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5 Tips for Getting Hired During COVID + 25 Remote Roles Available Now

The news broke today that the U.S. unemployment rate had reached 14.7% — the highest rate since the Great Depression. This information can be both affirming (knowing that, as the CEO of AirBnB told the employees he had to let go earlier this week, "This is not your fault") and daunting, as you realize just how much competition there must be for open roles.

And while more Americans are actively searching for jobs than we've seen in decades, there are still companies hiring. If you're smart in your search — both in the roles you look for, and how you present yourself — you can get a foot in the door at a company that hasn't been brought to a halt by this pandemic.

Here are 5 tips from our Senior Talent Advocate, Abigail Vachon, for getting hired in the midst of COVID-19. For more tips, check out this 30-minute Q&A with our Director of Recruiting Amy Trappey.

(And be sure to scroll to the bottom of this piece to see 25 of the remote roles posted on PowerToFly within the last week spanning writing, sales, marketing, and more!)

1. Level up your skills.

Abbie's advice? "Use this time wisely! Try to get more experience by participating in open source projects (GitHub, etc.) so that when you're reaching out to programs, they can see you've been staying busy."

There's only so much time you can spend re-tweaking your resume and LinkedIn. One of the best ways to land a new job is to leverage your time to learn new skills or to improve upon your existing ones. Just Google "free courses during COVID-19" and you'll find a plethora of options — including ones that previously would have cost you a pretty penny just a few months ago.

This isn't to say that anyone expects you to be at your most productive during this time of uncertainty, or to accept doing work for free indefinitely, but by taking courses and contributing to projects, you not only grow your own skillset and make yourself a more attractive candidate, you grow your network, too! You never know who you might meet when you drop into an online course or offer your skills to help with an open source project. It could be the very thing that leads to your next job (which brings us to point #2).

2. Don't knock on the front door, find ways to slide in the back.

We all know that submitting a resume and cover letter online is frustrating even in the best of times — how many times do you click "apply" and never hear back? In not-so-great times like these, that only becomes more true.

So we recommend getting creative and finding ways to connect with folks at companies before you apply. Building a connection who could end up referring you to the company will dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview.

Abbie's top tip for making these connections? "Register to attend our events! Virtual (or live, when things go back to normal!) events are a great way to help show the company that you're seriously interested in getting connected with them."

3. Don't be scared to pivot industries.

If you work(ed) in an industry that has been particularly hard-hit by COVID, don't be afraid to pivot. You may be surprised by just how many of your skills are transferable (think moving from in-person events to a tech company that needs a virtual community manager).

As Abbie explains: "Remember that what you choose to do while we're in this crazy period does not need to be what you do forever. If the job/industry that you were laid off from is something that you love and want to continue to pursue - do so! If there's something that you've been interested in but haven't had the ability to explore a different direction before, now may be a good time to see what opportunities are available if you were to pivot. These are uncertain times, but they won't last forever so if you need to make a different choice just 'for now' - that's okay too!"

A pivot doesn't have to mean a permanent shift. But it can help you land a job much faster by focusing your search on industries (think pharmaceuticals, grocery stores, tech, medicine) that are still actively hiring.

If you've been contemplating making a career shift for a while now, this may be the perfect time to go for it, given that when the job market is tough, the opportunity cost for going back to school is actually lower. In Abbie's words, "If you're just waiting to be rehired but there's something else you'd rather be pursuing professionally - do it. Or at least, investigate if it could be a viable option... You can use this time to explore other options that may be more appealing to you so when we come out of this economic down turn, you're well placed to move forward."

And if you decide a pivot is exactly what you need, be sure to check out these tips how to pivot careers successfully from our career coach.

4. Optimize your LinkedIn and leverage your network.

A good resume is key to landing your next role, but you should go one step further and leverage your resume to make sure your LinkedIn is up to snuff as well. Abbie recommends:

1) Uploading your updated resume to your LinkedIn.

2) Ensuring your LinkedIn is searchable to recruiters. At a minimum, you need "good keywords related to your industry/skillset listed in your skills section, 'About Me,' and/or in the areas where you describe what you've done in a certain job," she says.

That said, arguably the best way you can use LinkedIn is to ask your network for help. That's exactly what Natalie Marciniak, who was laid off from her job as an Onboarding Manager at a fitness company in California, did earlier this week. Within minutes, she had connections from all aspects of her life commenting and offering help. As she says, "It would be silly to not be vulnerable enough to try to use the network you've built over the years. Times like these are, essentially, what your network is for!"

There is NO SHAME in admitting that you're on the job market right now, and more than ever before, people are looking for ways to help. So don't be scared to say publicly what you're going through, what you're looking to do next, what your skills are, and what you need. You may be VERY pleasantly surprised by the responses you get.

Need additional inspiration? You can view Natalie's example here.

5. Do your due diligence before you apply.

Last but not least, you should be strategic in your approach. Applying to roles takes time, and rather than just uploading a resume to every open job you see that matches your skills, you can avoid investing time in less-than-promising prospects by doing a bit of quick research on the job/company before you apply. Ask yourself:

  • How old is the posting? (If > 30 days, it may well be an old, inactive posting that a recruiter forgot to take down).
  • How is the company doing? Google the company before you apply — if they've done mass layoffs, you will be able to find news articles reporting this easily enough. Have connections at the company? Reach out and ask them how the company has been impacted by COVID.
  • How many open roles are listed on the company's site? If they only have one or two openings listed, this may actually be a good sign, notes Abbie: "They may have paired down the roles for which they're hiring. If you only see a couple, those may be considered 'critical roles' and so are worth applying for because those would be the ones they'd still need to fill."

Another way to ensure you're applying to current jobs? Subscribe to job alerts from job search platforms. (If you'd like to be alerted when a company posts a role on PowerToFly) that matches your skillset, you can subscribe to our weekly job alerts here!)


Ready to hit the ground running with your search? We've compiled a list of remote/flexible roles posted on PowerToFly within the last week to help you get a jump start!

25 Remote Jobs Available Now

MURAL Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina(flexible) see details »
MURAL Remote see details »
MURAL Argentina(flexible) see details »
Dell Technologies Palo Alto, CA, United States(flexible) see details »
Dell Technologies Palo Alto, CA, United States(flexible) see details »
Facebook, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA, United States(flexible) see details »
MongoDB Remote see details »
Microsoft Corporation San Francisco, CA, United States(flexible) see details »
Okta, Inc. Seattle, WA, United States(flexible) see details »
Okta, Inc. San Francisco, CA, United States(flexible) see details »
Spotify New York City, NY, United States(flexible) see details »
Spotify New York City, NY, United States(flexible) see details »
Elastic United States(flexible) see details »
Elastic United States(flexible) see details »
PagerDuty Remote see details »
Flatiron Health, Inc. Remote see details »
Shogun Remote see details »
Shogun Remote see details »
Shogun Remote see details »
Facebook, Inc. London, United Kingdom(flexible) see details »
Facebook, Inc. London, United Kingdom(flexible) see details »
Google LLC see details »
PagerDuty Remote see details »
StockX LLC Remote see details »
Contrast Security Remote see details »

All Jobs on PowerToFly All Remote Jobs on PowerToFly


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