How to apply for a new job during a pandemic

Looking for a job? Check out our handy guide.

You may have read horrific news articles about thousands of people applying for a single job opening in the last weeks and months, which probably hasn’t done much to improve your job search. With some companies closing, downsizing and freezing recruitment, there may be fewer roles available, but don’t lose hope. God has a plan for your life!

Where do you start?

If you haven’t already done so, update your CV. Make sure it has the most important and impressive information on it, removing any waffle and typos. You need it to be as good as it can be if you’re going to stand out from the crowd. Get a friend or family member to check it over before sending it out.

You might already have started looking for jobs, but it can help to take a step back and really think about what you’re trying to achieve. It’s better to apply for one really relevant and desirable role each day or week than firing off your CV to every company you come across, regardless of whether you are suitable for or even want the job. Write a list of your key skills, then outline what your ideal role would look like. Keeping these details in mind will make your job search more informed and efficient. 

Ready to apply

Now you know what you’re looking for, set aside time each day to look for jobs. It’s great to search on the usual job application sites, but it may also be worth using social media sites like LinkedIn, your local newspaper or even word-of-mouth recommendations as other avenues to explore. Keep an open mind! If there is a particular role you want or a company you’re desperate to work for, be proactive and reach out to them even if they’re not currently advertising. You may be just what they’re looking for, they simply haven’t realised it yet!

When you find a suitable job to apply for, don’t rush your application. Make sure you read the job description and person specification carefully. Then draft a cover letter that is specific to the role. Don’t be tempted to copy and paste from another application. Explain why you are the ideal candidate, demonstrating that you have done your research. Again, get someone to check your application over before you send it off, and don’t forget to attach both your CV and cover letter.

The next stage

With many companies still working remotely, the interview process may be a little different from usual, but the basic aim will be the same. The person doing the hiring will want to make sure that you are able to do the job, but also that you are someone they want to work alongside. It may help to practise your interview skills with someone you trust in a role-play situation ahead of the big day.

It’s likely that your interview will take place via video link, but that doesn’t mean you should be any less formal in your approach. Make sure you dress the part, even down to your polished shoes. Ensure that you are sitting somewhere quiet, with plenty of light, and sit up straight. Speak clearly and maintain good eye contact, smiling where appropriate. Listen carefully to the questions before answering.

If the interviewer doesn’t explain the next steps, ask when a decision is likely to be made about the job. If you haven’t heard from the employer within a few days of the given date, don’t assume the worst. Drop them an email and ask whether someone has been appointed to the role. If so, ask for feedback so you know what to work on for next time. If not, they may still be deliberating or need to conduct a second round of interviews before making a decision. 

Keep going

If you’re not successful the first time around, stay positive. It’s a tough market at the moment, and many people are in the same boat. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your search, and keep persevering. Ask God to open the right door at the right time, trusting that he will meet your needs in the short term.

As 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) says: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”