The economic effects of COVID-19 are being felt all over the country.
With unemployment claims topping 30 million in six weeks on April 30, according to data released by the Department of Labor, jobless members of the workforce are looking for new opportunities.
Whether you are currently unemployed or even considering a career change, it is still possible to look for new work during the pandemic.
Here are six tips on how to search for a new job during coronavirus.
Focus on companies that are currently hiring
Jobseekers currently looking for a new role should focus their energy on companies that are actively hiring amid the pandemic.
"Companies are still hiring full-time employees for permanent positions," Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, told Forbes. "However, you’ll need to be strategic and focus on those organizations that are actively advertising new job listings."
Augustine advises that individuals not look for positions in industries where most companies were forced to close their doors, and thus, where hiring will likely be halted for the foreseeable future.
If you can afford to do so, Augustine says it is possible to lay the groundwork for your job search so you ca hit the ground running later in the year. However, if you need work sooner rather than later, it may be best to adjust your goals and search for opportunities in complementary fields.
Get active online
With coronavirus closure orders extending as far as June in some areas of the country, in-person events and job interviews are just not that realistic at the moment. For this reason, jobseekers should turn their attention to online professional development.
"The best thing you can do right now is to get active online," recommends Latesha Byrd, a professional career coach and consultant. "I’ve already seen an influx of virtual networking events, webinars, and conferences — in some ways, it’s actually easier to make professional connections and 'attend' certain events these days."
One immediate step Byrd recommends is optimizing your online brand on LinkedIn with clear and intentional language about yourself, your identity as a professional and your career accomplishments.
Network, network, network
Whether or not there's a global pandemic, networking is an essential part of the job search process, with some experts saying that more than 70 percent of people find new positions through networking.
Take the effort to reach out and keep in touch with former bosses, colleagues, acquaintances, and anyone else you've met along the way. New opportunities may arise from connections that you might least expect.
"It’s good to keep a 'networking inventory,' or a running list of all the people you know who can help you along in your professional journey, broken down by category (former employers, volunteer experiences, alumni network, etc.)," Byrd suggests. "Make it a goal to check in on everyone on your list by the end of the summer — you never know what doors they can help you open."
Emphasize your transferable skills
You should pinpoint and emphasize the skills you possess that can apply across the board, not just in your niche professional field.
"You may be out of work in an industry that's going to take a very long time to recover," says Kelly Hoey, author of "Build Your Dream Network."
"It's important to think about how your skills could be transferable to another industry."
Tweak your application for each job
Tailoring your resume for each job that you apply to may increase the chances of your application getting seen.
According to Monster, applications submitted online are often processed through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), software that reviews your resume to determine how well you’d fit the requirements of the job posting.
As the site explains: "The secret to getting past the ATS is written right in the job posting—keywords such as the job title, responsibilities, and skills. Don’t copy everything word for word, but make sure a majority of the most important aspects of the job are in your resume and cover letter."
As health experts and political leaders have said: Things may not just go back to "normal" after a paradigm-shifting pandemic like COVID-19. But that doesn't mean you're at a professional disadvantage.
If you find yourself in need of a new job amid coronavirus, now could be a time to reinvent yourself and your career.
“Business as usual isn’t anymore,” says Jana Seijts, a lecturer in management communication at the Ivey Business School. “Those who can adapt and seek out possibilities will thrive.”
Consider using downtime to pick up new skills or enroll in online courses or certifications.