COVID-19 and the Job Search


There’s no denying that the outbreak of COVID-19 (aka the Coronavirus) has massively impacted schools, businesses, and communities around the world – never mind individuals! Many companies, including tech companies, have had to close their doors to help prevent the spread and flatten the curve as doctors everywhere urge citizens to stay home. The Center for Disease Control encourages social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from other people. With physical offices closed, many tech professionals are working from home, while significant events and conferences have been canceled.

Home-based work may be an option for the employed, but what about the job searchers? The tech industry is already challenging to get that foot in the door. What do you do when HR is closed, and interviews are off-limits?

The good news is that strategies are in place. The closure of physical offices doesn’t mean nobody needs staff! Here are some steps to lift your spirits and get you going on your hunt in this strange time.

  1. Make sure to ask if there is an alternative to face-to-face interviews if you are invited to that stage.

Many companies have already canceled all face-to-face interviews, opting for phone or video-based conversations before hiring instead. Some businesses are still running meetings as usual, though. If this is the case, ask for an alternative, and if they refuse, do not feel obligated if you are uncomfortable. After all, working for a company that cares for its employees and public health is also essential!

  • Hint: Make sure the software works! Businesses will have different preferences for remote interviews. Make sure you know which you’ll be using and that you have it downloaded and tested at least a day before the meeting. You don’t want to get embarrassed by technical issues!
  1. Don’t stop applying!

Companies are continually evaluating and re-evaluating processes and the roles they require. Remote hiring is becoming more and more common – and some in-person jobs are being questioned entirely! Keep sending in your resume, because having it on file can only be a good thing, even if the process takes a while.

Hint: Put emphasis on any prior online learning or remote work you have performed. If you did online classes, write “remote” as the location! Emphasize your project experience and what you can bring both in general and specifically during this time.

  1. Prepare well for your interviews and remember to emphasize both team and individual work ethic when working remotely.

Talk about your remote work environment and how you’d structure your day for maximum production while being at home. Make sure they believe you can show complete flexibility!

  1. Stay patient, but also keep in touch

Let’s be real: things are confusing for everyone right now, and that includes whoever is doing the hiring at your company. If you don’t hear back away, that’s hardly unexpected! It’s okay to give them a call or send an e-mail after some time has passed. All you need to ask is how the process is coming along. Just don’t bombard them with too much contact!

  1. Use remote job boards as well as your usual favorites

Some companies already exist specifically for remote workers; have a search and take advantage of them!

  1. Most importantly, look after yourself

Job searching and working from home can be all-consuming, especially when some places don’t even have the option of going for a walk to clear your head! Make sure you’re eating well, getting some exercise, and taking some time to yourself to relax in a way that isn’t anything to do with the job hunt.

Good luck, and stay safe!