Being at home during the pandemic is tough but take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. There are many students, new graduates and professionals in Canada who are experiencing the same events as you. This might feel like a step back in your career but remember that it’s only temporary, and that your health is of the utmost importance.
Although we can’t actively job search right now, we can prepare ourselves for when the market reopens and fall recruitment is right around the corner.
Sharpen your job search skills because here’s a list that will help you stay on track:
Put Your Career On A Spreadsheet
“A spreadsheet”, she says. It sounds strange to make a spreadsheet about your career but if you write down your goals you’re more likely to work towards them.
Create a spreadsheet to document your ideal jobs, and the skills and experience needed for them. Look up job postings and record the requirements and skills mentioned in the job description. Be as detailed as you can in your research.
This will give you a clear view of your career goals and help you tailor your job search to meet your goals.
Here is a document that can help you get started.
Prioritize and Rank Your Job Expectations
What do you want most from a job?
A virtual work environment or an office environment? 9 to 5 hours or flexible hours? Do you want a short commute or you don’t mind a long commute? What about base pay: how much do you need to make on a monthly basis to cover your expenses, save money, and treat yourself to something nice on an occasion or two?
Write a list of items that want to receive from a job. Then rank them on a scale of 1 to 10. This will help you determine what really matters to you in a job and what you are willing to negotiate.
Here is a checklist to help you get started.
Update or Create a Master Resume
What better time than now to revamp your master resume? If you don’t have a master resume, then take some time to make one. A master resume is exactly as the name implies: one resume that has all your education, work experience, and skills recorded in detail. Include every single award and scholarship you received, courses you took and clubs you were part of in school.
Record every achievement in your work experience — the quantifiable ones (made the highest sale of the quarter; increased company social media follower base by 10% via Project Y etc.) and the non-quantifiable ones too (managed Project Y from conception to completion; pivoted client campaigns to reflect and bring to attention client efforts towards the pandemic etc)
Your master resume is especially useful when applying for jobs. You have an entire inventory of your work and skills at your disposal that you can pluck relevant information from when tailoring your job application to a specific job posting. Preparing a tailored cover letter becomes much easier and less time consuming as well.
Prepare and Practice a Video Elevator Pitch
What is an elevator pitch? It’s a 30 second self-introduction covering your career journey. An elevator pitch is very useful for all kinds of interviews: phone, video, in person, and also at networking events and career fairs.
As the pandemic continues to push our working environment to a virtual one, most job interviews in the near future will also be on video. Practice your pitch with family members or friends, and get comfortable being on a webcam.
You can also record a video elevator pitch and upload it to your TalentEgg profile. Make as many recordings as you like and upload the one you like best. Here are some articles to help you get started, and a video to help you upload your pitch.
Power of Video – Why you Should Add Video to your CV
Six Tips To Create A Killer Elevator Pitch
Tips on How To Show Off Your Best Self on Video
TalentEgg Launches Canada’s First Candidate Video Showcase
Update your Linkedin Profile
LinkedIn is a useful platform to make connections and network with professionals in your field. It’s also a useful tool for recruiters to gage your personality outside of your resume.
Spend some time writing a Linkedin summary for your profile that shows off your personality, your long-term career goals, and your current work experience. Add links to media (images, pdf files, videos) that showcase the work you have done during school or the companies you have worked at.
Update your LinkedIn profile picture every year if you can, and engage with your network by commenting on posts, and liking and sharing professional information that interests you.
Get crackin’! You have all the tools you need to map out your career and work towards your goals. Good luck and stay healthy. We will get through this pandemic together 🙂