April 17, 2020
How to Find a Job During the COVID—19 Crisis
COVID—19 is not only a health crisis but it also quickly turned into an economical one, leaving many without jobs. At ACELR8, we want to help you at this time and give you advice on finding a job. Yesterday, we hosted a Talking Talent webinar fully focused on the topic. Our Talent Partners — Chido, Angela, Annie, and Rob — gave tips on being as effective as possible in your job search and answered many questions from the audience.
Read the summary down below for some tips on finding a job or watch a recap on our YouTube channel.
If you're currently looking for a job, be sure to join our Talent Pool!
How to plan your job search?
Annie Li — Talent Partner at Back (via ACELR8)
1. Be introspective: understand yourself
- What are your strengths? Prepare a personal pitch highlighting them.
- Where do you want to go? What company would you like to work for and how would you solve their problems?
'This is a great time to really understand yourself and find out where you would like to go.'
2. Be extrospective: understand the market
- Which industries and companies are still hiring? Dive deep what they are doing. How are they prepared for crisis situations?
- Inform yourself on different roles
- Tailor your pitch
'We really have to understand the market and what these industries look like now.'
3. Stay in the loop
- Find mentors, connections, and communities, also outside of LinkedIn
- Search for 'still hiring'
- Let people know that you're open. Include a personalised message whenever connecting to someone on LinkedIn.
How to make your application stand out?
Rob Paul — Talent Partner at Amboss (via ACELR8)
1. Don’t get lost in a sea of applicants
- Apply only to jobs where you meet 90% of the key requirements
- Keep your resume concise and to the point
- Quality over quantity
'In a time like this, there will be hundreds of applicants, especially for jobs with a more generalised skill set.'
2. Make yourself recognisable to the employer
- Search your close connections first
- Attend any events or workshops hosted by the company
- Contact the recruitment team directly
'Look at the jobs and the companies that you're applying to and see if you have any friends or second-level connections working there.'
3. Technical requirements
- Clearly define the projects you’ve worked on
- Clearly define the length of time and depth in which you have used different technologies
'You really want to focus on technologies that you worked with the most in your career.'
4. Be prepared to show your work
- App Store
- Portfolio and/or slideshow
How to be successful in the remote interview process?
Angela Ndagire — Talent Partner at Inkitt (via ACELR8)
- Preparation is key. Research the company and people working there. Ask the right questions during the interview.
- Dress the part. Dress properly to fit the company's culture.
- Body language. Be aware that you're on the camera. Look into it once in a while. Sit straight and be confident.
- Mind your surroundings. Ask people around you to give you space and time for the interview.
- Positive mindset. 'Keep your spirits up!'
- Don’t get lost in COVID—19. It's still an interview — focus on your strengths.
'You need to prepare for the interview as if it were on-site.'
- Get familiar with interviewing tools like Zoom, Hangouts Meet, Skype, etc.
- Make sure you have a strong internet connection.
- Test things out in advance: your laptop, headphones, microphone.
- Exercise empathy to the recruiter.
- Get the necessary information. Ask about details such as the start date, visa requirements, salary expectations, next steps, and so on.
- Follow up. Email the interviewer thanking them for the interview to show them that you're interested.
How to accept a job offer remotely and onboarding
- Accepting the offer
- Seeking information
- Knowledge gathering
It's not only the company interviewing you, but you're also interviewing them.'
1. Accepting the offer
- Make sure you have all the information you need. Ask about their culture, expectations, your salary, relocation, and more
- Clarify your doubts. Ask for a follow-up call if you have any questions
- Follow up on your contract if you haven't received it yet
2. Seeking information
- Be proactive
- Establish your main points of contact. Is it HR? Your manager?
- Make sure you have your onboarding schedule. What are you expected to do during your onboarding process?
- Make sure you have all your tools set up. Ask for a laptop and any devices and software you may need
- Try to attend all company-wide and team events. It's good to attend as many work events in the first weeks as possible so that the team gets to know you
3. Knowledge gathering
- Go through Slack channels or the company's portal
- Get a buddy — a person whom you can ask questions about the company who is not your manager
- Virtual coffees with team members. Get to know your team and the company's culture.
- Clarify expectations. Talk to your manager to find out how you can make an impact on the company during your probation period.
- Don’t forget your workspace! Set up your desk at home and make it ergonomic and prepared for calls.
Are cover letters important when applying for a job nowadays?
It depends on the company. There are two scenarios:
- The company says that it’s required;
- The company didn’t specify it.
It's important to understand what cover letter actually is: it's an explanation of your motivation for applying to the company. If your role will involve writing, then you should send a cover letter.
Do you have any piece of advice for career-changers applying for entry-level positions?
Your advantage here is work experience. Highlight your hard skills such as programming languages and tools that you're familiar with. Join meetups and career-coaching events.
How should you handle rejections?
Get as much information about the rejection as possible. Ask what was missing in your profile or during the interviews. Try following up and asking if you would fit for a different position. Show your interest in the company.
How to follow up with a company when it's not clear who the recruiter is?
Try doing research on LinkedIn (recruiters, Hiring Managers, etc.)
How to discuss salary if it wasn’t specified in the offer?
The recruiter might give you a salary range. Reply to it based on your experience. If they don’t agree, provide them with competitors' offers.
What to do if I'm a master’s student without work experience?
You need to take a closer look at the position and the companies that you’re applying to. Look for junior and entry-level positions. Make sure to contact the recruiter directly and make the outreach more personal.
Is it now possible to relocate to Germany to find a job?
Do research on companies that are still hiring and are still willing to relocate people.
How to talk to a recruiter who is unsure of going ahead with the recruiting process?
Ask the right questions, for example, about the expectations in the first days, weeks, and months. Be more empathetic, be aware that the recruiters might be on the verge of losing their job.
Can you give us some tips for phone interviews?
Treat it like a regular interview. Be as professional as possible.
What message should I send to the recruiter on LinkedIn?
Go straight to the point. Show them that you're interested in the company. Make sure to include a message when adding someone as a connection and make it personal.
Resources for finding a job:
- ACELR8 Jobs' Talent Pool
- Startup Berlin Slack group
- Salary insights: Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Angelist, salaries in Germany
- Companies hiring during COVID—19 crisis
- European Startups that are still hiring