Quantcast

How To Thrive As A Job-Seeker In Today's Job Market

There's a silver lining to every cloud.

Workin' Girl

OK, anyone else getting a little antsy after sitting in the house for the past couple of weeks due to COVID-19? Particularly if you are on the job search and things have seemingly slowed down as a result of the pandemic, you may be feeling some anxiety about what's next and when you may be able to find your next opportunity. The silver lining is that with the #StayAtHome order and social distancing rules being in effect, you now have the time (LOTS of it) to set yourself up for job search success.

Here are five tips to get you started:

Get your knowledge up!

Getty Images

With so many programs and universities halting in-person classes and transitioning their courses to online, this is a unique opportunity to build your knowledge base and make yourself more marketable as a candidate. You can learn a new skill, take classes, and earn new certifications for discounted or no cost. These can then become additional highlights that you can add to your resume to help set you apart from other applicants in the job market.

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. 

Speaking of resumes, now that we've got time, you've got plenty time to update yours! And contrary to popular belief, companies are still hiring. In fact several industries are ramping up hiring to help meet the increased demand during this crisis, including:

    • Grocery Chains
    • Pharmacies
    • Healthcare
    • Crisis Management
    • Remote Meetings & Communications
    • Online Learning
    • Online Retail/Amazon

So put the extra effort in to overhaul your resume and LinkedIn profile to ensure they are competitive and will attract the attention of recruiters. Don't feel like doing it yourself? Hire someone! There are plenty of resume writers who are taking on clients now (hi!!) and offering discounted rates to help job seekers navigate this new environment to find employment.

Define your potential employer list.

Shutterstock

Part of finding the right job is also identifying the right companies to work for. Use this extra time to research and select prospective employers and understand what they may be looking for in candidates. Utilize the online forums like Glassdoor to review what current and former employers are saying. Search various news/media outlets to learn how this company is viewed by the public, what challenges they may be facing, and any major organizational changes. Find current employees you can connect with to learn more about the inner workings of the company and its culture. Then narrow your company list so that you can begin to tailor your documents (resume, cover letter, etc) to align with what those companies are seeking.

Prepare for virtual interviews. 

As a result of the coronavirus, employers are getting creative with how they are connecting with and interviewing candidates. Even after the crisis is contained, you can expect that remote/virtual interviews will become more of the norm. So take this extra time to get comfortable with using remote communication software, practicing your interview answers in front of a camera, and establishing the interview space in your home (please don't be the person interviewing in the bedroom with the headboard in the background).

Build your online network.

Shutterstock

Now that we can't hang out in person, people are leveraging online and social platforms to maintain and build relationships. First one that comes to mind is LinkedIn, so after you update your profile (see #2), start engaging with other members via groups and forums. Identify decision-makers, peers, and other industry personnel to add to your network and send connection requests (pro tip: don't just blindly send connection requests. Personalize the note so the person knows you aren't spamming them).

But it's not just about LinkedIn. Many companies have become even more active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep connected with their customers and employees. So utilize these platforms to interact with company personnel directly and engage them in relevant conversation.

As you seek to connect with more companies and decision-makers online, this is also a good time to do some cleanup on your online brand. It's 2020, you know that companies will check you out online, so don't give them something to find. Even though your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts may be for personal use, they are still a reflection of who you are and how companies perceive you. So if your accounts are public, you'll want to spruce up your profiles and remove posts that may come across as inappropriate (i.e. the drunken party photos and the highlight reel from your trip to the dispensary in LA).

For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

Featured image by Shutterstock

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Keep reading...Show less

As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

Keep reading...Show less

We’ve all been there: Exhausted, lacking motivation, on edge, or simply not feeling like working at all. And we might have even used up all of our sick days, not to rest from a cold or injury, but just to get a bit of relief from those job or business responsibilities. Sometimes, you're not able to shake that nagging feeling of gloom, eventually finding yourself in a toxic pattern of unhealthy habits and behaviors. There's a larger issue that goes way beyond just needing a break.

Keep reading...Show less

CultureCon is one of the top conferences for creative people of color to attend to meet fellow changemakers. The event, which is presented by the Creative Collective NYC, has attracted some of our favorite entertainers as keynote speakers such as Tracee Ellis Ross, Chloe x Halle, Michael B. Jordan, and many more.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Jay Ellis Shares ‘Full-Circle’ Moment With His Parents & His Self-Care Ritual

Staying grounded is one of the actor's biggest priorities.

Latest Posts