How 3 Job Seekers Found Career Success During the Pandemic

The Prepped Team

June 15, 2020

10 minutes

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Finding a job is a daunting enough task. Throw in a pandemic, and it can feel insurmountable. The truth is, you may have to adapt your job search online and be prepared for when the Canadian job market does pick up. Meanwhile, it’s important to stay motivated in the face of job rejection. The good news is: there are jobs out there in need of a stellar candidate to fill them. We spoke to three people who recently found success and landed a new job during this time.

1. Harshal, Consultant in the banking industry

What was it like to find a new role during the pandemic?

Harshal: "I was lucky enough to get a call from the HR department back in January. The pandemic really started by the end of Feb, and so all my other rounds of interviews were done virtually. Fortunately, the pandemic did not affect my candidature, although there was a delay in my joining date since they had to set me up for a virtual office at home. But it was worth it."

Where did you find the job posting?

Harshal: "I applied for the posting via LinkedIn and received a call from HR within a couple of days."

What was the interview process like?

Harshal: "I went through three rounds of interviews. First was the screening and background to ensure I am a fit for the role, the second round was a technical panel interview, and the third was again with the Director of Business Technology and Product Manager."

Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking for new employment during this time? What kind of tips would you suggest?

Harshal: "I can imagine how trying these times can be, but there’s always a silver lining behind dark clouds. The job market has slowed down a bit, but it’s not stagnant. There are still many companies hiring for different vacancies and are OK to go remote with candidates during these times. The best ways are to apply through LinkedIn, and online job sites Indeed to get maximum response. Start building connections on LinkedIn, post on your timeline that you are open for jobs highlighting your best skills, use tags on LinkedIn for maximum reach, reach out to connections that work in a company who can refer you. Another thing worth a shot is to find recruiters in places like LinkedIn and try to connect with them as there’s a better chance they can find the best-suited roles for you."

2. Nuri, Design Associate for a tech startup

What was it like to find a new role during the pandemic? What sort of challenges were there?

Nuri: "I got offered the position before the pandemic, but as the situation was getting worse, I was quite worried my internship might get cancelled. However, my employer didn't cancel any internships, and committed to keeping the students they offered summer jobs to. I'm grateful that they gave me this opportunity in spite of the pandemic."

Where did you find the job posting?

Nuri: "One of my professors told me about this internship and recommended me to the hiring manager."

What was the interview process like?

Nuri: "I got cold feet right before the interview because English is not my first language, and it was the first interview I had in Canada. During the interview, my manager and I met in a cafe where I presented my design portfolio to her, explaining why and how I'd worked on each project."

Do you have any advice for someone who's looking for new employment during this time? What kind of tips would you suggest?

Nuri: "I know it's more challenging to get a job these days. I'd say keep looking for a job and polish your portfolio if you have one. Stay in touch with your professors or friends who work in the field."

3. Riley, Director in the manufacturing industry

What was it like to find a new role during the pandemic?

Riley: "I was getting a fair amount of interviews before the pandemic; I was already interviewing. The market was really hot. I didn’t have any worries that I wouldn’t get a job. Then I went down to fewer interviews. It changed dramatically. The big change was how flooded the interview process was. Where I was interviewing, I thought I was a shoo-in, and the feedback I got was that you were an amazing candidate, but unfortunately there are ten other amazing candidates interviewing for this position."

Where did you find the job posting?

Riley: "About the third week, I started talking to recruiters. I realized that I couldn’t just interview for positions. I needed someone to vouch for me, and I needed a more secure means of getting an interview. I approached recruiters, and they knew I was looking. What happened was I applied for a position, and a recruiter I spoke to was on the account and already knew me. And that’s where we got started."

What was the interview process like?

Riley: "The level of uncertainty is different. In a normal process, it would be this is the process; this is how it is going to go, and you’ll hear from us in four days. The conversation changed dramatically to “let’s set up a call, then let’s set up an interview, and we’ll get back to you with further steps.” The plan for hiring shifted and became more, we’ll figure it out.”

Do you have any advice for someone who's looking for new employment during this time? What kind of tips would you suggest?

Riley: "You might need to change the parameters of where you’re looking. I was searching in downtown Toronto, specifically in tech, and I knew I could easily find a position in that. With what’s happening now, the landscape of certain organizations is changing; some are shifting their resources – so depending on what your role is, you have to think about what you can provide to a company. When it comes to being able to get a position or even interview for a position, you need to think, “What am I willing to accept?” And “Where can I see myself?” And it may not be where you originally thought yourself being based on the opportunities available.The second thing is you need to play the game. You can’t just send out your resume, and that’s it. That’s not enough in this environment. It’s hyper-competitive. There are other candidates willing to go the extra mile. You need to be that candidate. Direct your resume for a job interview and change the wording for the job you’re applying to. Utilize your network and if you don’t have a network, create one. Most people want to help you, so don’t be afraid of reaching out and asking for help. Have that conversation."

How Prepped can help with your job hunting

Prepped provides training and tools to help you succeed in your job search. You’ll have access to a personalized program designed by HR professionals to help you navigate the changing job market and empower you to create a long-term career plan. Sign up for Prepped and get access to free resources that will help you find career success during this time.