Top Tips For Class of 2021 Entering the Job Market In A COVID World

Graduates entering the job market in 2021 are faced with new and unusual challenges. When companies shut down or moved their workers to remote work due to the pandemic, the job market changed and now looks very different than it did just a few years ago.

Entering the job market

Many people are still working from home and may continue to do so for a long time to come. Meetings are online through video chats. And collaborative work is done through apps and software programs instead of around a workstation.

Top Tips For Entering the Job Market

While some may thrive in this kind of job market, others may struggle. Here are the best tips for 2021 graduates preparing to enter the job market.

1. Prepare For A Long Job Search

Hiring and onboarding new employees is slower than usual right now. With many department heads working from home, it’s taking longer than expected to process applications, schedule and conduct interviews virtually, make offers, and onboard new employees.

Be patient. If there’s a job you’re interested in, talk to the HR manager to find out the timeline for filling the position. Don’t assume the worst if it takes longer than expected. According to a Forbes article, “Think of your career as a marathon—not a sprint. ”

2. Prepare To Work From Home

Working remotely is more common now, and many companies are choosing to reduce their overhead and continue to let employees work remotely on a permanent basis. Recognize that this may be a job requirement and start preparing for how you’ll manage that.

You’ll need a quiet workspace where you won’t be interrupted, a computer, and a strong internet connection at the least. Some companies will require you to install their own software and join online work sites for collaboration with coworkers. Remember working from home can contribute to promotions and success too.

Be honest with yourself and potential employers regarding whether you can comply with their requirements for working from home.

3. Do Your Research

With some companies struggling to get back to their full earning potential, you may be offered a lower salary than you’d expect. Do your research and find out what the starting salary is for a position you’re looking for, set up job alerts through work search sites, and keep your options open.

This may be an excellent time to learn some negotiation skills as well. While your salary offer may be lower, you may be able to negotiate extra time off or additional benefits in exchange for a higher salary.

4. Apply For Help

With the hiring process taking longer than usual, you may find yourself in a financial bind. Federal, state, and local governments are offering a variety of relief efforts to help.

You can find help with financial aid, food and meals, delayed rent and mortgage payments, and deferred student loans.

5. Consider An Interim Job

Consider looking for an “in-between” job to get you through. Many retail stores and restaurants are in desperate need of staff, and the income can help you get through until you find a permanent job.

Plus, having some kind of job experience on your resume and proving that you’re willing to work even if it’s not your ideal job will impress your future employer.

The 2021 job market is unique for recent graduates with little or no experience. Take your time, do your research, and find a temporary job to hold you over. The right job will come along; it just may take a little longer.

Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?

If you need help updating your resume to include all of your qualifications, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:34:34-05:00June 8th, 2021|career search, Job Search|Comments Off on Top Tips For Class of 2021 Entering the Job Market In A COVID World

When Being Overqualified is a Job Interview Obstacle

Is being overqualified a job interview obstacle for you? There are several reasons why you might apply for a job you’re overqualified for. Maybe you want to be closer to home, perhaps jobs in your industry are hard to come by, and you need to work, or maybe you want less responsibility than you’ve had previously.  Or maybe due to COVID-19 you need to look for a different job.  All of these are good reasons for applying for a job that you’re overqualified for.

Overqualified is a Job Interview Obstacle

Sometimes when looking for a job your years of training or job experience can work against you.  According to The Wall Street Journal, “It’s hard when your big title or years of experience are seen as a disqualifier, rather than a qualifier.”

Your future employer might need a little reassurance that the job you are applying for is a good fit for you.

Answers To The Overqualified Question

Here are the best ways to answer the “aren’t you overqualified?” question when it comes up in your interview.

1. Be Honest

Tell your potential employer the true reason you’re applying for a job that you’re overqualified for. A good employer will respect your honesty and your reasons. If you want to be closer to home or have a better work schedule than you have now, say so. But don’t overshare. If you’re applying for the job because you really need the work, don’t share your sob story. The employer might feel sorry for you, but it won’t win you the job.

