Searching for a new job during a pandemic

Friday, April 17, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 16

Remember last year’s great job market? We all knew it would slow at some point, but who could have imagined the economy would come to a screeching halt because of a global pandemic?

My heart goes out to you if you’ve lost your job to this crisis. You might wonder when in the world you’ll be able to look for jobs again. When will companies be hiring?

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is many companies have put hiring on hold until things settle down with the pandemic. The good news is companies are still hiring.

I have seen companies that are continuing to interview and hire candidates in the last few weeks. This is especially true for two categories: Essential workers and companies that are able to fully work from home. These are two very different ends of the spectrum, but both present opportunities.

LinkedIn has shared that the top 10 in-demand jobs in the United States include store associate, system operator, certified public accountant, health care specialist, construction worker, warehouse manager, psychologist, vehicle mechanic, academic adviser and delivery driver.

The 10 companies with the most open jobs in the U.S. are 7-Eleven, Army National Guard, KPMG, Amazon, Genentech, Lowe’s, HCA Healthcare, Intuit, Whole Foods and Sherman Williams.

If you need to look for a new job, try to keep going. Don’t stop. There are two places to focus first: Your resume and your LinkedIn profile.

Update your resume to include your work experience, skills and strengths, and computer software knowledge. Update your LinkedIn with similar information, but be sure to include a photo. You want to show employers that you’re a real person.

And, if you can, get former colleagues to leave reviews for you on LinkedIn about your work.

Once you have these pieces together, it’s time to apply.

One of my favorite sites to look for job postings is LinkedIn. You can sort them by when they were posted, including as recently as the last 24 hours. That will give you a good idea of what is really open. Apply online. Then, try to look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn and send them a note, too. It can often help to put you ahead of the line.

And, despite everything, companies are interviewing candidates by phone, Zoom and Skype. Companies also are giving job offers remotely. And, they’re onboarding new employees from home.

Not every company is hiring, but you may surprised at how many are. Companies have goals too, and they’re preparing to move full steam ahead once the pandemic is behind us. Now is the time to get started so you’ll be ready when the dust settles.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at