The Right Time to Become a Better Candidate is Now

By Jakob Lagerstedt on April 17, 2020

If you were searching for your next role when the pandemic hit, you may be feeling a little unsure of how to proceed. Instead of seeing this as a setback, consider the opportunity at hand to become a better candidate for the job you really want.

Reflect on your career goals

What do you want to do next and does this align with your current search? Create a document where you list your target industry, companies, job titles, and anything else that is of interest and important to you. Don’t hold back here – if something feels out of reach, that’s ok, still write it down. This is about evaluating what you truly want so you can identify the actions needed in order to get there. You may find that you’re on the right track, or maybe this is a good time to reinvent yourself.

Review your resume and LinkedIn profile

With a refreshed perspective on your career goals, approach your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Does the content align with what you want to achieve? Have you left out any experiences or achievements that are relevant to your goals? Similarly, what can you cut that isn’t relevant? You don’t want recruiters or hiring managers to have to read through any weeds to get to core competencies.

Beyond your profile, evaluate your LinkedIn presence and consider relevant groups to join, articles to post, companies to follow, etc. Reach out to recruiters you’ve worked with in the past and give them an update on your goals to see if they have any roles, advice, or connections. Also be on the lookout posts on virtual networking events and career fairs.

Professional development

Going back to your list, identify skillsets or experience gaps that may be holding you back. This is a great time to learn how to use new tools, to earn or renew certifications, to build a portfolio, etc. There are so many free, free trial-based, and paid resources out there that can take your resume to the next level. LinkedIn learning is a great tool that offers a free month. There are also platforms like HubSpot that offer free career-specific (in this case marketing) classes and certifications.

Do your research

Take a deep dive into the online presence of the companies you identified on your list. Review their culture and values, but also take note of how leadership deals with the emergency and how it handles its workforce. Are they making their workforce remote, how are they supporting their workers? If you land a future interview, this research can go a long way to drive home how you can help the company meet their goals. You can also connect with the hiring manager for the role you’re interested in and connect with them on LinkedIn. Check out their posts and make thoughtful comments where possible to illustrate that you have valuable insight to contribute.

Practice video interviewing

Any hiring right now – and likely in the future – will probably occur via video, so it’s a good time to get used to the technology. Setting up mock interviews with friends and family over platforms like Zoom or FaceTime to practice will put you ahead.


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