Finding a job amid coronavirus is obviously a difficult time for all involved and it’s likely to remain difficult while the world recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some ways to get ahead.
The very first thing to focus on is mindset and approach: if you remain positive and committed to building a personal brand, work you put in now will help get your name in front of the right people in the short, medium and long-term.
If, like so many people, you’re stuck at home and out of work, the best thing to do is take control and make a plan. If you do that, you’ll achieve something every day – the sense of achievement and progress alone is massively important for your mental health.
With that in mind, it’s also a fact of life that responding to job adverts can be soul destroying, with few or no responses from adverts you’ve applied to. It can just compound the feeling of helplessness.
But there is a way to avoid that. Below, Jamie Webber, recruitment director at RedCat Digital, shares his tips for how to network – a method that will help you get ahead of the curve and speak to the right people before a role goes live. He’ll also share tips on how to get your personal brand into the market, a positive move that will have an effect not just now, but for years to come.
Reflect, research and plan
As an example, let’s say you were a Product Manager (Ecommerce) at a travel company. Your experience is not just relevant to the travel sector – travel companies are effectively sales and service organisations, with a strong online presence but also with large call centres and a physical presence on the high street. What other sectors are similar?
- Telecoms (BT, Vodafone, Sky, Carphone Warehouse…)
- Utilities (Centrica, NPower, OVO Energy…)
- Retail banks (RBS, Barclays…)
- Retail (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Argos, ASOS…)
That’s just a few examples from one hypothetical scenario – the list could be endless. Here’s a key tip:
Use LinkedIn to build a list and create a spreadsheet of potential employers to add to your network.
It’s also important at this time not to rule anyone out. For example, although the travel sector has been hit horrendously by the coronavirus, don’t assume that no companies will be hiring. When we get through this – and we will – there will be a spike and travel companies will need to meet what we hope will be a strong demand.
There are two pools of people you need to engage with: potential hiring managers and the talent acquisition teams. For each of the companies you have listed in your spreadsheet, you now have to identify the right people to reach out to in each organisation.
Job titles are very varied, which makes the process slightly more difficult. For hiring managers you’ll need to list multiple points of contact for each organisation. In the Product Manager (Ecommerce) example listed above, add anyone from Head of Digital, Ecommerce Director and Head Of/Director of Product Management. The recruitment contacts are slightly easier to find – internal recruiters will generally have talent acquisition or recruiter/recruitment in their title.
You have now built a market map of relevant companies, who may need your services, either now or in the future.
Imagine a Director of Product Management – an incredibly busy role, where recruitment is a necessary but time consuming part of their role – and then a perfect candidate reaches out to them while they are writing the spec: you could get the role before it’s even released into the market.
The above seems very simple but also pretty daunting.
Where do you start?
The good news is that if you’ve followed this plan, you’ve already prioritised the companies, and the reality is it doesn’t really matter where you start – as long as you are reaching out, you are getting your personal brand into the market.
When you are on LinkedIn, make sure your settings are open so that when you view a profile, the person can see who has viewed them.
Think of Hansel and Gretel and breadcrumbs; you’re leaving a trail with every profile you view.
The unfortunate truth is that searching for a job is a numbers game. By proactively mapping out the market, and not just responding to adverts, you are getting your profile in front of hiring managers before roles become live.
Allocate a set amount of time and reach outs for your job search each day. This is essential for your mental health, because every day you complete a task, you’re making progress. You never know what connection request you’ve sent, email, Inmail or any other form of contact, will be the one that leads to you securing your next job. Importantly, you will also be putting yourself in the minds of hiring managers for future roles.
Every connection request, and message sent, regardless of whether they reply back was worth it.
Networking numbers may be daunting, but they’re also powerful. If you reach out to 25 people per day, you are connecting and engaging with 500 every month. You are truly building your personal brand, and building a network in your market. By having a structure to your day, you can set goals, reach them and hopefully log off spending time with loved ones in a slightly better place.
Live in the moment, plan for the future.
If anyone needs any advice, we are happy to have one-on-one calls with people to offer advice and guidance and help you tailor your own search. Just reach out, we are here to help in any way we can.