If you’re searching for a job right now, chances are you’re facing challenges no one could ever prepare you for. The job market is changing with every breaking news headline, and companies are adapting to what “working during a global pandemic” looks like.
But don’t panic — there are still open roles across many industries waiting to be filled by eager applicants. We’re here to give you new, creative ways to stand out as the best candidate for your next job. (Did we mention that we’re hiring?)
Step 1: Build a portfolio
Most recruiters want to see samples of your work before they interview you. If your job falls within content marketing, for example, stay prepared by having a variety of pieces on hand that best depict your skills. (Think: long-form articles, email campaigns and editing work.)
If you’re a designer, pick out your most prized logos, campaigns, wireframes and more, and have a quick description prepared for each piece. You should feel confident and ready to explain the strategy, execution and results for everything in your portfolio.
For more tips, check out these suggestions from some of RV’s most seasoned design professionals.
Step 2: Take online courses
If you’re not currently working full time, you might be spending the majority of your time applying to jobs—which makes sense. But it’s also a good idea to carve out some time to take online courses and boost your skills.
Your resume will stand out even more among other applicants with additional certifications, projects, and coursework. Plus, when you talk to recruiters, you can tell them about the new experiences you’ve gained despite not having a job.
Consider browsing Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare to find courses relevant to your field. If the number of options feels overwhelming, check out Class Central, a search engine and reviews site for free online courses.
Step 3: Attend digital conferences
If you have the time and financial resources to attend digital conferences, do it. You’ll learn new skills, participate in workshops and hear inspiring speakers. Be sure to take notes during the conference, and remember to connect with other attendees afterward. You might even be able to network with top professionals in your industry, which brings us to our next tip.
Step 4: Use your network
You already have a network of professionals, whether you realize it or not. You probably have old classmates from high school or college, coworkers from a previous job, extended family members, the mom of the kid you used to babysit—you get the point. Professional connections are all around you, so don’t be afraid to use them.
We recommend following experts in your industry on LinkedIn and keeping up with their work. Get comfortable reaching out to people you know (and don’t know) to ask about jobs, companies and if they know of any open roles.
Step 5: Be proactive
Show recruiters and hiring managers you are open to and excited for opportunities. Update your LinkedIn profile to “Open to Work” and be sure your profile’s “About” section clearly explains what skills you can bring to a new job.
You can also set up job alerts on LinkedIn, Indeed and other job sites so you’ll be the first to know if new roles are available. Additionally, you can reach out to companies directly, even if they don’t have open roles posted. They’ll probably be impressed with your initiative and might keep you in mind for future openings.
Step 6: Be willing to take a temporary job
Of course having a stable job with great benefits and a million perks sounds nice, but sometimes it’s OK to take on a temporary job while you search for your dream job. While a short-term role might be slightly different from what you had in mind, temporary jobs can still give you relevant experience, additional work for your portfolio and a paycheck.
Step 7: Nail the interview
Interviews can always be pretty nerve-wracking, but throw a pandemic into the mix, and you’ve got yourself some (understandable) anxiety. We asked two of our recruiters to share their advice to help you stay cool, calm and collected for your next interview, whether it’s virtual or in-person. With their help, you’ll leave your conversations with the hiring team feeling like the job is already in the bag. Check out our blog post filled with tips and tricks to nail your next interview.