Job Searching for Seniors During the Coronavirus Economy: The Big Idea

The people who continue to relationship-build and share their ideas will be in a better position when companies start hiring.

By Matt Perman

All of a sudden, it’s a tough time to be a senior in your job search. We have gone from one of the best economies in recent memory to an economy on pause due to COVID-19.

How do you find your first job during this unique time? And, how do you avoid panicking over the challenge of doing your job search in this environment? 

There is hope, and there is a way forward. To see that hope, we first need to understand the situation in a bit more detail. Then I will give you the big idea of how to respond. In part 2, which will be posted tomorrow, I will give you five concrete tips for how to do your job search in a way that stands out. 

How Has COVID-19 Affected Hiring?

There are two main aspects to highlight. First, most companies (though not all) are on pause with hiring right now. They are on pause because they are themselves adapting to the context of remote work and because they are uncertain about the future. When is the lockdown going to end, or begin to ease? And what will be the immediate impact once we do start getting back to work? It is hard to make plans when those questions are not clear.

However, companies do still care about building their talent pipelines. They know it is not in their best interest to lose out on hiring great college grads–that undermines their sustainability and growth for the long-term. 

So recruiters and hiring managers and HR departments still value hearing from potential candidates. One campus recruiter for a company said: “We are still here for our candidates as we were pre-COVID-19, so pick up the phone as you would have done and speak to us!”

And when companies are ready to hire again, it is likely that things will pick up quickly. We can’t be sure of that, but it is likely. Hiring will likely resume when the economy begins to stabilize.

Second, for those companies that are still hiring, the traditional ways of hiring have been disrupted. This means video interviews instead of in-person interviews. It also means that candidates who can show learning agility, technology skills, and the ability to manage themselves well (such as in a remote work context) will stand out.

What Should You Do? 

The big idea is this: do not wait it out. Keep putting yourself out there, and make yourself stand out. And do this in a way that is, of course, sensitive to employer needs.

In an article for The Muse, Danielle Beauparlant Moser, managing director and executive coach with bltCareers in Asheville, NC, said:

“Companies might not be hiring today, because they’re trying to figure out how to do business virtually, but they will be hiring. The people who continue to relationship-build and share their ideas will be in a better position when companies start hiring.”

If you continue networking and reaching out, you are at an advantage for two reasons. First, you might find an existing opening that is a great fit. Second, when companies do resume hiring, you will be in a better position because you will be more top of mind.

Continuing to put yourself out there is the first part of the equation. How do you fulfill the second part and make yourself stand out?

The answer comes down to how you do your job search. In part 2, we will look at five tips for that.

The Best Resources for More Information

*Note: We will be posting the article tomorrow, but for those that need it right now, here are more than 50 relevant entry-level (or close to it) positions that are open right now which I’ve gathered.