Prospecting For Jobs During COVID-19 And Beyond

I was in the process of a career search when the coronavirus pandemic began, and all my planning seemed pointless.

Hunting for jobs during the current wake of the pandemic appears gloomy with many businesses opting to work remotely and others laying off employees. Many job seekers are wondering if is appropriate to send out their Curriculum Vitae (CV) and follow up with hiring managers due to the circumstances.

However, the situation does not mean business will not hire in the future and therefore it is important to keep searching because some companies such as shipping and delivery companies, online learning companies, grocery stores and delivery services, remote meeting etc. are still hiring.

To ensure a promising and successful professional future in a post-pandemic era, job seekers would need a market intelligence on how their industries and jobs will be impacted as well as guidance and coaching.

Below are some few steps to navigate your job prospecting despite the uncertainty in this period.

Addressing your skills gap
The skills that are acquired when studying is often obsolete even before they enter the job market. Are you aware of the skills and tools that will be in high demand during and after the pandemic? Do you know what those skills are and how to identify them? What are the best ways and resources to build those skills?

It is important to be aware of and prioritize whatever new skills you are currently learning. You also have to identify which learning options are most relevant and conducive to help advance for example, which ones are recognised and are of high demand in the industry.

Every job seeker should look at what skills are required for the jobs that you want and do a self-assessment against the criteria.

Be honest with yourself and especially with what you are good at. Can you demonstrate that you are good at the key skills required?

Identifying and acquiring emerging job opportunities
Most fresh graduates in Ghana are unable to get jobs due to a misalignment of qualification with the current market demands.

Job seekers need to engage with the working world to better understand the direction employment opportunities are taking and strategize their future careers.

The current situation is critical especially with the disappearance of most present jobs in the near future and the fact that the current job seekers are not trained in the emerging and future job trends.

Many of the jobs most young people are pursuing are currently at high risk of being automated. Key questions to ask include: What is the recruitment process in my current target industry? What specific job recruitment platforms do I need to register in order to get regular updates? How do I prepare my CV and cover letter to suit my target position? Technology, increased Internet connectivity, rapid globalisation and new business demands will drive future jobs.

Understand the Job Market Intelligence
With relation to the current magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic, job prospects need market intelligence on employment trends in the various industries.

Job seekers should understand the changing career landscape and most importantly be realistic and knowledgeable about their career options.

They should further research the job market thoroughly with the correct resources which is an important step to the advancement of their career. The initial application and interview process will take longer than expected due to the current circumstance and they should keep track of the industry trends.

Adaptable and persistent
Current job seekers need to have a strong mindset, be adaptable and persistent to overcome the current competition and mass rejections. Every company is searching for the ideal candidate for their benefit and their rejection most likely means that you are better fit for a different company. There is the need to pursue job openings and follow up after sending a CV and asking for the next steps and also reach out to someone within the company and develop a rapport with them.

Job seekers should also have the ability to change and do things in order to suit the new situation.

The writer is a lecturer at the University of Professional Studies Accra
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