Navigating the Job Market Now

Strategies for Job Hunting in a Pandemic

Jun 09, 2020

SMITH BRAIN TRUST –  The job search is stressful enough, says Julie Neill, a career coach at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “Add to that a global pandemic, and you’ve got a lot to contend with, even for the most resilient person,” she says.

Neill discussed the challenges as a panelist in a recent Kojo Nnamdi Show community event, “Navigating the Post-Pandemic Job Market.” Neill joined Nnamdi’s other guests to share advice and tips with listeners. She also recently shared a step-by-step guide on LinkedIn on how to navigate the job search now:

Step #1: REACH OUT
Activate your support network of friends and loved ones and create your own board of advisers, says Neill. Buddy up with a friend who is also job-searching to pool your resources and keep each other accountable. Or if you know more than one friend seeking work, form a job search group.

Also explore other resources, such as those offered through your alma mater, professional associations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other community groups, says Neill. She points to the nearly 2,400 American Job Centers nationwide, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, providing free help to job-seekers.

Step #2: REFRAME
Focus on the positives, says Neill. She points to expanding industries (tech, shipping and delivery services, pharma, retail grocery and big-box stores) where employers are actively hiring. Many employers are continuing to interview candidates virtually, she says. “While hiring decisions may be delayed, things are changing rapidly,” says Neill. “The people who will land positions are the ones who stay engaged, are persistent and don’t give up.”

Step #3: REFLECT
Before launching your job search, take stock of your requirements – practical things like salary, location, hours, says Neill. Constraints help you narrow your search. “While you should be flexible and keep your options open, you also don’t want to waste your time on jobs that simply won’t be feasible in a practical sense,” she says. Taking stock of the expertise and skills you have to offer.

See Neill’s other five steps at LinkedIn for a concrete and practical plan of attack to successfully land a job during this pandemic.




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Robert H. Smith School of Business
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University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
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