Top Ten Job Interview & Search Tips In The Wake Of Coronavirus Layoffs
Though our focus at Henry A. Davidsen is on clothing and image, that’s simply the medium through which we realize our raison d’etre: helping people. Helping men realize their potential by harnessing the power of their image is at the core of our mission.
One thing that COVID-19 has taught us is that, for the past 102 years, we have managed to avoid pandemics and the devastation that ensues from them. We’ve been very fortunate on that front up until now.
We’re also learning that pandemics aren’t just public health issues. They can and do wreak havoc on economies, and we’ve seen in barely two weeks that the fallout from this is massive. While many of us are lucky enough to be able to telecommute to our “new normal,” there are thousands of workers who simply can’t. They’ve been furloughed, laid off, or worse, terminated.
We want to help. With these now out-of-work workers in mind, we’ve compiled a short list of helpful interview tips. While this is a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, it’s our sincerest hope that even just reading this will get you into a mindset that helps attract potential employers.
How To Look For A Job
- Apply for unemployment assistance through your State or municipality if you need to and it’s available. You’ll need time, and this will literally help you buy it. You’ll interview better when you’re more relaxed, and having some income will reduce stress and help you feel more relaxed.
- Continue to nurture relationships, because they’re everything. As the world has moved online, it’s arguably more important than ever to maintain your relationships. The old adage of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” holds truer than ever. We like to expand that one step further and add, “But more importantly, it’s about who knows you!” In the absence of physical facetime, making it a point to maintain your contact list virtually can make all the difference between hearing about an opening or not. Humans are social animals, and we need to talk, especially during this unprecedented time. Free video chat services like FaceTime and Google Hangouts can be indispensable. At a minimum, send an email to say hello, or message someone to check in on them and their family.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Some of us are better at LinkedIn than others, sure. Regardless of how well you utilize it, it can be a powerful tool for visibility, particularly as recruiters, interviewers, and other HR professionals are still doing their jobs during the coronavirus shutdown. Make sure your information is current and that you have the best photo possible as your profile picture – this means clear, well-lit, and professionally appropriate based on the norms of your industry (and yes, we’re here to help you determine what that means).
- Update your resume and cover letter template. If you’re unsure as to the best way to do this, go to websites like indeed.com or careerbuilder.com, which offer free “resume building” services.
- Update your skill set. If you’ve ever thought, “I’d love to do XYZ high-paying job, but I just don’t have the credentials/training to do it,” then this is your time. Hopefully this is the last pandemic we’ll see in our lifetime, so this should be your only opportunity to dedicate this much time to a new skill. Learn Excel. Enroll in a coding class. Start the basics of IT help desk work. Pick up a trade, or get that degree you never finished. Whatever it is, ask, “What do I want to do, and what’s keeping me back?” Reverse engineer your path from there.
- Volunteer (while maintaining social distance). Find ways to give back to your community, assuming it’s safe to do so from a public health perspective. Volunteering will put you in front of, and alongside, many different people you wouldn’t have otherwise met, and this can have far-reaching positive effects on your job search. Strike up conversations with the people you volunteer with, and expand your circle.
How To Interview For A Job
- Show up five or ten minutes early. This in-real-life wisdom absolutely translates to online interviews. If you’re waiting on a phone call, make sure you are ready to receive that call a few minutes before it happens. If you’re logging onto a video call, log in early if you’re able.
- Dress like it’s a physical interview. We mention this in our post about staying productive when working from home: shower, dress, and groom exactly as you would if we weren’t living through a pandemic. Yes, it’s important to do this even if it’s just a phone call. The way you dress and groom yourself has numerous subconscious effects. If you dress like a professional (shirt, jacket, and tie), you’re going to sound more like one on the phone, and thus better position yourself to get to the next step of the interview process. If you’re on a video call, the interviewer will immediately notice the attention to detail. Studies have shown that when candidates show attention to detail, it hurts their chances of advancement exactly 0% of the time.
- Brag (professionally). This is your chance to tout your achievements and work ethic. If you’ve lost work because of the coronavirus shutdown, this is an opportunity to bring your “stick-to-it-iveness” to the forefront of a conversation. Nothing says “I welcome challenges” like pressing on during a global pandemic.
- Follow through, follow up. If you’ve gotten an interview in this time of unprecedented craziness, you’ve hit just the right combination of luck and perseverance. Don’t squander it with lackluster follow-up. A handwritten note thanking your interviewer for his/her time has always gone far. In a time when electronic communication rules the day, a handwritten note that arrives via USPS will stick out in your interviewer’s mind much more than a copied-and-pasted email.
As a society, we are in uncharted waters. We’ve experienced pandemics and we’ve lived through more than one major hit to the economy, but never at the same time. We at Henry A. Davidsen know that times are challenging, and we are here to help as much as possible.
If you have questions about how to prep for an interview, what to wear, or anything else that comes to mind, reach out to us at 215-253-5905 or at email@example.com. Just because we’re working remotely doesn’t mean that we can’t be of service to you.