Before 2020 ended, it was reported that about 4.5 million Filipinos lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Thousands of businesses were decimated by COVID-19, bringing our unemployment rate to 10.4% — the highest we registered in 15 years. It was not a very good year.
But life must go on. So, we brave our way through COVID-19 and find new opportunities to earn a living for our families.
How do you find a job amid a raging pandemic? How have opportunities shifted for job seekers now that business operations and government offices have adopted the work-from-home set-up for some of their departments?
For those who are looking for a job for the first time or after a long time, here are some tips on how to face the challenges imposed by the new normal. Good luck.
- Prepare for the new processes.
Sure, you have submitted your job applications online before, but have you ever experienced being interviewed over video chat? If not, then know that this is a huge possibility in most job applications now. What hasn’t changed though is the unwritten rule on punctuality and professionalism so make sure to:
- Be online earlier than the scheduled time of your interview.
- Your audio and video are clear and uninterrupted. Your surroundings clean and, as much as possible, free from “house noise”.
- Your hair is neatly set, your face is clean, and you are wearing a collared top.
- Have a pen and paper by your side, or if you are more comfortable using your laptop for notetaking, then have it set-up beside you, for notetaking.
2. Do your research on the company you are applying to.
It’s not enough that you were referred by a friend or a former colleague, or that a relative works at the company: do your research. Find out how long they have been in the business, what their core values are, and what they do best. From your research, you can begin drafting your responses to common interview questions such as: why did you choose to apply at (name of company)? What can you contribute to (name of company)?
3. Update your resume.
Do not just send out your old resume without double-checking the entries. Make sure to highlight your latest affiliations, recognitions, and significant projects and contributions you made in your last company. Remember that writing your resume is a skill that employers pay very close attention to. If they are not impressed with your profile, they might not even bother calling you for an interview. Treat it as a trailer to a movie you are selling. They should like your 15-seconder so much that they will be willing to pay for the entire movie (you!).
4. Prepare your documents and IDs in advance.
Some employers ask for your personal documents such as birth and marriage certificates, Philhealth and SSS numbers, at the onset of your application; most require these after you have been officially hired. Either way, make sure you have the complete set of documents and IDs before you begin applying. These papers take time to complete and might get in the way if you put the errand off to later. You can order your PSA birth and marriage certificates online at PSAHelpline.ph. They will deliver your papers to your home for just P365 per document.
5. “How do you see yourself five years from now?”
Whether you are applying for the job fresh out of school or are trying to land a position after you have been displaced by the pandemic, your personal aims and objectives must be clearly laid out. Are you simply looking for a job to tide you over? Or are you applying to help you grow your career?
When you do get the job, you might find things are a bit different given that we are still living our lives around a pandemic. Don’t be shy to ask questions about the working arrangements, the technologies you might need at home (or at the office) and who provides what. And yes, you can go ahead and ask them if your health insurance will cover COVID-19-related symptoms and illnesses.
I wish you well in your job hunting. No matter what happens, keep going.