The coronavirus pandemic has definitely impacted the world’s economy with many economists projecting that we might be headed towards a recession. Hence, Malaysia is not spared in this gloomy outlook and it would cast a not too positive light on those searching for jobs this year. Below are 5 tips for those of you job hunting during this pandemic!
1) Networking, networking, networking
- The importance of networking has never been so crucial especially during these times. When organizations undergo a hiring freeze or operational cost — cutting, this would often stop them from advertising any vacancies on job portals like Jobstreet or Linkedin.
- Hence, only if hiring managers feel there is a need to hire someone on a case by case basis, they would then make a case to the HR department to open up or increase a vacancy; which is very much a top — down approach.
- Thus, for example, if you are interested in a role in data analytics, it would be recommended to network and connect with the hiring managers in this field via Linkedin or other professional sites, strike up a conversation, or join professional online groups in those areas.
2) Prospect CVs & Speculative Applications
- At least till the end of year 2020, it would remain largely an employer’s market in terms of job search.
- When there are no advertised vacancies, another way would be to send prospect CVs or speculative applications — which basically means writing in and indicating interest to join an organization even if there are no current openings.
- You would be surprised at the success rates of prospect CVs, as it shows to organizations two things; 1) your own initiative and 2) organizations might not previously be made known of a valuable talent like you who are looking out.
- Further, although organizations might not be hiring, connecting with them now would allow them to contact you the moment hiring resumes. This already gives you a head start among other applicants!.
3) Understanding your unique selling points (USPs)
- In this age of the 4th (entering the 5th industrial revolution), it is integral to understand your own skill sets and transferable skills in relation to the role you are applying for.
- Further, making those skill sets known to your employer either during the interview or in your CV and cover letter is essential.
- For example, if you are a Psychology fresh graduate applying for a data analytic role, it is helpful to make clear of your skill sets in relation to research, conceptualizing and making inferences on data, and how this could be transferable to the respective role. If a role requires business development skill sets, then highlighting your own experiences in marketing initiatives during university would be helpful.
- Remember: different role in different organizations would require highlighting on your different USPS, hence researching and doing a job or role analysis is crucial.
4) Standing out in the virtual world
- As most interviews would be done online, it is essential to practice skill sets in relation to phone and video interviews!.
- This is because conversations might not follow as naturally in a virtual interaction, hence it might make be awkward or worse, you are not able to impress on the interviewer in a virtual setting.
- You can find more tips on phone interviews at monster.com/career-advice/article/mastering-the-phone-interview and video interviews at monster.com/career-advice/article/prepare-for-a-video-interview
- Organizations are beginning to open up to more work from home (WFH) options. Companies like Twitter are allowing employees to WFH forever, with Google and Facebook allowing employees to WFH till end 2020. Employees in Silicon Valley are also beginning to move out from Silicon Valley to places with a cheaper rent as there is no need to stay near their physical offices.
- Hence, this pandemic really opens up the conversation and possibility for organizations to have more virtual roles across the globe — so don’t be surprised that roles previously unavailable due to geographical reasons could now be a possibility.
- Lastly, if your job search is taking longer than expected, now is the time to boost up your skillsets through the various free online courses available!.
- Together with Coursera, The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) are also offering free online courses for unemployed workers up till December 2020. More information can be found at mdec.my/digital-economy-initiatives/for-the-people/lets-learn-digital/
- Also, you can find more information on other free online courses here at: themuse.com/advice/14-best-sites-for-taking-online-classes-thatll-boost-your-skills-and-get-you-ahead
Lastly, all the best if you are searching for a job! If you’d like to reach out or be in contact, kindly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Wai Meng Yap, Management Psychologist & Lecturer, HELP University.
About the authors
Wai Meng is a lecturer and management psychologist whose areas of interest lie in work,
management and organisational psychology. He is a certified test user of psychometric
evaluations and psychological testing by the British Psychological Society and holds a Prince 2 certificate in project management. Wai Meng is pursuing his PhD in Applied Psychology in the University of Nottingham.
About Empowering Lives
Sharing ideas on psychology, mental health and well-being from the Department of Psychology, HELP University, Malaysia.