As the nation continues to adapt to COVID-19, unemployment levels have hit record highs, the economy is in turmoil, and public unrest is increasing at the ineptitude in the handling of the pandemic.
Ups and downs have become downs and downs. Those at risk have had to shut their doors for months. Lipstick laden facemasks litter the streets. Handrails put in place for our safety have gone full circle and now top our ‘most-feared’ list. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be diminishing. Social butterflies have had to re-cocoon. Life as we know it has changed. But there is hope. I can vouch for that.
It’s more important than ever to count your blessings and take the small wins, however small they may be. I managed to get a job when all around me seemed to be trying to prevent it, and, for what it’s worth, I thought I’d try and offer some insight into how I managed to not only find work, but to stay sane.
Job seeking 101:
Broaden your horizons- find opportunity in difficulty. I used the newfound time on my hands to go off-piste and try and break into a completely new industry. There’s no shame in starting afresh, from the bottom up, and realistically… what better time to?
Think outside the box. I found a lot of joy in LinkedIn- connect with people from companies you could see yourself representing, no matter what level of seniority, and become a talking point in their office. You only get one shot at first impressions, so try and be memorable, find a common ground, and remember that they are only human too; you can often lose your sense of personability when reaching out, so I’ll provide an example of what I deem ‘memorable’, and what I deem ‘boring’.
Example A: ‘Hi Martin, I’m reaching out to ask you to consider me for the role of X, I’ve got X years of experience in the industry and can provide strong references to further back this up, and ask that you please consider me.’- Boring. This sounds like it’s being read out by the bloke who does the voice on your Sat Nav. It’s just proper boring.
Example B: ‘Martin,
I appreciate I’m aiming right at the top here, but I thought it was worth a stab in the dark. Everyone has to catch a break at some point after all.
I’d love for you to consider reading a covering letter that I’ve prepared for you, it’s by no means ‘predictable’ and it might just brighten up your day.
Thanks for your time, and stay safe!
William’. – How much less painful is that to read?! And it works. It might not stick the landing every time, but it does get you noticed.
Once you get the ball rolling, your covering letter will become your best friend. If you’re working with someone, first and foremost, you want to like them, so sell yourself. Find the right mix of highlighting your strengths and skills whilst coming across as not only a human, but a potential friend. Let them buy into you, as an asset and a person.
And lastly, give yourself a break. Don’t spend all your days on Indeed. Take yourself for a walk. Don’t forget to shave. Practice origami. Learn to twerk. Ring old pals. Reminisce. Watch re-runs of The Chase, then watch them again on ITV+1 with your housemates and pretend to know all the answers. Walk around the house dressed like Joe Exotic. Photoshop pictures of your head onto David Gandy’s body. Literally do whatever you want, see this as an opportunity to relax, but still plan for the future.
Just whatever you do don’t post pictures of your banana bread. No one wants to see that.
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