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Job Hunting in the Wake of COVID-19

In this newly-remote world of the coronavirus pandemic, job hunting has taken on a whole new set of challenges. With nationwide closures forcing many non-essential businesses to temporarily close up shop, while other essential businesses are quickly becoming overwhelmed, trying to navigate the business world has become a bit more complicated.

While there might be an increase in job openings, many of them are likely temporary to accommodate the sudden influx of needs. On the other hand, depending on what you're searching for and your qualifications, you might be running into a scarce amount of job openings that match your criteria.

With all the being said, there are still some ways you can stand out amongst the crowd and catch the eye of companies you're more than eager to start working for.
Make your First Impression Count
To be attention-grabbing in the midst of a pandemic will definitely require a unique approach. You need to find inventive ways to make sure you and your skills are noticed by hiring managers. One way to stand out is with a stellar cover letter. As it stands, you might be the perfect candidate for the open position but you could be passed over if you have a weak cover letter. Cover letters are like handshakes -- hiring managers will remember the confident ones. Furthermore, your cover letter is your first chance of introducing yourself and what you're offering to bring to the company. It also helps to pique the interest of any hiring managers so that they want to learn more about you. No pressure, right?

Luckily, you can write an impressive and unique cover letter pretty easily. Writing a cover letter that focuses on communicating your strengths should always include:

Your Name and Contact Information: For obvious reasons, providing important information so that hiring managers can follow-up with your application is crucial. Recipient's Personal Salutation: It not only makes your cover letter more personable and professional, but it tells hiring managers that you pay attention to details, like important names. Role You're Applying For: This will take away any possible confusion about what position you're applying for and keep hiring managers focused on the information in your cover letter. Your Value Proposition: Cover letters are the perfect opportunity to highlight your greatest qualities and strengths as a future employee. Be confident, not cocky and really drive home what makes you the best candidate they've seen yet. Good Story (If You Have One): Our experiences throughout our lives shape us and make us who we are. Telling a brief story that reflects aspects of the company's values can help you really stand out from the crowd. You can express a lot about yourself by simply talking about volunteer work you've done and how that's impacted you or about living abroad for six months. Whatever you put, just make sure it's sincere and related to the company in some way.

Another thing to keep in mind is cutting out any fluff from your cover letter. You want to be concise, yet personal. Hiring managers usually have a stack of applications to go through, especially during a pandemic, so be sure you don't skimp on your cover letter.

Spend Your Time and Efforts Efficiently
When job hunting, whether the world is in the middle of a pandemic or not, you want to make sure that you're utilizing your efforts in the best way possible. While there might be an influx of certain jobs during the coronavirus, you have to be certain that you are thoroughly researching the positions and the industry they're part of. While there might be an opening that sounds like the right fit for you, there could be hidden qualifications needed for the job, especially in the healthcare industry. For example, healthcare informatics and management require knowledge of HIPPA compliance guidelines, communication, and data analytics.

As we just discussed, you should spend a fair amount of time on your cover letter, tailoring each one for the position you're applying for. If you don't check carefully enough you could waste your time on a job opening that simply can't hire you. It can also be rather deflating to receive a rejection letter, even if it necessarily has nothing to do with you and your skills. Moreover, applying for the wrong jobs just extends the time you'll be searching for employment. Save yourself future trouble by spending just a little bit more time on researching the position before you dive in.

You Can Never Be Too Careful
Unfortunately, in times of crisis, there are those who take advantage of the situation and scam others. During the coronavirus, there has been an increase in online privacy breaches, meaning you need to be especially careful while job searching. Taking the right precautions on what information you include on your resume is important. Moreover, you might find yourself spending a bit more time on social media these days and there are those who could be hiding in the shadows waiting to access your private data and information.

There are thankfully privacy filters on job networking sites that you can utilize. As some online privacy experts explain, "Many companies are sensitive to the security risks of sharing information online and offer additional privacy features. These could be filters determining who can see which pieces of information or other forms of protection. Take advantage of these features whenever possible." They also go onto say that you should be wary of online signatures and signing forms as they are legally enforceable and you could end up in some trouble if you don't read through everything before signing. If you're more aware of the possible threats, it's easier to avoid them.

At the end of the day, job hunting tends to always be a little stressful. Now with the Coronavirus making things that much harder, you might be feeling overwhelmed and perhaps even hopeless. However, with the right tools and attitude, you can make the best out of a bad situation and find gainful employment after this all calms down.

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