As the economic fallout from the pandemic has put nearly 33 million people out of work, you may be trying to figure out how best to start, or restart, your career.
"Now, especially, is a really scary time for recent graduates," says Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach based in Brooklyn, New York. "I remember my own experience as a recent grad, trying to figure out how to look for jobs while dealing with the stress that comes from trying to find the right fit."
"And as we've learned in the last few months, with the power of the internet, I really encourage recent grads and anyone looking for a job to stay focused on leveraging those online tools to build the career that you want," she says.
Here are three ways you can stand out and give yourself the best possible chance in a competitive job market.
While many companies are experiencing hardships, there are many others that are doing well right now. For example, Ernie Tedeschi, economist at financial advisory firm Evercore, told Grow earlier this month that industries that rely on "products or services that are growing in demand over time" can offer career longevity. He called these "recession-resistant jobs" and suggested they're good bets.
Darrisaw offers similar advice. "While there are certainly a lot of companies that are experiencing changes that might result in not opening up job opportunities or furloughs or layoffs, there are also quite a lot of companies that are hiring," she says.
"Narrow in on those companies to see if there are some jobs that you might be passionate about in those fields," she suggests.
Video by Mariam Abdallah
"Networking is always going to be a very key part of developing your personal and professional brand and making sure that you're creating opportunities for yourself," Darrisaw told Grow earlier this year.
"Now more than ever, we're going to have to use digital resources to [extend our networks]," Darrisaw explains. That means exhausting all of your resources by seeking out parents, mentors, and advisors by using social media to establish and strengthen your relationships.
Once you've made a connection, be vocal about your interests and the fact that you are searching for a job.
If you lost a job opportunity or internship due to the pandemic, follow up with your contacts at those companies. "It's very possible that as offices open back up, there might be a need for more talent," Darrisaw says. "So by keeping those relationships intact, you're giving yourself the ability to let them know, 'Hey, I still want to be on your radar and I'm still interested in a position.' And if something does change, they can keep you top of mind."
Being able to leverage social media can help you stand out from other candidates. Having an up-to-date online presence shows employers that you're staying active and engaged during this time.
"If you have ideas for a Twitter campaign or a marketing strategy, go ahead and tweet that," Darrisaw says. "Put a TikTok together of things that the company should be doing, creatively showcasing your passion for the business."
It could also work to create a personal website or reel that demonstrates your experience or ideas for your industry, Darrisaw says. That way, when employers are searching for you, "they'll see that you already have content and that you're already contributing."
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