2. Emphasize Your Commitment

Ease your prospective employer’s concerns that you’re only interested in the job because you need to work, and you’ll be keeping your options open for when a better opportunity comes along. Let the interviewer know that you may be overqualified for the position. Still, you’re committed to performing at your best, and that you intend to be a long-term employee and perhaps grow within the company.

3. Discuss the Potential Opportunity

Your potential employer may still be skeptical so let them know that you’re looking at the position as an opportunity; you’re not settling. Discuss the skills you have that can benefit the company and help push the position to a new level. Talk about how you can help grow the position, the department, and/or the company with your experience. Share how you want to develop yourself professionally and how the job fits into that goal.

4. Share How the Position is a Better Fit

Maybe you’re tired of being in management, going to meetings all day, and pushing papers around. If the reason you want a job that you’re overqualified for is to get back to the basics, the work you really love, share that. Talk about how the current position holds more interest for you than the position you’ve previously had.

5. Make the Boss Look Good

Talk about how your experience and knowledge bring a lot to the team and can support the team in a way they haven’t been supported previously, making the management team look good. You can help your boss and your team be more successful with what you bring to the table.

There are many reasons why you might want a job that you’re overqualified for, but if you can help your potential employer see the positive in hiring someone with too much experience, it just might be the perfect fit for everyone.

Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:24:20-05:00March 31st, 2021|career search|Comments Off on When Being Overqualified is a Job Interview Obstacle

How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

A smile can say so much about you. It can communicate warmth and openness, but it can also convey the wrong message. The saying is “eyes are the gateway to the soul,” but it can be said that the smile is the open/closed sign hanging above the gate.  Now that most interviews are happening online, your smile is even more important because instead of the interviewer seeing you from four feet away, they are going to be up close and personal in their view via the camera.  How can you ensure your smile is communicating what you want in a job interview or on a Zoom meeting?

Smile

 When job searching, it is important to put your best foot forward, come across approachable, nice, and open to opportunities. Start by checking your smile and your entire face in the mirror before getting on that Zoom interview.

Smile Tips For Interviews

What do you see?

Are your teeth clean? Be sure to always brush and floss before heading to an interview.

What color are your teeth?

Discolorations can cause someone to shirk away from you. If you see that your teeth are discolored and yellowing from all of the coffee, red wine, and soft drinks consumed, you may want to consider a tooth whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, or professional teeth whitening in a dentist’s office.

Don’t forget your hair

Is it clean and neatly styled?  No one expects perfection, but you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

Facial hair matters too

Your beard and mustache should be clean and neatly trimmed.

Make-up neatly applied

If you wear make-up, make sure it is neatly applied and not overdone.  You want to only use make-up to enhance your natural beauty.

Dress professionally

Yes, you are just on Zoom, but you still need to appear professional.  It is best to wear a solid color near your face and the color should be one that flatters you.  A pattern draws attention away from your face, so stick with a solid.  It can be a scarf, shirt, sweater, or tie.

If there is any chance you will need to move at all during the interview, you might want to make sure you have appropriate attire on your bottom half as well.  You don’t want to jump up and show your underwear, PJs, or stained sweats.

Meeting In Person

If you are meeting in person, there are three additional personal hygiene items to be concerned with.

What do you smell?

Cup your hand and do a “breath check”. Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, some of which indicate gum disease and other issues within our mouths that need the attention of a dentist. Bad breath will kill an interview faster than you can say, “excuse me”.  An interviewer would prefer to end the interview quickly and get you the heck out of there than offer you a mint.  After all of your hard work and interview preparations, don’t allow bad breath to prevent you from moving forward in the interviewing process.

Hands up!

If meeting in person you will be shaking hands and perhaps moving your hands around as you talk.   Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are clean and trimmed.

What is that scent?

If you desire to wear cologne or perfume, use it lightly.  You don’t want the perfume or cologne to be overpowering.  Remember some people have allergies to scents.

