How to Job Search During the Coronavirus Crisis

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on April 9, 2020

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Need a paycheck right now? These tips could help you snag one.

Need a paycheck right now? These tips could help you snag one.

The COVID-19 crisis has forced millions of workers out of their jobs. If you're one of them, you should know that you may be entitled to unemployment benefits that could replace a chunk of your former paycheck. There could also be a $1,200 stimulus payment coming your way in the coming weeks. But even so, you may be struggling to pay your bills right now, especially if you don't have much in the way of savings. And you may also just be itching to go back to work. 

But conducting a job search is no easy feat, especially when much of the country is on lockdown. Still, here are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting hired quickly. 

1. Focus on industries that are desperate for workers

Though a lot of companies have shut down over the past number of weeks, certain industries are still thriving -- which means some jobs are in demand right now. Take grocery stores, for example. Americans still need to eat, so if you're willing to work at a supermarket, there may be opportunities. It also pays to look at becoming a delivery driver -- either for a supermarket, restaurant, or even a local business that's eager to get its product out. Finally, Amazon says it plans to hire 100,000 new employees to work in its fulfillment centers, so it may be worth submitting an application. 

2. Look for jobs you can do from home

While working at a warehouse or supermarket may be an option right now, it may not one you feel particularly comfortable with, and understandably so. Your next best bet, therefore, may be to explore jobs you can do easily from the safety of your home. This may include tasks like blogging, medical billing (which can often be done remotely), tutoring, or web design and development. 

3. Take the time to perfect your resume and cover letter

A solid resume and cover letter could be your ticket to a job offer, so it pays to invest some time into getting those documents just right. Your resume should be concise, free from spelling mistakes, and loaded with action items -- things you actually did or accomplished at your last job (for example, "implemented new filing system that was adopted company-wide" or "led successful sales training program"). Your cover letter, meanwhile, shouldn't just be a resume rehash -- it should talk about the kind of person you are, what motivates you, and how you add value to the companies you work for.

4. Network extensively

You'll often hear that when it comes to finding a job, the people you know are just as important as the things you know. If you're eager to find work, reach out to your friends, neighbors, former colleagues, and anyone you think might be in a position to help, and make it known that you're hoping to snag a job. Even if you're unable to find a position immediately, you could lay the groundwork for when the economy opens back up and it's safe to work in an office once again. 

Finding a job is challenging in the best of times. During a major health crisis, it can seem nearly impossible. But rather than get discouraged, remind yourself that the job market was extremely strong before COVID-19 took hold, and that it will hopefully return to its former state once life goes back to normal.

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