The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost everyone globally but the biggest hit has been the job market and the job seekers.
Every now and then we come across scenarios where professionals have lost their jobs, contracts are closed abruptly, etc.
Students who just graduated have been going through a tough phase since most of them don’t have any job offers in hand nor are there any available internship opportunities.
Many job offers that were made earlier have been withdrawn due to the tough market conditions.
One question I come across over and again from many of our students/prospective students/professionals how do we deal with this, what can we do at our end to turn around things for a possible better outcome?
Here are 7 definitive steps that most job seekers can do to make themselves better prepared to beat this.
Make learning a goal for every day –
“Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival” – Edwards Deming
The only way to stay ahead of the game/competition is by learning.
There is no better time than now to learn since the lockdown has put a hold on all other activities and made us homebound. The best way to utilize this time is by making a learning a daily goal and keeping the mind chiseled.
You can start learning new tools/technologies applicable to your industry/domain.
e.g. The new and aspiring BAs can learn tools/concepts like UML, BPM, User Story, wireframing, etc., while the senior BAs can keep themselves updated by learning more about digital BA skills, Agile BA skills, etc.
Behavioral skills like communication skills (written and verbal), negotiation skills, facilitation skills, Stakeholder management skills hold good for almost all the levels.
Commit to certifications in your domain and get certified
Independent validation of one’s skills is a great way to establish credibility in the global market.
This not only establishes one’s credentials in the market but also improves one’s skills.
It shows one’s commitment to the profession and learning, it also sets one apart from the non-certified peers in the job market.
e.g. - For an aspiring business analyst or newbie ECBA certification from IIBA is a great one to acquire, for mid and senior BAs CCBA and CBAP is good to consider.
Update your LinkedIn profile with the relevant keywords that apply to your domain.
Most of the recruiters and employers use LinkedIn to search for profiles to close the positions that they are hiring for.
Hence keeping the LinkedIn profile updated with the relevant keywords is absolutely essential to show up for the job searches.
e.g. - for a junior BA who's pursuing ECBA, the keywords to mention are “ECBA in progress” and other skills like UML, User stories, BPM, wireframing.
Similarly, one can add relevant keywords for the domain as well.
Polish your resume
Update your resume to reflect the newly acquired skills, tools, and certifications. Align your resume with your past jobs or internships that you have done.
e.g. - If you have just graduated and you feel the lack of experience pulling your resume down in the job market, align your internship experience with the skills and tools knowledge you acquired and create user stories around the business case to present a stronger resume to the market.
Professionals who are looking for a new job can always create user stories around the previous experiences and the new skills to reflect a stronger profile for themselves.
If you come from a strong domain experience then lay stress on your strength, prepare a strong profile for yourself with a combination of domain and skills.
Follow hashtags relevant to your industry and domain
This ensures that you come across the relevant jobs/posts in the social media.
It’s as important to notice relevant posts and jobs as much as to get noticed. You can stay ahead of the game by working smart.
Follow prominent groups/thought leaders in your industry/domain
It is said that destiny is a lot about being at the right place at the right time, the same holds good for an online presence as well. By following the prominent groups and though leaders one keeps himself/herself updated on the latest trends and happenings in the industry.
It also makes one aware of the most job offers and companies opening positions to hire.
Be curious and hungry for learning new things
Maintain the curiosity of a child and be hungry to learn new things every day.
Lets create a fun way of acronym to remember these tips.
Learning - L
Certify - C
LinkedIn - L
Resume - R
Trends - T
Leaders - L
Curious - C
So the acronym is Ctrl C LL
Ctrl C LL - Ctrl C (Copy) LL (Learning + Leaders) so in other words follow Learning and leaders to stay ahead of the curve.
The proactive ones think ahead and plan, the reactive one’s lag behind and repent after the axe has fallen on them.