This post will review three simple and low-cost ideas for how you can impress employers during physical distancing.
So, you’re stuck inside, with no school, work, or job prospects due to physical distancing… what can you do?
COVID-19 most likely has given you more free time than you know what to do with, even if you're on the hunt for a job. Free time does not mean you have to be unproductive though.
Here are three simple and low-cost ideas for how you can prepare to impress employers:
Polish Your Resume
It is very important to always keep your resume or CV up to date. Ensure your resume reflects your most recent or relevant job experiences. Be sure to highlight your skill sets or relevant education/ certifications as well.
Not sure if your job experience is relevant? Don't panic. Even if your only job so far has been in retail or fast food there are many notable skills that those jobs ingrain in you. Some example skills most student jobs provide include:
Customer Service (Oral, written, non-verbal & de-escalation skills)
Sales (Up-selling products, rewards systems & promotional offers)
Leadership (Ever been a shift lead? Key-holder? Manager?)
If you're thinking of going into the Business or Education sectors for work, consider setting up a LinkedIn profile. It's free, simple, and easy to create and allows you to build up your professional network. (Pssst! It also allows you to export your profile as a professional-looking resume.)
Build Your Portfolio
The job market today is harder than ever to maneuver with COVID-19 layoffs. There’s no such thing as a job for life so you need to prepare yourself.
Investing time to build a professional portfolio can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.
All you need to do is select some of your 'best work' and compile it into a well-presented portfolio book or website. Having a well thought out portfolio ready for showing is what can make or break an interview.
Make it creative. Take time to look at portfolio examples online before getting started on yours.
Employers recommend applicants to have a hard copy portfolio book and online portfolio. You will bring the hardcopy book with you to interviews to review with employers. The web portfolio will be for employers to review after interviews.
You can buy a professional-looking portfolio book for a very low cost. Some store suggestions are Michaels, Staples, Office Depot, and even Walmart.
For online portfolios, there are a variety of websites and tools available for little to no cost. Some free suggestions include Behance, Adobe Portfolio, and Dribbble. Another option is creating a portfolio website. You can use tools like Wix, Weebly or Go Daddy for free or pay low monthly costs for a custom domain.
Gain New Skills
In response to the pandemic, many businesses and course providers have decided to offer courses at discounted prices or for FREE! Woohoo!
Take time to do some online courses and certifications to build up your skill sets to rank higher when applying for work.
One offer I took up, was the free Smart Service Ontario course that was offered during April. Anyone who sells, serves, or handles alcohol in Ontario must have their certification.
Check out this list of free or discounted courses, services, and certifications: https://www.classcentral.com/report/free-online-learning-coronavirus/
So, get out there and help yourself become a better job candidate!
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If you've made a portfolio before, what is one tip of advice you wish you knew when you were first starting to create one? Comment your answer below!