The Job Search During the Pandemic - Lean in Canada

The job market is still alive

O.K. so here’s the real scoop, searching for and interviewing for jobs in the Canadian market looks totally different now than it did a year ago. Totally, totally different. Job seekers are now in the position of having to not only navigate the difficulty of the standard job search, but they are also having to do this primarily all virtually. Conundrum!

It’s true that patience is needed while the Government and employers are re-thinking their old ways of doing things; but it’s not all gloom. According to the August 2020 Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, employment continues to rebound and is on the rise in most provinces (primarily for full-time work), when compared to prior months.

Here are three things that have changed in the job search and interview process:

Online Networking

There is a so-called “hidden job market” that you can and should take advantage of.

  • Search for online virtual events through sites such as Eventbrite and Meetup. There is something for everyone across industries and interests. They often have job boards of their own and you never know who you may end up meeting so take advantage.
  • Check out various associations that can help you expand your circle. Corporate and college alumni groups are excellent networks for the short and long term. There is typically a membership fee but the potential gains and valued relationships are worth it.
  • Reach out to your close relations on LinkedIn and get the 411 on trends that they are seeing in their industry and organizations. Employers are still hiring (not by the droves), but they are. It never hurts to have a direct connection to potential work.

The Job Market

Some industries are thriving during the pandemic so it’s important that you get informed. A few industries that have seen some stability and growth are:

  • Essential retail such as grocery stores and food delivery services, are experiencing a huge influx of business during the pandemic. They are also changing a lot of their processes and expanding their business and IT functions to support these changes.
  • Banking and financial service experts/advisors are helping individuals and businesses right now to better understand how the economy has impacted them and what to do about it. 
  • Telecommunications and internet providers have had to enhance their models to keep up with the virtual demands of working from home, schooling from home, keeping in touch with friends and family from home, everything from home.
  • Healthcare is an obvious one right now that spans across several in demand health related jobs.
  • Government is another obvious one with policies, rules, benefits and regulations being reimagined in real-time.
  • Technology and IT is a biggie. Consider also using this time to upgrade your digital skills. More and more we are becoming a virtual society and organizations are looking to automate a lot of their back and front end processes. They are looking for people to help champion and drive these automation endeavours and it can never hurt to brush up on your IT knowledge.

Virtual Interviews

Yes this matters now so get ready to be up close and personal with virtual interviews.

  • Please oh please, make sure that whatever camera you are using is wiped clean. Looking at a blurry image of another human being on video ends up feeling akin to trying to talk to a surreal moving painting. 
  • Camera up, camera down, camera, right, camera left? Where should the darned thing go? Rule of thumb is to try to have your camera somewhere central so that it’s not looking down on you or vice versa. 
  • Remember to stare into the lens as opposed to the screen when you are being interviewed. This is the virtual equivalent of making direct eye contact.  
  • Situate yourself somewhere where there is reasonable lighting. Sit in front of a window (if you can), or get a proper lamp that will help illuminate your beautiful face so that you don’t end up looking like you have been swallowed by black hole.
  • Learn the art of the mute button. Mute yourself when someone is talking so that it’s a respectful exchange of words over some peace and quiet.
  • Wait for your interviewer to end their statements for a few extra seconds than what you are typically used to in person. There is no harm in a pause. It is better than interrupting, which happens at an oddly high frequency on video calls.
  • Check yourself out in your own video i.e., make sure that you are sitting up straight, smiling, and paying attention.
  • Yes, we all know that our dirty little secret is that we are all wearing jogging pants on the bottom and it’s glorious. But put some effort into wearing professional attire on the top. It’s the least you can do and it shows that you are still aiming for success.

These are just a few tidbits of information to help you on your journey towards your next exciting role. Prepare yourself for the search for jobs in this new world and keep your future employment dreams alive.


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