These are tough times for many – there isn’t one aspect of our lives that hasn’t been affected by the pandemic. It has unfortunately brought a lot of job uncertainty with furloughed staff, redundancy, business closures and job losses. As a veteran, you can offer a potential employers unique skill sets and these will be an advantage. We want to give you tips on how to really stand out if you are job hunting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Demonstrate your flexibility
There are industries that are doing very well and the government has been proactive in supporting as many businesses as possible so there are jobs out there. You may have a worked in a particular role but, in these unusual times, keep an open mind to other propositions. Draw on your military training and remember that self resilience ensures success and being able to see the bigger picture – knowing that this may be a short-term situation – was part of being in the military.
You may consider roles which you would never have looked at 6 months previously but it is all about how you approach this new chapter – with mental resilience.
We know that looking for a job – whether that’s through choice or necessity – can be hard going. You are effectively selling yourself, comparing yourself to person specifications and job descriptions and the rejections feel like a personal insult. It can be hard going at the best of times, least of all when there are outside influences, so we would advise you get some support to keep you mentally on track. If you don’t feel you can turn to family and friends there are organisations out there who can offer support – calling The Samaritans is free, doesn’t show up on your bill and you remain anonymous. There are also multiple military charities and organisations who are willing to help. The stigma of asking for help has gone and now more than ever, veterans are actively encouraged to speak up and reach out.
Let your CV do the talking
Imagine you are an employer looking for a candidate and there is a sea of CVs on the desk – what makes yours standout? Things have changed from paper CVs but you really need to make a great first impression. Work with a trusted friend or agency to make sure you have all of the relevant information written clearly and succinctly – make the readers job easier for them with bullet points. We can’t stress enough to check your spelling and grammar – it makes a huge difference.
Ideally a CV should be no longer than 2/3 sides of A4 and include relevant work experience and your education. It’s also a good idea to have more than one CV for different roles to highlight your varied experiences.
LinkedIn or Facebook
Employers will check you out online – it’s easy to do and anonymous. We would advise everyone looking for a job to tidy up their act and make sure that their online persona matches their CV. You can make your Facebook profile very private but consider making certain things public – like any voluntary work you have done. This will give a favourable impression as opposed to potentially offensive (to some) material.
LinkedIn may not be a platform which you are aware of or have considered as a way of looking for work. It is a professional social media platform and a fantastic way of showcasing your work history in more detail than a CV. Catch up with previous colleagues, make connections with potential employers and let recruitment agencies know that you are available for work. We can provide training in using this platform if required to help with your job hunting during the coronavirus pandemic.
The internet has given us all the freedom to research potential employers and this can be very beneficial when applying and/or for interview. Dig around the business and see what their social media is like, their website and any Google or online reviews. What are their values, ethics and practices? How have they looked after their staff during the pandemic? Who are their competitors? This knowledge can be applied to your application and will show that you are genuinely interested in the business and not just the job.
There are lots of opportunities to try new skills online, free of charge, which gives you more scope for new positions. Google offer a free Digital Marketing qualification and the Open University offer 900 free courses at all levels. While you are furloughed or in between jobs, it’s worth looking ahead positively and take some control over your future. The subject doesn’t have to be work related – do one to make you will feel more positive and motivated.
The new normal is uncertain and we know that job hunting during the coronavirus pandemic is not easy. As an agency, we are working really hard to find positions which suit our veteran candidates and showcase their skills and talents.