It’s not easy being unemployed right now, with all the uncertainties the lockdown has created, companies are cutting back on their staff and spending. It is important to still find ways to make yourself attractive to future employers. We give you a few tips on what to do if you’re unemployed during the coronavirus lockdown.
Use this time to ask yourself important questions
Use this time to learn more about you. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Did you enjoy the job you were doing before you became unemployed during the coronavirus lockdown ?
Sometimes people find themselves doing jobs that they actually hate, but only do it for the money it brings in. Wouldn’t it be great if you actually identify something you enjoy doing? Do you have enough knowledge and the right skills to apply for roles in your desired sector? If not, see if there are online courses you can do.
Improve your skills if you are unemployed whilst in lockdown
Use this free time to improve your skills. Learn more about the industry you are interested in etc. And consider online training courses. The UK Department for Education is launching a collection of job-related online courses designed to improve furloughed workers’ skills. They include teaching numeracy, coding and internet skills.
Those offering these courses include Google and The Open University.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has urged furloughed employees to, “Improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health so they have skills they need to succeed after the coronavirus outbreak.”
Practice your video interviewing skills
Many people dread interviews as they can be nerve racking especially during desperate times, but what we find people hate even more is video interviews. If you happen to be those of us who prefer to walk into an office than switch on your camera, then now is the time to start practising.
Set the scene: choose an area or room that is mess-free and set your camera. Are you comfortable with the image? Is the lighting and your background both good? Once you have it all fixed, call a friend (or family member) and get them to interview you. You can provide them with typical questions you may get asked during an interview. Or perhaps your interviewer prefers to challenge you.
As you practice, overtime your anxieties about video interviews will disappear and you will see yourself more confident.
Grow your online presence if you’re unemployed
You may not be able to go out there and meet recruiters, but you can still get connected. Make use of social media and connect with hiring managers and recruiters. By staying connected, you will see when they are looking for employees. It’s also a chance for you to work on your networking skills and widen your industry contacts. So, connect with those working in the sector/s you are interested in.
If you can post links to your work on your profile, do so. Also, get involved in online discussions by providing your opinions and knowledge on the subjects discussed. Quora is one such place where opinions and knowledge on a variety of subjects is sought after. You can easily share your comments on your social media pages, too.
Join freelance platforms
Are there any skills or knowledge you can trade? There are plenty of skills desired by small businesses, including marketing, copywriting and online teaching that you can do from home.
Join freelance platforms, and create a winning profile that attracts attention, then start selling your skills.
Produce a winning CV and cover letter
As you wait for things to get back into normal state, you can use all the free hours you have to write a winning CV and cover letter. Follow our step-by-step guide here to write a great CV.
As for cover letters, write one tailored to each job you want to apply for. Perhaps you’re a copywriter, but you also have experience in marketing. Tailor one for marketing roles and one for copywriting roles. Of course, you can mention that you have copywriting experience in your marketing cover letter, but focus on your marketing achievements and skills.
Focus on your hobbies, too
Not everything you do has to be career-related; you can also use this time to focus more on your hobbies. Read the books you enjoy, watch the films you like etc, to take the stress off. Being under a lock and unemployment is not an easy scenario to find yourself in. It is therefore important you do things you enjoy, while unemployed during the coronavirus lockdown.