If you’ve ever stepped out of the workforce for a long period, you know that re-entering the workforce is no easy feat. It can be especially difficult for older adults who may encounter age discrimination or skill gaps.
In the face of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a whole new level of challenges is presented to older adults trying to get hired. Many businesses are currently closed or slowed. And, options may be limited due to the threat of the virus.
The most important thing to do now is to stay safe. Times may be tough, but they are temporary. Avoid risky situations as we work towards getting on the other side of the crisis.
Tips for getting hired during the Pandemic
Whether you have been trying to re-enter the workforce before the Pandemic or you lost your job because of it, getting hired right now may not be easy.
Many employers have had to cancel and reschedule interviews due to social distancing. On the other hand, opportunities have increased in some areas and may be popping up depending on where you live.
Don’t let the current uncertain times get you down. There are several things you can do to leverage resources and set yourself up for success. Try these tips for when looking for a job during the Pandemic.
Take advantage of downtime
Our day-to-day lives can be busy and distract us from the things we need to do. The stay at home order has disrupted many of these activities and slowed down life momentarily.
Use your extra free time to improve your job searching tools. Be sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are updated and free of errors. It’s also a good time to connect with references who can vouch for your ability to get the job done.
Research which industries are hiring
The Pandemic has caused an influx in some positions that help meet our country’s needs throughout the crisis. Some industries have not been hit as hard as others.
Customer service and warehouse workers, package handlers, accountants, and health care workers are just a few industries that may be hiring. Take a look at how your experience fits into these roles when applying for jobs.
While your dream job might not be available right now, something you may have never thought of could be. Your job search depends on how well your skills align with open positions.
Getting an Interview
An interview is your first opportunity to make a personal impression on the employer. Our current situation, however, will mean adjusting the interview process.
Many individuals are working as remotely as possible. Your interview will likely be done by phone or video. If you have a phone interview, be sure you are in a quiet area that is free of distractions. You will want to do the same for a video chat interview, as well as be sure you look professional.
Not sure how to use video chat for an interview? Brush up on how-to articles or videos before the interview. Ask a friend or family member to help you and practice using video with someone you know before you talk with the employer.
If you are going on an in-person interview, take appropriate safety measures and maintain social distancing. Avoid shaking hands with the employer, and don’t feel hesitant to explain that you are trying to protect yourself and others.
Following up with employers
The Pandemic has many people working from home and swamped with tasks. Hiring may be slower than normal. While you want to follow up periodically, show employers you respect their time by not overwhelming them with inquiries.
If you are trying to get hired during the Pandemic, you will need to think outside the box. It is not business as usual right now, and creativity will be key to successfully find a job.
This time might be perfect for improving your skills and growing professionally. Many online trainings are free and can make you more marketable.
You could also enroll in a program to help you grow your skills. For example, VANTAGE Aging’s Senior Community Service Employment Program provides paid training and opportunities to earn certifications to older Ohioans who want to re-enter the workforce. While you may not be able to do on-site training at this time, you can participate in free, industry-recognized training from your home.
As the crisis unfolds, we see our communities coming together to solve problems and help others. See how your skills fit into the bigger picture.
You may be able to help a company temporarily or part-time. Volunteering can also help you grow skills and build your resume for future job opportunities.
While the COVID-19 crisis has brought on tough times, we are all in this together. Do what you can to stay safe, kind, and sanitary – and stay positive about your job search.