COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all of us in many ways, from our physical and mental health to our jobs and freedom to travel.  In what has been such an uncertain landscape, redundancies, role changes and terminations have become a very common occurrence for many of us. In a market where so many people are looking for a job, how do you survive and stand out?

We’re not often conditioned to expect or anticipate the job hunt to be brutal, but absolutely it can be a brutal experience for many. After a few months, rejections and no responses can start to breed more uncertainty, fear and doubt in yourself. Couple this with your worries about finances, your family and mounting bills and it’s easy to see how it can land you in a very dark place.

What can you do to get through this tumultuous time?

Seek passion – Think of the job hunt as your opportunity to seek something you are truly passionate about. That’s the first, and best, place to start.

Have a thirst for learning – Read more, do some short courses to upskill in areas you’re lacking, listen to topical podcasts, and engage with Ted talks.  There are so many ways you can educate yourself and develop your thirst for learning. Recruiters can always spot someone who is well-read, open to different or new perspectives and is constantly learning.

Be curious and ask lots of questions – Take yourself out of your comfort zone to grab new opportunities and give it a go. You never know where it could take you.  Now is the time to make bold moves.

Always do what you say you will do – Follow through is so important. If you finish your interview by telling the recruiter you’ll contact them early next week to follow up on the role, then do exactly that.

Check your personal brand – You’re selling your personal brand so make sure you know exactly who you are, what you stand for and what you could bring to the business.

Build genuine relationships – an easy way to handle the “rejection” of an interview is to look at it as another connection made. It might not have resulted in a job right now, but you’ve hopefully made a good impression and you never know where the relationship might lead. Maintaining good relationships in business can open many doors in the future.

Persevere, don’t give up – like many aspects of life, you just have to keep going. Reflect on each interview to understand where you think it might have gone wrong and seek feedback from the interview panel whenever possible.  Position each set back as a positive learning experience and you’ll get better with each one.

While these tips are great to help you navigate the job market, it is all the more beneficial to also have a personal network of friends and family to lean on, as well as a positive and optimistic outlook. Try to surround yourself with like-minded people and create your own support network for the tough days. Mentally, change your thought process to reflect on each experience in a positive light (it’s all a learning experience after all so you’ll come out the other side stronger). Set goals, think positive and remember…it’s a numbers game so roll the dice and eventually you’ll get a winning hand.