Since the start of the COVID pandemic in early 2020, many businesses, especially the traditional ones, have been significantly impacted. As a result, we are seeing an unprecedented increase in the unemployment rate. Many are trying to find new jobs but have been unsuccessful through months, and even years. The bulk of the workforce that consists of the PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) who were retrenched remains jobless, navigating through the uncertainties of the fragile job market. In the pre-COVID times, PMETs jobs are already pressured due to technological disruptions and the evolution of the digital economy. The pandemic has further aggravated the situation.
To be able to secure a job in the shortest possible period, let us run through the process of job hunting. The process should include updating your resume, applying for jobs online and attending the interview. When we are crafting a resume ( consider making a video resume), it should be one that is able to capture the attention of the prospective hiring manager. We should note that the hiring manager has tons of applications to go through, hence the impact of the first page of the resume is critical. That first page should showcase the key attributes that the hiring company is on the lookout for. Your next step should be applying for the appropriate jobs on those popular online platforms like Bridge.com.sg, Jobstreet, Jobscentral, Monster Singapore, and others. These are established job portals where there are many employers posting job offers online. Even the government offers a platform; MyCareersFuture, to help match–make employers and potential employees.
Many of us do not possess excellent communication skills in handling interviews because we hardly find ourselves in the hot seat pitching our strengths and skillset. Yet, it is a critical process to getting a job. This process should include researching the company’s background, demonstrating our interpersonal skills by articulating our relevant job experience and being able to connect with the interviewer though positive body language signs.
Other than online activities like submitting a resume through portals and social media, it is also critical to set up offline activities like networking. A renowned organization like Business Network International (BNI) is an example where members get together to introduce fellow members and exchange business ideas and needs. In addition, reaching out to our friends, ex-colleagues, former schoolmates, business contacts in the hopes of getting potential job opportunities is also another viable option. This is so because they have a better innate understanding of our capabilities and will be able to refer us to their employers. And the success rate for jobs placement is always higher when there is an internal referral because of the higher trust level. So let’s not be shy to ask for help.
If the labour market is saturated, or in a sunset industry, with the certain skillsets that we possess, for example, the oil industry, we should consider a career switch to pivot to those industries that are in-demand and relevant. Industries like pharmaceutical, health and wellness, digital business, fintech, Artificial Intelligence, and others, are experiencing a resource demand for talent personnel. Another sector that is booming amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the online training and education service space. Schools are shut throughout the world, and home-based learning became a necessity than an option. So, even if we are not a trainer or a teacher, there are other roles within these online education organizations that we can apply for a job; Accounts, Project Coordinators, Marketing, and so forth.
While the economy is still facing challenging headwinds and uncertainties, there are also ample opportunities. Job seekers should actively utilize out-of-the-box approaches in their job searches. In a country like Singapore, where human capital is critical to its growth, there is absolutely no reason to endure an extended period of time to find a full-time job.