The job-seeking process has changed during the pandemic. Some of us lost work; others did not manage to sign a contract even though they went through the entire recruitment process. Many job interviews now take place online. So how can you be successful in a digital environment?

HR professionals convince customers of this fact: Companies are hiring during Covid-19. Although, as Anastasiia Serafyn, Job Search Strategist who helps expat professionals get hired in Europe, notices, looking for a job during a pandemic is not easy at all. There are so many available talents on the market right now, and the number of people looking for a job won’t stop growing in the upcoming months. Companies are in a sweet spot right now since they receive hundreds of applications, so they need to screen those CV’s and pick the most suitable candidate. So how do you make sure that you stand out and beat the competition?

Improve your CV and LinkedIn profile  

In the Netherlands a LinkedIn profile is a basic requirement, it just needs to be fine-tuned! It has to integrate with your curriculum vitae.

When it comes to your CV, you should spend extra time making it tailored for each position you want to apply. Yes, I hear you saying “But Anastasiia, I don’t have time for this”. How about spending hours and hours applying for any job and hearing nothing back. It would help if you thought like an employer. An employer wants you to solve a business problem. Therefore, companies are looking for skills and expertise that can cover those needs. Show in your CV that you have that experience and the required tools by using the right keywords and prioritizing them in your document. Keywords could be a header, skills, tools, technologies, activities. Speak the language of that company! – Anastasiia Serafyn advises. 

Marielle ObelsCareer Connection Coach explains how the Dutch job market has changed over the past few months. The unemployment numbers are rising, but still, we have low jobless numbers. However, it is still possible to land a job! However, there is a change in direction. Event management and the hospitality industry are both hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is difficult to get a job in these areas. 

And there is optimistic news – after the summer holiday, the number of vacancies is rising again. – This happens every summer, but this time it was unexpected. Because in March, when we faced Covid-19, we observed a total drop of vacancies, and then it slowly got back a bit – says Marielle Obels from Career Connection. And she adds that there are vacancies in broad areas. – I can see it for a UX/designer, in communications, sales, still in HR (although these are more difficult to get for internationals), and of course, technical positions – these positions are still very sought after.

How to Present Yourself in These New Times?

When you conduct online meetings, you have to be aware that this is an entirely different form of communication. Body language plays an important role here—especially eye contact by looking into the camera, not the screen. Lean in slightly toward the camera when listening and nod to emphasize interest. Dress appropriately, sit up straight, don’t slouch, smile, have a non-defensive posture (don’t fold arms in front of the chest). Be aware of your setting – the sound, lightning, what is behind the screen. It should be a neutral, tidy background. 

– If you are going to take notes during an online interview, you should mention it. Why? Because then you look down from the screen, and this is not because you want to be impolite; however, people can’t see it. The body language is invisible during online meetings, that’s why you have to explain your actions – Marielle Obels explains. 

What else has changed? Obels says that online interviews are a bit shorter than face-to-face and more compact, formal, and straight to the point and focus on the topic; there is less small talk. 

The rest is the same – preparation is the key to success! – You should explain why you decided to apply for the job. You have to prepare at least three main reasons why it caught your attention and why you’re a great fit. You will definitely be asked the question, “tell me about yourself”. It should be your elevator pitch and not an act of reciting your CV starting from your first job – Anastasiia Serafy advises. Think about your skills, interests, and your background, areas you could be of great added value. Include exceptional and suitable job skills and the most important skills for the open position.

Since the interview is a 2-way street, ask your questions. Not only get you more information, but you also show your interest in the position. Always ask 3-4 questions in the job interview, even if you think all is crystal clear. I would not recommend asking questions like “what do you think about my candidacy” or “what can prevent you from hiring me”. You put unnecessary pressure on interviewers. Instead, send a “thank you” after the conversation to express your interest and motivation.

Happy hunting!

Keeping you up-to-date on what you need to know about the latest information during COVID-19.

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