You can find other tips for Zoom etiquette for meetings here.

A strong job search strategy will open interviewing doors for you, and a smile that looks great, is warm, and communicates that you are approachable, will keep you on the screen for a Zoom interview or in the seat in the interviewer’s office.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-10T00:48:19-05:00February 16th, 2021|career search, Interview Prep, Job Interview|Comments Off on How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

Unemployment and Covid-19

Unemployment and Covid-19 are prominent issues in today’s world.   Almost everyone has been affected in one way or another.

Have you been unemployed for months due to Covid-19?  Are you worried about your career path and the gap of employment on your resume?   Perhaps you are feeling nervous about being furloughed and not being able to find a new job quickly.

Unemployment and Covid 19

If you are feeling a bit anxious about things, you are not alone. According to Pew Research Center, “The COVID-19 outbreak and the economic downturn it engendered swelled the ranks of unemployed Americans by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.”  There are a lot of people searching for jobs.

The Facts about Unemployment and Covid-19

Let me share a few things about Unemployment and Covid-19 that might calm your nerves.

Prior to Covid-19, a gap of employment on your resume would need an explanation.  In our current climate, everyone in the world has been affected by Covid-19, and how we work has significantly changed.

Many people have to work from home and no longer go into an office.  Others are not able to do their job remotely and are now unemployed.

Workers with children have had to figure out how to continue working from home AND juggle caring for their children, and even teach at the same time.

Some people in contract employment roles have had their work dry up as a result of office closures, etc.

The Good News

If you are worried about how hiring managers and employers will perceive the gap in your employment history, don’t be.

Due to the fact that everyone has been affected by Covid-19 in one way or the other, potential employers, hiring managers, recruiters, and the like all understand.  No one is going to hold a gap in your employment history during Covid-19 against you.

The Covid-19 situation has affected everyone differently and to various degrees, which is common knowledge.  This works to your benefit as a “Job Seeker.”  When asked why you were unemployed, simply say it was due to Covid-19.  No further explanation needed, and no red flags will be raised.

While Unemployed During Covid-19

In the meantime, you can show employers you still have initiative.  While unemployed, you can use the time to update and expand your skills and knowledge. There are free online courses available.  Or volunteer in your community (in-person or on-line) and be sure to let potential employers know how you spent your time.

If you remain active and involved in your career even during a pandemic, it shows employers your commitment to growing personally and professionally.

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these hard times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:23:18-05:00October 1st, 2020|career search|Comments Off on Unemployment and Covid-19

Job Hunting During an Economic Downturn

Unemployment is stressful, but job-hunting during an economic downturn can significantly increase that stress. According to Blogs.IMF.org, we are in the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. There are fewer jobs available, and the ones that are, have a reduced salary. Or are those ideas just myths?

News Flash…While there may be fewer jobs available in some industries, others are thriving. And the ones that are thriving, are paying higher salaries for quality employees.

Job hunting during an economic downturn

What You Need To Know During an Economic Downturn

If you know where to look and how to approach the job market, an economic downturn might be the best time for you to be job hunting. Here’s what you need to know:

Focus on Growth Industries

When the economy is struggling, there are always a few industries that are thriving because they’re needed more. Think about what people are using more of, what their habits are, what kind of businesses are they frequenting. This will give you some insight into the types of companies that are thriving and looking for help.

Target Companies

Instead of emailing your resume to every job opening you find, choose a few select companies you’d like to work for and focus on pursuing them. Even if they don’t have any current openings available, they will need to keep your resume on file and you could be the first to know about a new opening, even before it’s posted in some cases.

Talk to People

Your friends, your family, your former co-workers, even your former clients. They all know people and those people know people. It’s much easier to find a job through your network of connections. Tell people about your experience, skills, and past positions. This will help them to make quality connections for you.

Start Freelancing

If a job is not available in your field or there’s a possibility your current field might not fully recover, consider freelancing. Start your own company focusing on your area of expertise. Since you don’t have the overhead and payroll of your past employer, you can charge a lower fee.  Just don’t make your rates too low, you have expenses you have to cover as well and your time is valuable.

