Getting Britain back to work post COVID
How to kick-start your career during the COVID-19 pandemic
James Thomas, November 14th 2020
- “ Only 3 months into my 1st job, now I’ve been made redundant, waste of 3 years of studies for a degree …………”
- “As a mum trying to re-enter the job market after caring for my children, I was ignored before COVID , so I’ve no chance now…”
- “I was made redundant at a year ago, at 55 years old, recruiters told me I was classified as being " out of the mainstream" now I suppose I’ll never work again”
Familiar comments? Yes, and frequently heard nowadays – but are they the actuality?
Despite the Government’s attempts to cushion employment with its Post- Furlong schemes, inevitably unemployment figures are rising and low, if any, growth is forecast across most sectors. So, it’s not going to be easy. We are definitely living in an era with an unknown future ahead of us all, unprecedented in recent times.
But it is important to remain positive, focused and believe that remember that the economy will recover and you will bounce back. How exactly are you going to change that tune and get back up top?
Focus on what exactly, you might ask?
Think short-term it’s about the here and now.
What can you be doing over the next 30 – 120 days? Can you be creative? Use your time to seek out new opportunities, or even reconsider an opportunity that you may have previously dismissed. We all have skills which, although sometimes not obvious to us, can be made better use of or applied creatively in new sectors.
- Were you a senior crewing scheduler for an airline, with fantastic logistics organisational skills that could be applied in running an Amazon distribution centre?
- Are your caring skills transferable to the multi-roles being searched for in the NHS as it recruits across all disciplines to ensure we are prepared for the oncoming winter and beyond?
- Could your I.T. prowess be invaluable in another discipline other that your degree, or help a new start-up business ? Have you considered volunteering some free time in helping essential services charities to gain additional insight and skills?
Whilst key industries such as Aviation, Hospitality, Catering and traditional retail have slumped, others have thrived and grown across the country. The growth in online-retailing has boosted the demand for products and services from distribution giants, such as Amazon and the Royal Mail, plus all the major supermarkets for home delivery.
Additionally, technology driven companies are seeking talent to train and employ for all kinds of positions ranging from food preparation, designing computer games to data scientists.
Remember, as these are short-term measures, a prospective employer will not look at you unfavourably if you seek a job outside your skills sets or chosen career pathway. On the contrary, this positive attitude may even enhance your CV, illustrating your resourcefulness and therefore make you more marketable.
Talking about C.V.’s , now’s the opportune time to rework and enhance yours – it may be stating the obvious, but a well written CV and cover letter will always rise above the rest, irrespective of the type of job or career that you are applying for. If you don’t have experience of this, please don’t ignore it, seek assistance. **
Of course you will need to highlight your relevant experience & qualifications but also skills or attributes which could bring value to an organisation. This needs to be presented and formatted in an -easy-to read format. The narrative needs to be factual but captivating to the reader, to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
As most recruiters nowadays will receive an enormous volume of applicants, many will use applicant processing tools, some of which use Artificial Intelligence to perform initial screening. You don’t want to miss this boat in this exercise, so make sure that you’ve understood the job requirements and that your C.V. reflects them.
However, remember there is no one correct format for a C.V. so don’t be intimidated by Companies promoting this fact!*
*firstname.lastname@example.org" email us if you need help
Time for your virtual interview
Remember the three P’s , Preparation Practice and Patience - all of which will put you in good stead for your interview, which nowadays most likely will be virtual, either via video call, phone call or both.
These simple guidelines will help you:
- Behave as you would if face-to-face. i.e be punctual, act naturally & be appropriately dressed.
- Make friendly eye contact, try to relax and be aware of your body language
- Be positive and enthusiastic, answer the questions but don’t be tempted to waffle away!
Prepare a quiet, tidy, well-lit space to practise, and ensure that you’re not interrupted
If possible, film and record yourself, and adjust and improve from that recording. If a telephone interview, have all documents ready i.e. your CV & , Job description. Learn about the company beforehand from its website, what it does and where, and prepare and practice any questions that you have for the interviewer .
We all hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will pass, the economy will recover and that all companies will begin to rehire; but until then – think NOW, short-term, be creative, enhance your CV and prepare for a brighter future.
**Bridge of Hope can help you re start your careers by matching you with a more progressive and forward-thinking organisation that is looking to reshape their Diversity and Inclusion talent pathways.
To find out more contact:
James Thomas, Head of Employment Services