We’re entering a completely new work landscape, and Rhode Islanders have a big challenge ahead when it comes to rebuilding the economy and getting back to work. Stimulus checks have been a saving grace for many who have been laid off, furloughed, or no longer have access to resources they might have before. But stimulus money won’t last forever, and there’s a long road to recovery. The good news is that there are plenty of companies hiring.
As we get closer to the summer and employment benefits begin to expire, more and more people will enter the job market and the ability to stand out will become increasingly difficult. Being proactive about your job search now will give you a leg up in the market, provide the opportunity to explore new career paths and take advantage of training opportunities and ensure your benefits don’t run out.
If you’re just getting started in your job search, here are some helpful tips to get you ahead of the game.
1. Prepare for virtual interviews.
While Governor Raimondo is working hard to reopen the state, employers are working hard to figure out how they can create a safe environment for people to slowly return to work. While this is good news, it also means that working from home and virtual meetings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This in mind, make sure you’re prepared to take virtual interviews. Test your technology ahead of time and find a quiet space to avoid a choppy conversation with background noise. Make sure you dress appropriately, and most importantly, look for opportunities to connect with the person you’re speaking with. It can be difficult when you’re staring at a computer screen, so try to personalize the conversation by sharing a relevant anecdote, asking about their day or sharing something about yours to give recruiters something to remember.
2. Remember that not all industries are the same.
COVID-19 has affected companies and industries in different ways across Rhode Island. If you’ve been on the job hunt for some time, consider shifting your focus to industries that are seeing a surge in demand. In Rhode Island, the healthcare, manufacturing and customer service industries are actively hiring, and SkillsRI recruiters will help you identify and interview for these in-demand opportunities.
3. Brush up on your skills...
...and take advantage of virtual trainings. With social distancing mandates still in place and many continuing to shelter in place, now is the perfect time to brush up on your skills and bolster your qualifications. There are plenty of free resources to help you learn new skills online and earn certifications, from EdX classes and Microsoft tutorials to Coursera courses and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).
4. Consider temporary opportunities.
Across Rhode Island, there has been a surge in openings for temporary positions. While there’s often a hesitancy around applying for temp jobs, they’re a great way to get your foot in the door, gain experience, beef up your resume and earn an income during this time of uncertainty. As you work toward your long-term career, a temporary job can serve as a step forward in achieving your career goals. Apply for temporary jobs in Rhode Island here.
5. Be patient.
This is an entirely new landscape for both job seekers and employers. Employers are working to implement new processes to navigate current challenges and address barriers for team members as well as potential candidates. Remember that this may be a slower process than usual as everyone adapts to the changing job market.
Not sure where to begin your job search? Call Skills for Rhode Island's Future at 401-680-5960 or visit the job board.