When the pandemic began during the winter of 2020, I had just accepted a job that I only wanted to keep temporarily, and grew to dislike more and more as the weeks went on.
I had even planned to leave the position before finding a new role just to keep my sanity, but as Covid-19 took hold of the minds of many Americans and business owners, purse strings were tightened and doors to new opportunities were closed.
Here are 5 ways the pandemic has hindered my job search.
1 – Way Less Callbacks
I’ve applied to a lot of jobs using the outlets I normally employ such as online job boards like Indeed, and my network of tech recruiting contacts. Unfortunately, the response has been non existent and scoring an interview has become quite rare. It used to be a breeze to land an interview and before the pandemic I’d have like 2 per week. Now, I am lucky if I can land one every 2 months. The market has just slowed down so much since people have been sent to work from home and businesses fear financial hardship due to the virus.
2 – More Competitive Application Process
Applying to a job in my field used to be pretty straightforward. You’d send a resume and they’d get back to you shortly with interest or rejection. Since the pandemic started, jobs are now requiring a technical screening at the time of application which can be a tough task to complete when you’re working another full time job. And this screening comes without any contact from the employer or promise of an interview.
Now there’s always been technical screenings in my field, but they normally come after you speak with a human being and start the interview process. Having to complete a screening before can help you stand out, but becomes a daunting task since there are no guarantees that you will even score a first round interview.
3 – Less Recruiter Calls
I don’t even remember the last time I received a cold recruiter call from someone that saw my resume on Dice. These calls used to come in like wildfire and now are basically non-existent. The pandemic has scared businesses and probably led to the firing of many recruiters since there are not as many jobs to service. It is quite discouraging and takes away one of the key advantages in the technology field which is having a bevy of opportunities. This is certainly the slowest season that I’ve seen thus far.
4 – Less Jobs, More Competition
Since there are less jobs to go around, you now have many people applying to one role. That means the chances of getting an interview are much slimmer than they would have been pre-pandemic. Employers will now search for the cream of the crop so you better have that resume looking like a million bucks. It also allows employers to get more specific about their needs and leave less room for onboarding people with slightly different skillsets.
5 – Everything is Remote
With the virus scaring everyone into their homes, the opportunity for real human contact and communication in an interview is all but gone. The employer is unable to shake your hand and get a vibe from you, and vice versa. This was a key point in the interview process that could sometimes turn the tide if the two parties hit it off.
Zoom and other screen calling services are sufficient for the time being, but ultimately rob the two parties of building any kind of chemistry that will lead to a hire. There have been times when I wasn’t the most technical fit for a role, but I impressed the interviewer with my attitude and communication skills and was able to land the position. These days I, and many others have been robbed of that opportunity and have to rely more on our resumes and hard skills.