements as well as responsibilities. Sell yourself. If you want advice, speak to multiple trusted advisors, recruiters, former managers, about what they look for in a CV and what to avoid.
- Practice telling your story. So many great, great candidates are not great at selling themselves, it just doesn’t come naturally. As a starting point, sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write down everything you are proud of in each of your roles, specifically focusing on the situation or challenge, the actions you specifically took and the result you delivered. Remind yourself why you are great and get used to giving the examples that will show others why they should hire you. If you want advice, speak to a trusted recruiter, one you know rather than just a random. You’ll get more honest feedback that way.
- Think about the parts of your market that might be active in the current economic situation and target them actively. That will be harder for some disciplines than others, but there will be growth parts to the economy and there will be growth companies. Take a tactical approach to identifying them and approaching them. A good recruiter will be able to help with this. A bad one won’t be interested in doing so.
- Network. I hate the term networking because it evokes images of events where everyone is out for themselves and constantly looking around the room for someone more valuable to talk to (or maybe they just don’t want to talk to me!), but if you have downtime, use it to build your professional network. Join groups on LinkedIn. Make new connections in your field. Connect to line managers in your field. Reconnect with former colleagues. Hit up new recruiters. Be active not passive and don’t simply apply for jobs online and wait.
- Apply for jobs, but the right jobs. I looked at an advert this morning on LinkedIn and there had been 1339 applicants in the last week. I guarantee there hadn’t been 1339 suitable applicants. Apply for jobs you have a realistic chance of being successful in, where you fit the brief. Having applied, do a bit of digging and try to connect with potential hiring managers in the organisation rather than just wait for your CV to make it through the white noise. Again, only for jobs for which you have the skills as you are better spending more time on the right jobs than just casting the net wide on stuff you will never get. A good recruiter will often be able to help with this, but don’t rely on other people. The information is out there, use it wisely.
If you are a finance or accounting professional who needs help at the moment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we would be glad to help where we can.
Date: 17 April 2020
Author: Tessa Richardson
Tags: Recruitment, Lockdown, Isolation, Covid-19