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Career Focus

What a Difference a Few Months Make

By LISA TRUDEL - September 22 2020

By Lisa Trudel

If you are reading this article, you might be interested in learning, or job searching, or just staying informed. Everyone around the world was informed in March of 2020 about COVID-19. Some people lost their jobs. Some people had employers who shifted them to remote work. Some people returned to school.

Wherever you are in your career, it could be time to step back onto your career lattice and recharge your job search energy. COVID-19 might have changed our economy yet what has not changed is the need to review the following 6 points:

  1. Career Lattice: until the 1990s it was common for companies to hire employees in an entry-level position and then allow them to advance up an invisible career ladder to more responsibility and increased salary. This changed in the 2000s to a career lattice image. Similar to a garden lattice, everything is connected yet nothing is a one-size-fits-all career plan any more.
  2. Resumes: you still require a resume to apply for a job. However resumes are now usually initially read by ATS scanners, not people. Become skilled at revising your resume for every job posting you apply to.
  3. Cover Letters: there is still a need to cover your resume with a letter. A cover letter is a standard business best practice and resumes are seldom sent without one. Cover letters provide a way of describing how you can bring profitability and improved productivity to an employer using words that you would never write on a resume.
  4. Volunteering: if your employment ended in February or March of this year, one of the best ways to fill in a resume gap is to conduct remote volunteer work. Volunteering is respected just as much as paid work, and including your community involvement in the “experience” section of your resume, can help the reader to understand more about what drives you to succeed.
  5. LinkedIn: the increase in remote work has intensified the demand for job seekers to have an extraordinary LinkedIn profile. Understand how to use this online platform to showcase your professional story. It should summarize your experience for your connections, future employers and recruiters. Best of all, it provides a space where your connections can write flattering recommendations about you.
  6. Professional Development: education is more than obtaining a University Degree or College Diploma. It includes understanding how social media has shifted hiring procedures. For example, many interviews are now conducted via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms so become an expert on how to capture the attention of an employer by being on camera instead of shaking hands exuberantly as we used to do before COVID-19.

To find out more about how you can step onto your career lattice and recharge your job search, contact your local Employment Ontario Career Centre. COVID-19 might still be here, yet you can still be supported in your career planning efforts. You alone can achieve, but you don’t have to walk alone toward career success.

This article was written by Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with the Centre for Education and Training. You can contact her at: 

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