Don’t be deterred by news of companies laying off people. This is also an opportune time to make yourself more marketable, say experts
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It is excruciatingly painful to wait for an answer from a potential recruiter even during normal times, and these are exceptional circumstances. Companies might not know where they stand at the moment, or what the
“Do not interpret a delayed response as lack of interest,” says Ajay Singh, who leads the HR team of a law firm. If you have not heard back from a company, it is okay to reach out to them. But give them space to respond at their own pace.
Network, network and network more
According to a 2016 report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Yale University, 70 per cent of jobs are found through networking. While working remotely might make that a whole lot harder for job hunters and recruiters alike, it has created a captive audience for networking. People are no longer travelling, attending conferences or events, or busy all day in meetings. So they are more likely to be available when you reach out to them via email or a call. “These informal conversations could help you hear about job opportunities in their companies, and also give you an edge when they start hiring for those positions,” says Shah. This is also the time to update your résumé and LinkedIn profile, or build new skills. Sign up for virtual workshops that can add to your skills, making you more marketable.
Highlight your remote work experience
Being able to work well from home has suddenly emerged as a major asset. If you have successfully managed a crisis or made a huge presentation while working remotely, now is the time to tell recruiters all about it. “Seeing the potential and benefits of working from home and the uncertainly around when this situation will resolve, recruiters are now looking for candidates with soft skills such as creativity, adaptability and productivity. If you possess these skills, have the technical aptitude to handle conference calls and virtual meetings, and can highlight your achievements while working remotely, your CV will go to the top of the pile,” says Shah.
Stay top of the mind
The company you are keen on, may have a hiring freeze or could be looking to set up interviews once things return to normal. So offer to check back in a month or so. “You could reconnect with the HR manager then and understand their requirements at that time. Companies will eventually start rebuilding their talent pipeline and being proactive and persistent will ensure they think of you when something opens up,” says Shah.