Consider a Temporary Position

While it’s not ideal, a temporary position can help you get through an economic downturn until you can find a better position. Some larger corporations offer temporary positions that later convert to permanent ones. Or take a job in another industry. Even if it’s not what you want to do, you’ll learn new skills and earn a paycheck.

Stay Positive

Keeping a positive attitude can be the hardest thing to do, but it will help you get through this challenging time. And, that positive attitude will shine during interviews and give you a leg up above other applicants. Stay focused on the positive things in your life and the things you have control over. Everything else, you can’t worry about it. Even when there’s a 10% unemployment rate, that means there’s 90% employment. You just have to find the right opportunity for you.

It’s stressful to be job hunting during an economic downturn, no doubt, but staying positive, keeping your options open, and thinking outside the box will help you survive and thrive.

If You Need Help

If you need help updating your resume or practicing for an interview during these hard times, consider reaching out to me, Rachel at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:34:29-05:00May 4th, 2020|career search, Job Search|Comments Off on Job Hunting During an Economic Downturn

Getting Past the Gatekeepers to Get a Job Interview

Sometimes it can be tough getting to the person you want to interview with for a potential job. Their schedules are packed so they designate appointments, phone calls, and emails to their personal assistants to handle for them. This means, you have to go through the assistant to get to the person you want to have an interview with; not always an easy task.

Getting past the gatekeeper

Tips for Getting Past the Gatekeepers to Get a Job Interview

Here are some tips for getting past the gatekeepers to get the job interview you want:

  1. Do Your Research

Know what the company is all about and what their needs are; this will help you figure out how to market yourself to them. Spend some time on their website, scrolling through their social media, and checking out some of the employees on LinkedIn, especially the person you want to meet. If the company has an HR manager or recruiter, research them too. They may be the gatekeeper themselves, or they may be able to help you get past the gatekeeper.  If you know who the gatekeepers are, research them as well.  Making conversation with them will be important.

  1. Be Polite, Professional, and Confident

You’ll never make it past the gatekeeper if they don’t think you’d be a good fit for the company. Whether your making a phone call or sending an email, let your best self shine through. Stay focused and don’t ramble on, get to the point in a friendly way and ask how you can get a meeting with the person you want to talk to. You may need to sell yourself and your knowledge and skills to impress them; do it confidently without being boastful.  Most of all, be nice!

  1. Ask for the Person You Want to Speak With by First and Last Name

This will suggest that you are familiar with the person you want to meet with or, at the very least, you’ve done your research. Be sure to address any emails to the HR manager or recruiter by first and last name as well. It shows that you’re professional and courteous.  If sending an email, be sure you proofread and spellcheck before hitting the send button.

  1. Use Your Connections

When researching the employees of the company on LinkedIn, see who your mutual connections are. If someone you know happens to know someone who works for the company, you can ask for an introduction or ask them to pass your resume on to the proper person.

  1. Don’t Leave Empty-handed

If you can’t get through, at least use your email communication or phone call to obtain some information on the company or the person you want to meet with. Ask for more details about the job, the timeline for interviewing and hiring, and the steps you can take to get your resume seen by the right person. This will not only provide you great information, but it will also show that you’re serious about getting the job.

Use these tips for getting past the gatekeepers and remember: Being polite, conversational, and friendly with the gatekeeper will improve your chances of getting the interview you want. If they like you and think you’re a good fit for the job, they’ll do whatever they can to make sure you get an appointment.

Are You Ready to Work With a Career Coach?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to begin coaching that will differentiate you from other job seekers and help you develop a  job search strategy as you begin your job search.

Other Posts of Interest

Sending Cold Email Introductions

Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Is a Thank You Note Important?

 

 

By |2021-06-14T20:38:08-05:00January 21st, 2020|career search|Comments Off on Getting Past the Gatekeepers to Get a Job Interview
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