Photo by Milkos
Planning and executing a successful job search has never been easy. Add the impact of the pandemic, and the degree of difficulty increases exponentially.
Last week alone, more than 1 million Americans filed for unemployment. In total, nearly 20 million people in the US are looking for work. With all this competition, how will your online presence and personal branding help you stand out? How do you prepare for a job search that is going to be almost 100 percent virtual? And how do you find the companies that are hiring?
In other words: How do you set yourself up for a successful job search in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis?
Our Guest: Robin Ryan, Career Counselor and Author
Robin Ryan, one of the most sought-after career experts in the country, joined us on this episode of #WorkTrends. The Los Angeles Times calls Robin America’s Top Career Expert. She has appeared on over 2,000 TV & radio shows, including Oprah and Dr. Phil. And she is the best-selling author of eight books, including the acclaimed 60 Seconds & You’re Hired.
To start our conversation, I asked Robin about the first step job seekers should take as they launch a successful job search. Not surprising to me, her answer was “networking.” Robin added, “It’s always been networking!”
Robin said that too many job seekers still think all they have to do is go online, click and apply. She then emphasized the importance of making connections: “We know for a fact that networking and referrals is what’s really working. When a referral — somebody you know that knows your work — passes your resume along, you have a 50% chance of getting an interview. And you have a microscopic chance without that referral.”
“So that’s the first thing. Since 70% of all jobs are not advertised, we want people to use their connections… go to LinkedIn — and network.”
Planning a Successful Job Search During the Pandemic
As our conversation continued, I asked Robin how much the job search has changed since the pandemic began. “It is harder, not only for the job seeker… it became extremely difficult for the employer. Employers dislike that they can’t meet you in person. Employers are taking so much longer to make up their minds. It’s not uncommon for people to have to go to six to eight interviews before the company decides.” With all that in mind, I added that the best thing a job seeker can do is make the recruiter’s job easier by making it clear they are the best possible candidate. Robin agrees, and believes this why today’s job seekers must be ready with a “60-second sell.”
“Take your five top selling points, and link them together. In two or three sentences, you provide the answers to the ‘Tell me about yourself’ and ‘Why should I hire you?’ questions.”
Robin and I talked about much more during our conversation, including best practices for resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and the importance of compelling social media profiles. Be sure to listen to the entire interview — and then put Robin’s good advice to work!