We’re here to help.
Millions of jobs are being affected by the pandemic. If you are visiting this page, it is likely that you were affected as well.
With the massive influx of job-seekers, we are unable to get everyone placed in new roles right away; so we wanted to put together some resources to help as many as we can immediately. Below you will find resume/cover letter templates and assistance, interview tips, and job hunting best practices. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.
We are all in this together.
Most Importantly – Take care of yourself!
It is completely normal to be stressed. It is completely normal to be anxious. We are sorry that you are going through a job hunt, which is hard enough without the additional uncertainty caused by the virus. The CDC has a page dedicated to managing pandemic related stress, which we have linked below.
Free Resume / Cover Letter Template & Resume Refresh
Our free to use resume and cover letter templates are available to download below. If you have an existing resume that you want to keep using but want to update it with some advice from our team, please reach out to our recruiters at firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume attached.
One of our recruiters will be in touch to assist asap.
Open up the links, then go to File -> Download -> and then select your desired file format
If you have any issues with the file, please contact us at email@example.com
Online Learning and Training Platforms
Looking to brush up on old skills and/or learn new ones? Here are some platforms that we suggest checking out during your transition.
Our firm is not professionally affiliated with any of these platforms.
Udacity – One month free trial
“Advance your career with online courses in programming, data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, and more. Built with industry leaders.” Lynda – One month free trial
“Learn software, creative, and business skills to achieve your personal and professional goals. Join today to get access to thousands of courses.” Coursera – Free and paid options
“…online learning platform that provides free and low-cost college courses. The courses are offered by major universities in many parts of the world.”
Interview Best Practices
Get to know as much as you can about the role, the company, their products/services, and the interviewer/hiring manager. Comb through the company’s website, blogs, and LinkedIn pages. Learn about the hiring manager’s and leader’s backgrounds: how long they have been with the company, what roles they held beforehand, what charities and advisory boards they work with. That being said, steer clear of the interviewer’s personal Facebook/Instagram pages. You want to be well researched, not too well researched.
Treat Interviewers Like Normal People:
Show gratitude for being considered and compliment your interviewer on an achievement or two, but let the praise end there. You’re just a human talking to another human. Don’t rush your speech and don’t treat them as if they are doing you a huge favor. They wanted to speak with you because you’re qualified for the role, so be confident and stay calm. You’ve got this!
Play Verbal “Catch”:
A great interview is a back and forth, not a deposition. Steer the conversation away from question -> answer -> next question. When an interviewer is asking about your experience with something, rarely is it not backed by some sort of business need, upcoming project, or daily task. However, most interviewers don’t share the underlying information without being prompted. Make sure to answer the question and all requested details, but then toss the ball back and ask how it pertains to their business. Normally, the interviewer will dive deeper into why the topic is important, how important it is, and how much of your day will be dealing with it. Here are examples of how to navigate the meeting in a way that digs out the information you need. We suggest doing this throughout the whole interview but don’t phrase your response the same way every time. Keep it conversational.
Interviewer – “Tell me about your experience with X and how long have you used it.”
You – “I’ve been working with X for almost two years. I also was a part of the team that implemented updates to the newer version of X.”
Now to turn it around – “Does the team heavily rely on X?”, “What percentage of my typical workday will be working with X?”, “How does the team currently use X?”, etc.
Interviewer – “Oh we use it every once in a while for Y”, “The majority of the role will be working with X”, “We don’t currently use X but we’re thinking about implementing it,” etc.
Now you’re well equipped to focus the conversation moving forward. If it’s important, keep calling back to that experience as it relates to the other questions. If it’s not important, focus on other points that are critical responsibilities. You don’t want to assume X matters the most, spend the whole interview reviewing your work with it, and have it end up as a “nice-to-have”.
Know your “highlight reel”:
Stats and achievements aren’t always the easiest thing to present when you’re not in a sales or business analysis position, but know as much as possible. Personality fit and experience are important, but having hard numbers and specifics for your highlight reel will set you apart from similarly experienced applicants.
– “I saved my previous company $xxx by implementing *thing*.”
– “I oversaw a large project that was supposed to take *amount of time* and cost *money*, but we completed it in *shorter amount of time* for *less money*”
– “I was 120% to goal every quarter for the 3 years I was with the company”
– “My company kept having issues with *thing* that held up hours of everyone’s day, but I solved it by adding *thing* to their process”
Have Good Questions:
In most interviews, the leader will turn things around and ask “What questions do you have for me/us?”. Be prepared with 3-5 questions that are outside of the basic job duties. By that point, those topics will be covered and you’ll be left with nothing to ask. Also, I know that benefits, PTO plan, and salary are important to you, but, at that moment, that is not what is important to them. Focus these questions as a way to “paint the picture” of you succeeding as a member of the team, and save salary / benefits details for offer negotiations.
Example questions we suggest to use:
– If I am to be considered a great hire at my first annual review, what goals should I set for myself?
– What are some slated upcoming projects that I would be involved with as a member of the team?
– What does a day/week in the life look like for this role?
– How does this role progress within the company and what kind of training is there for advancement?
– What is your favorite part of working for the company, outside of pay and benefits? (If they answer with “culture” or “values”, ask them to elaborate on what that means to them)
– What are the most challenging parts of the role?
– End with – “I am very interested in the opportunity and thank you for meeting with me. What are your main concerns about me joining the team?”. This will give you a chance to meet any concerns head-on instead of finding out later that something could have been explained and/or overcome in the interview.
Job Search Tips & Ways To Get Noticed
Target companies actively hiring during Covid:
Use the advanced search functions to limit your efforts to jobs posted in the last couple of weeks. Some boards like ZipRecruiter even have a tag for managers to specifically say they are hiring during Covid on their posts. After exhausting all of the recently posted jobs, then start looking at older posts, but you want to focus the bulk of your applications on the newest openings. Also, google the companies to see if there is news about how Covid has impacted them. This will let you know if they are doing well, hiring, laying off, etc.
Don’t just apply!
Now more than ever, find ways to follow up. Managers are being slammed with a long list of candidates and you need to do what you can to stand out. If the post has a hiring manager or recruiter listed, give them a call, send an email (if you can find one), and add them on LinkedIn with a brief intro message. If no one is listed, take some educated guesses and tweak your messaging to say something along the lines of “From what I could tell, you seemed to be involved with the hiring for [insert job title]. If not, can you please connect me with the right person?”.
Use. Your. Network.
Some surveys show that over 80% of people get jobs from referrals by networking with friends, former coworkers, and professional contacts. When getting noticed is half the battle, reach out to those that you know are still working, see if they are hiring, and get referred to a hiring manager. They’ll also be able to let you in on what’s going on with the organization during the pandemic. Many companies are being very truthful about the state of their business, but definitely not all. With insider-info, it’ll help focus your efforts on openings with the biggest chance of success, instead of blindly applying into job boards.
Don’t have a large network? Find one!
Maybe you just moved to town, maybe you’re a recent graduate, or maybe you keep a small circle of contacts and prefer it that way. No problem with that. Check out meetup.com, Discord groups, and Slack channels that align with what you’re looking for. There are communities from all over the world, with every possible niche. Whether you’re a nurse, a software developer, a salesperson, an artist, or a retail worker, there are groups for you out there. Find people with similar skills and passions, introduce yourself, and see who is hiring.
We hope our insights and templates help you. Keep your chin up and best of luck. This too shall pass. If there are any other questions we can answer, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Full Stack Talent Team