In the US, the number of unemployed is coming down, which is welcome news. However the unemployment rate is still 8.4% as of August 2020, whereas it hovered around 4% between August 2018 and February 2020. Overall, around 22 million Americans lost their job during the pandemic. Nearly half of those people have now returned to work, but there remain hundreds of thousands who are still unemployed and looking for work. It’s a challenging time for many.
With that in mind, we wanted to give some help if you find yourself in that position, and put together our ultimate guide to landing a job this fall. So here it is!
Tip 1: Stay positive and don’t take anything personally
This is not going to be an easy time for anyone at any level, so the first thing to do is realise that you are not alone in this situation. Stories have already abounded of people who applied for hundreds of jobs and failed to hear back. While utterly dispiriting, it is worth remembering that there is a great deal of luck involved and so this has nothing to do with who you are.
If you happened to be in the first handful of resumes or applications that employers found, then you are much more likely to be called for an interview than the others. If you are one of the others, that is not your fault.
Tip 2: Keep an eye on the bigger picture
Part of keeping positive is about seeing the overall picture start to improve. While job vacancies took a hit as companies held tight during the start of lockdown, they are climbing back up. Companies are starting to hire in greater volume and you can keep an eye on this number by looking at our Job Market Updates on Youtube here.
Tip 3: Look out for an economic stimulus and job announcements
With the economy taking time to return to a normal level, at the time of writing, there is an upcoming vote in the Senate on an economic stimulus package. There isn’t a full array of details at the moment, but if it is targeted at stimulating businesses, pay attention to what areas and sectors they are targeting and look to see if it can affect you.
In the current absence of these packages, look at announcements from large companies about new hiring plans. Large companies like Amazon have increased their hiring even more to meet the demand of remote distribution of goods. If you can keep on top of these announcements, it’s a source of good news (good for mental health) and also an opportunity for new employment.
Tip 4: Be the first to know about job alerts with Adzuna’s email alerts
We may be biased, but we think Adzuna is the best place to look for jobs! One of the main reasons is that we bring together jobs from as many different sources into one place, meaning that you can see everything there is.
Simply search for a job title and a location, and set up an email alert for that search and you’ll get email alerts with new jobs. Being among the first to know may help you be one of the first applications that a company sees.
On top of this, ensure you have the Adzuna app on your phone for easy searching and alerts. You can download it on Android or iOS at the usual places, or click on the links there.
Tip 5: Widen your search
Finding and landing the perfect job is difficult at the best of times, and we know that certain compromises will have to be made, either on location or job type. Be willing to expand your search to a commutable distance, or see if you can find remote jobs that might be being advertised as US-wide.
Beyond that, try searching for different roles. Some sectors such as Logistics and Warehouse have increased their hiring, while others such as Travel took a hit. Try a few different searches and see if you can find something to keep you going.
Tip 6: Polish your resume and your online presence
If you’re not sure what sort of jobs you should be applying for, or even what sort of salary you should be going for, then try our ValueMyResume tool. It looks for keywords and skills in your salaries and tries to match you to existing job profiles so you can get an understanding of what sort of jobs match your skills.
Try it out, it’s free! It even can identify some common errors in your resume (if there are any!).
On top of that, depending on the type of jobs you want to go for, you may want to put together a social media profile on LinkedIn or Twitter to make sure that you are being seen by potential hiring managers. Include them on your resume, and ensure that your profiles are showing you in the best professional light.
If you can start posting to promote yourself and what you’ve done, you never know who might see it!
Tip 7: Practice your video interview skills
If you’ve got to the interview stage and it’s being conducted via video, then well done! And don’t worry, we’ve put together this guide at the start of lockdown for Skype and Zoom interviews.
Tip 8: Consider startups and SMEs
When lockdown first happened, a large portion of people started to look for jobs with companies that they had already heard of – supermarkets, delivery businesses. But going for smaller, and technologically dynamic companies might be an option if you’ve got the drive. It might even be the start of a permanent career!
Tip 9: Look at ways to expand your resume – for free (or very cheap)!
With more and more jobs being read initially by systems looking for keywords, being able to add some online courses that you have taken will help you get through this initial obstacle, and more than that will show that you are being dynamic about learning skills that will make you employable.
This Reddit thread from a few years ago is a good place to start and try and learn some skills that might help land you that job. But look at online course providers such as Udemy for more suggestions if you want to expand your skill set into a new area. On top of that Google has a bunch of free courses to check out.
Tip 10: Be prepared that it might take a while
Hopefully all these tips will help you find a job quickly, but it may not. Even a successful job application can take weeks to go from stage to stage, or it could be incredibly quick. Don’t lose heart if things take a bit of time to get off the ground, but try to take some lessons if you do experience setbacks.
Stay positive, stay friendly, and keep trying is the best advice. But also make sure you take some time to look after yourself. Whether that means exercising, eating properly, and just taking breaks where you are not focused on job-hunting, all of this will allow you to keep your mood and your appetite up. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Good luck. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you!