• Yulkendy Valdez

Getting a job during COVID-19 is not impossible: 4 things you should do now, you did not do before

Time changes everything. Three months ago, kicking off your career and finding a job seemed like a given. A generational gift allotted to the next wave- millennials and gen-zs - who have the superpowers to get any job they want and hop from company to the next because they want to.

It was a well wrapped-gift that we kept on giving.

In reality, it was a well-wrapped lie. As a society, we want to believe that we made it and that our jobs are safe and that opportunity is for everyone, but in reality, we are not there yet.

Our young people are the ones that are most vulnerable to this misconception, especially during a pandemic, because in reality just like everyone, they want stability more than anything.

A job is not a luxury, even to young people. A good job is a basic human need to survive in today’s society.

Some find themselves as the sole provider in the family.

Some find themselves in a job they hate which ends up compromising their mental health.

Some find themselves getting terrible pay and benefits.

Some find themselves being furloughed or laid off.

Some find themselves not getting a job at all because they don’t have the proper work visa, or they are just not a “cultural fit”.

The list goes on…..

I put together 4 best practices that you should leverage to land your next role:

1. Leverage as many job databases as possible. Filter job postings by location, role, and starting dates.

🔍 LinkedIn Jobs - LinkedIn has a quick apply option, but to ensure success, you should also apply directly to the company’s website.

🔍 Google Jobs - My personal favorite, because you are able to easily filter jobs depending on your needs and basically aggregates every opportunity in the whole wide world.

🔍 Jopwell - If you are looking for companies that are committed to Diversity & Inclusion, check out Jopwell. They also have a good-looking career portal which we know is not the norm.

🔍WayUp - Another career website with a great user interface; they also specialize in your first job right out of college.

🔍The Muse - The Muse is great because there is also a lot of content on the company and their culture which gives you a better idea of where you will want to work.

🔍Handshake - Every higher educational institution has Handshake at this point, so it is good to get familiar with it.

🔍Indeed - Indeed is a classic resource that hasn’t gone out of style, so make sure you still leverage it on your job search.

🔍 Your college or bootcamp career portal, even if you are already an alumnus.

2. Keep track of open jobs and applications submitted in an excel spreadsheet. Check out this template available to the public.

You can edit this template and make it your own. Make sure to include the following:

💡 Application due date. I have been there where you miss a deadline for the perfect opportunity. It is a bummer. Make sure you also note these deadlines on your calendar.

💡 Role and Role Description. Pay attention to the keywords they use. If these keywords are not reflective in your resume. You can already say “bye-bye” to the job offer.

💡 Company values and Benefits. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. Take time to reflect on your values and see if they are really aligned with the employers. Also, the more you know about the company, the more likely you are to get a job. It is a win-win.

3. Build relationships and create a network of mentors and sponsors around you. Job applications mean nothing without a referral in today’s job market. With COVID-19, referrals become even more important, as the market becomes more competitive.

📌 Join Slack Channels based on your different affinities. Remember how in school, there was a club for everything. Well, now there is a Slack channel for anything. https://www.sitepoint.com/best-slack-communities/. Special shoutout Techqueria for being experts at creating amazing virtual communities.

📌 Reach out to local industry associations and ask for mentorship. They usually have a chapter for young professionals.

📌Follow people you admire in LinkedIn and track virtual events they are attending. Also follow company pages in social media, as they are always posting events where you can meet employees and find your next referral.

4. Believe in the Science of Luck. It is true what they say “luck is where opportunity means preparation”. Here is how you get lucky according to science:

🍀 Stay curious and observant. I am sure you have a favorite movie that you watched 100 times, but you still find something new. You didn’t realize the main actor’s shoes had the number 99 encrypted on it.

This is the same way you must look at your 100th networking event, 100th interview - with a fresh eye. The second we start losing curiosity, the second we stop getting lucky.

🍀 Tell everybody you are looking for a job. The job search shouldn’t be shameful. It should be sexy. Let’s bring the sexy back because, at the end of the day, this is your life. The more you share, the more it would spread.

The Science of 6 Degrees of Separation is Luck’s third cousin. Remember, referrals and your network are the keys to a happy career where you feel seen, heard, and valued.

Feel free to share with us your job search experience: the good, the bad, and the ugly in the comment section.