How to look for a job during the Coronavirus outbreak
As the world is locking down over the recent coronavirus outbreak, many people are losing jobs, being made redundant and having their contracts cancelled.
I too fit into that category, just as everyone has been asked to work from home I got the phone call to say that my main client has cancelled my contract. My main source of income is providing software engineering and developer operations services for companies looking to increase there skills.
It’s a very stressful time, finding a job in the current climate is going to be extremely complicated, and you really are going to need to stand out more than ever!
Where do I start?
Well my first thought was LinkedIn, which really made me feel more worried. The sheer amount of other people in a similar situation, being recently cut by their employer or having their contract cancelled unsettled me.
LinkedIn has proved to be a great source of work for me in the past, and I have managed to find some leads, but if like me you want to stand out, there are a few things you need to do:
Update your CV, and make it stand out!
Your CV needs to stand out above the rest, and ways to do this would be to step up the layout, don’t just use a basic boring template, use something thats not the norm, but still keep it professional.
Make sure the CV is targeted to the role you want to walk into. The skills and achievements that are most relevant should be at the top, and if you have a huge list of skills, remove some of the less relevant to the role you want to apply for.
Follow-up applications, chase agencies and clients
In these trying times, there is a lot of competition. Make sure to follow-up each tailored CV application by telephoning the specific contact at the agency or client;
Expect for them to be extremely busy, but by chasing them, you are showing your enthusiasm and hopefully they will return the favour by getting back to you, even if the answer is a no. Getting on the phone and having a conversation with the client or agent is usually the best way, as everybody tends to have a long backlog of emails!
Secure an interview
Once you are in front of a client at interview (most likely over video chat at the moment), you know you are in the short list. Try to speed up this process by offering to do the initial phone conversation as soon as possible, so that you can get in front of them and sell yourself.
Don’t focus so much on bargaining over rates or salary, as long as you are the right candidate and the the ball park range is close enough, the salary or rate negotiations can happen afterwards.
Smash the interview
Make sure before the interview you have all the information you need, such as researching what the client does, its needs and its latest news. Be proactive and apply sales techniques to control the interview.
The main purpose of the interview is for them to hire the ‘best fit’. The ‘best fit’ could be a back room technical geeky genius or someone less technical and more business aware. You’ll need to gauge this at the interview.
Don’t focus so much on why the role would be good for you and what you would get out of it and never try to pretend that you know something that you don’t. You will be caught out. No one hires a blagger.
Follow up on the interview
Make sure you chase up with the agency or client, to agree next steps and timings. You can pretty much tell from the kind of feedback you receive from the agent or client what the likely outcome is going to be.
Nobody wants to waste their own time, and they don’t want to waste your time, so by following up you close that loop early if there is no interest.
Remember to target the job you want
A targeted search will yield results. Scattergunning as many jobs as possible without any real thought will leave you applying for multiple positions without winning any for potentially long periods.
I am still looking for clients, if you are interested in hiring me for a software engineering role, you can contact me on linked in.