If you are one of the millions of Americans considering joining “The Great Resignation,” you are certainly not alone. Approximately four million people quit their jobs in July 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, LinkedIn noted that 176 million U.S. members added new employers to their profiles in September alone. Due to job uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, many people stayed put throughout 2020, drastically decreasing quit rates. But now that hiring has increased, employees are recognizing burnout and seizing new opportunities. If this sounds like you, October is a great month to kick off your job search. But you don’t want to run into any tricks along the way! We’re breaking down of few of the tricks and treats you might encounter if you’re looking for a new job this fall.
Trick: COVID-Related Questions
No matter what you have encountered in your professional life over the last two years, you will be asked COVID-related interview questions. These questions can range from addressing layoffs or why you’re leaving your current position, to skills you added during lockdowns, to how you think your company handled the pandemic.
When these questions come up, try to avoid getting bogged down in negativity. Give a brief and direct answer, and then pivot the question into your excitement for this opportunity. Highlight the skills you gained, the lessons you learned, and the goals you established for your next job.
Treat: More Remote Openings
One of the few upsides to the pandemic is that it forced companies to get familiar with flexible work environments. On LinkedIn alone, there are over 480,000 remote job openings currently. This is in stark comparison to a mere 7,000 remote job opportunities listed online in March of 2020.
While these openings are remote, it can give you a leg up to look for companies hiring remote positions in your city. Eventually, these companies may go back to in-person or a hybrid work model. Thus, they will see value in having someone local who can join meetings face-to-face or even meet for the occasional happy hour.
Trick: Navigating Virtual Interviews
No matter how many tools we have at our disposal, virtual interviews will always be tricky. They are challenging to navigate between connection issues, missed social cues, background distractions, and the inevitable “what do I do with my hands?” they are challenging to navigate.
When preparing for a virtual interview, it’s essential to do a trial run (or two.) Make sure your background is clean and clutter-free, your notes don’t make too much rustling noise, and your wifi connection is strong. Right as you kick off the interview, share any potential distractions with your interviewer. Luckily, most employers are understanding of a pup warding off the mailman or a toddler looking for an extra hug.
Treat: Flexible Interview Situations
One of the upsides of interviewing in a virtual professional world is that it’s typically easier to squeeze an interview into your schedule. If you’re currently working remotely, you can avoid the awkward excuses or sneaking around that usually accompany interviewing for a new role.
Even though it’s easier to schedule an interview, remember to stay respectful of your current employer. Take a late lunch and block it off on your calendar or let your manager know you will have to step out for an appointment.
Trick: Competitive Market
With so many remote openings, lots of people are putting feelers out there. This is especially true for mid-career employees between the ages of 30 and 45. If you’re in one of the more competitive age groups or industries, you could be going up against dozens of highly qualified applicants.
To stand out from the crowd, do something that goes above and beyond. If the job requests an optional cover letter, submit one! Create a mockup of what you could do for the company. Highlight a personal connection to the mission. To top it off, send a thank you note immediately after your interview. These little things will make a big difference when it comes to landing a job during a uniquely competitive market.
Treat: A Renewed Focus On Diversity & Inclusion
Many companies have experienced tremendous growth over the past two years, and we aren’t talking about headcount. As a result of major social movements and leaderships committed to change, organizations are boosting their diversity and inclusion programs.
Don’t be afraid to ask about diversity and inclusion during the interview. In a candidate’s market, you should feel empowered to hold companies accountable. And ultimately, you want to work for a team that shares the same values as you!
Hopefully, your job search is more treats than tricks! But for all the advice you need to make it through, explore our candidate resources here.