After the initial shock and the question of what’ll happen tomorrow and how long it’ll all last, we slowly begin to get used to a different way of life, a new normality. For everything that was possible, we found a sufficient alternative, so classes are held remotely, coffee is enjoyed via video calls and most shopping is done online. All this begs the question: what is new in the labour market?
As if the pandemic and the earthquake weren’t enough, the portals are full of headlines about the growing unemployment and, given the unusual calm in the labour market, it seems like a difficult time to find a job.
Don’t lose hope, some employers are actively hiring while others are preparing to resume their selection processes soon. Instead of worrying, prepare for an active job search.
Know what you want
It may sound trite, but this was true even before the epidemic and the virus. Applying to every job ad makes no sense if you don’t know why you’re applying or even what you’re looking for. Before you prepare your CV or write another generic application, stop and think about what you want to do. What makes you happy? What was the most interesting thing during your studies, work, or internship? What kind of environment do you want to work in? What are your values and which employers share them? Which benefits and working conditions are important to you and which can you do without?
These are just a few questions to which it would be good if you knew the answer before you start sending out applications. And every now and then, it would be good to stop and check if you’re still on the right track.
If you don’t know where to start or what the answers are, you can get advice from us. With a few exercises and tips, we can help you find the right path.
Even if it looks like there are few opportunities at the moment, they’re there.
Look at the job offers and see what the employers are looking for or which companies are hiring for jobs that interest you. Even if the ad isn’t active now, you can still send an open application. A good application leaves a positive image of you as a proactive person who knows what it wants. Even if there’s no job advertised at the moment, the employer will likely remember you and contact you when they’re hiring again.
Actively follow the web pages of companies that interest you and their social networks.
Speaking of social networks, it’s also useful to join Facebook groups such as IT Jobs Croatia or Embedded Systems Croatia.
If you find an opportunity you like, apply. Prepare your CV and explain why you’re applying and how you can contribute to the company in your cover letter. Also, work on your portfolio – a good GitHub profile where you show your neat and tidy code that really does what it needs to do, along with the documentation that goes with it.
Don’t mindlessly apply to all published job ads and be well organised. Know why you’re applying to each employer and for which position. Our Trello board template can also help you organise your job search (let us know how you like it 😊).
Connect with others
It’s time to dust off your LinkedIn profile and start using it actively. Start following companies that interest you and connect with colleagues, especially those who are already working. You can also connect with the recruiters of the companies that interest you.
Contact people you know, ask them how are they and what they’re doing, find out if they’re happy with their jobs, and ask them for details about the job you’re interested in and for advice and recommendations in the job search. You can also ask them to recommend you to the recruiter or ask them if they know of any vacancies. You’ll be surprised how much useful information you’ll get.
Choose the most appropriate way to communicate. Endless messages in the inbox of LinkedIn or another social network aren’t the best way to connect. In other circumstances, we’d advise you to invite the person for a coffee, but for now, a virtual coffee will do just fine. Ask the person for a video call, agree on the date and preferably the duration of the conversation at a time that suits both of you, and make sure you aren’t disturbed by other household members and that you have a stable connection. Prepare questions in advance and relax, this is a conversation like any other.
Make the most of this time
Maybe the job search will take a little longer than expected, or maybe not. Regardless of how long it takes, you should also use this time to work on developing the skills that are important to employers.
Now is a good time to sign up for one of the online courses, practise for a technical interview, create or edit a GitHub profile, or choose and work on a personal project that you can tell your employer about (finally the time has come to program the automatic lights in the toilet).
Good luck with your job search and if you get stuck somewhere – contact us so we can help you!