Tips for Your Job Search During COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through the economy and changed how we live and work. The unexpected dive into virtual services, remote work and new technologies have challenged employers and job seekers to adapt. Talent solutions staff with West Michigan Works! (WMW!) share their expertise to assist your job search during COVID.
Andrew Davidson is a career coach at WMW! He works one-on-one with job seekers to prepare them for a successful job search, including interview and resume assistance, referrals to support services and skill assessments.
“Many job seekers are struggling going virtual in almost every aspect of their lives because they don’t have the knowledge or skill when it comes to modern technology,” said Davidson. “They may not have had to use computers or other hardware and software at past jobs or in their personal lives.”
Job Search in a Virtual World
Davidson advises job seekers to learn the basics of the new technology employers are using. Learning new technology can be challenging, but dedicating time now will pay off post-pandemic.
Wave Burns, a career navigator, is one of the first people you might talk to when you call the WMW! service center in northwest Grand Rapids. Wave assesses a job seeker’s needs and determines what information or services would help them meet their employment goals.
“Virtual job fairs and interviews are our reality right now,” said Burns. “Practice using equipment like web cameras, headphones, lighting, etc.”
The demand for workers is currently high in essential industries such as health care, manufacturing, and customer service. For job seekers who might be considering a move to one of these industries, Burns suggests they focus on transferable skills – skills and abilities that are relevant across occupations or industries.
“Look for high-demand jobs in your area that you think you’d feel comfortable working in and that suit your skills. Freshen up your resume to be relevant with the high-demand job opportunities you’ll be applying to.”
– Wave Burns, career navigator at West Michigan Works!
Staying Safe in a New Job
The pandemic also introduced new considerations for the work environment. Job seekers want to know what safety precautions employers have in place to keep employees and their families safe.
“Most people don’t want to be too close to others in a work environment,” said Kesha Sain, a career navigator in the Muskegon service center. “Research! Don’t be afraid to ask employers what safety precautions are in place to keep everyone safe.”
While West Michigan Works! service centers are open limited hours for appointments only, all of their services are offered virtually. Call a service center near you to get started!