Job Seeking In Lockdown

Well we are three complete weeks into lockdown now and there is no immediate end in sight. Many of you will be sick of hearing about furlough arrangements for staff and the current groundswell of opinion as to which companies should and shouldn’t make use of the scheme. We already have our first business casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic with pre-pack administrations for high street retailers and brands alike.

Many of us will be attempting to wrestle the latest power cable from the dog or else deal with a persistent child wanting attention while you’re on the phone to the boss!! But what if you have fallen between the gaps of the government safety schemes for employers or what if the results of the current economic outlook make your employment unstable or even worse at risk???

young farther and his little son with smart phone and earphones at home sitting on the floor whilst trying to work from home
Children needing attention when working from home.

We have heard from a number of professional salespeople that are already considering their current positions as they wonder about the recovery ability of the company that they work for.

In fact the number of people currently looking for employments and contracts within the cyber-security field has begun to surprise us as has the fact that the Employers recruiting them are still hard at work recruiting and utilizing the various online methods for interview and appraisal.

So what if you are in one of these positions? What can you do?

Obviously the first point for everyone is to dust off that CV and re-read it. Ask yourself; is it current? Does it give a fair reflection of your talents, and the roles that you have undertaken recently and the responsibilities which you hold? We have written before about the ways you can make your CV stand out from the crowd.

You will also need to realise what your current role gives you, for example the costs of childcare vouchers, Health Insurance, extra pension contributions, cars, mobile phones and computers are all aspects that you will have to consider when evaluating a new job offer, and there is no time like the present to work out for yourself just how much all of these benefits are really worth to you.

Working from home is likely to grow in popularity not only amongst the employees but also the Employers. I was in conversation with a partner at a top accountancy practice only the other day when they said that the productivity and the quality of work being produced by their own staff has risen exponentially when considered against the work that he would have expected while the staff beavered away in the office, he actually used the phrase

‘They beaver away in the office trying to look busy whilst when working from home they can sit down with limited distractions and get on with delivery of the work’.

I wonder just how much of our working day we spend actually working hard and how much we spend chatting and socializing with colleagues? In my view if you find that working from home makes you more productive and that you can manage your time effectively then you should say so in your CV. Let the potential employer know that you are capable and willing to utilize your home office to produce your best work.

Recruitment has not stopped

During the lockdown period, slowed perhaps but certainly not stopped and there are many people who will be looking when the restrictions are over. How can you improve if you have nothing to do?

You’ve probably noticed the plethora of courses that are available on line. Is it a good time to take advantage of them? Well yes, but only if they will enhance skills that you already have. This might sound obvious but there is no point in simply going over old ground. Try and learn something that will enhance your talents and make you more employable. Simple courses in Microsoft word or Microsoft excel might not seem important but they will provide evidence that you can deliver appropriate reports and expenditures. The 5 major providers of free online courses are;

Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online

  • OpenLearn
  • FutureLearn
  • Open2Study
  • Vision2learn

All of these providers have differing rules about who qualifies for free courses and the requirements and level of study are all different but any study or completion of CPD requirement in this time of quiet is to be applauded by not only prospective new employers but also by current employers who should see your commitment and willingness to upskill at a time of great uncertainty.

Now you might think that we recruitment consultants are currently sat on our hands waiting for the pandemic to pass by. You would be wrong. We have seen a marked increase in the number of CV’s that we have received and a significant increase in the number of potential job vacancies that we are looking at. This is because people have more time. Gone is the daily commute where some of us can loose in excess of 2 hours a day and people who have more time can use it to think and be more practical about their aspirations and expectations. We are anticipating a surge in recruitment once this lockdown is over as the economy recovers and people want to utilize their talents and time in other ways, and businesses develop a more relaxed method of working.

What if you’ve got an interview and it is now being held online instead of in person? With the proliferation of new apps for scheduling meetings and face to face virtual appointments you will not be surprised that many employers are now seeking to do more and more interviews on line. I think this is a trend which we will only see grow in the future and that in reality the remote interview is here to stay.

How to prepare

How should you prepare? Well the simple things first make sure that the App works with your computer and that the camera and sound quality are good enough to give a good representation of yourself. There is nothing worse than tech problems when you are at interview stage, and remember that the interviewer will have scheduled their afternoon to hold sometimes as many as 5 interviews, all consecutively, and by having tech issues you will not only be giving a poor impression but will also be reducing the time allocated to your slot.

Make sure that there is a plain background behind you and that the interviewers prime focus when looking at the screen will be on you, and not the collection of plates hanging on your wall or the TV playing in the background. While on the subject of distractions make sure that the kids are occupied and being looked after and will not interrupt, and the same goes for pets and phones, the interviewer will not be impressed if you are distracted from answering their questions if you suddenly break off to let the dog out or answer that text that just arrived. How would you feel … would you think that the candidate wants the job?????

So having checked the tech and sorted the room, make an effort with yourself. Yes you are at home but presentation is everything look smart and brush your hair!!!

Contact us to review your CV and options at info@techniquerecruitment.com

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