Tips on staying competitive in the job market, amid pandemic and economic crisis

The Department of Labor said last Thursday that another 1.5 million Americans filed for jobless claims last week.

Despite states taking steps to reopen their economies amid the pandemic, at least 20.5 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits.

Florida is fifth in the nation for new unemployment claims — following California, Texas, New York and Georgia.

Hannah Co, an operations manager based in Tampa Bay, said finding job opportunities in this time of crisis could be extra challenging — but doable.

To stay competitive, she said job applicants have to update their resumes, upgrade skills or acquire new ones.

“You can maybe apply for courses online. There are a lot of resources or free courses to brush up and update your skills.”

Co said many job openings are found through networking and referrals so it’s important for applicants to build their profiles and connections in social networking groups.

“Join a lot of groups, network, LinkedIn groups. There are also Facebook groups online that you can join. Facebook groups that are related to what you have been doing. And Facebook groups, for example, for Pinoys and your neighborhood groups.”

Applicants must also visit career source centers in their respective counties — where workshops and training courses are offered.

This Fil-Am was able to apply for a state job because she was recommended by a career source center.

“There are small boutique recruiters. Those usually are the ones who can help you because since they are small they can get to know you better and they can place you with jobs that will sometimes work for you more, negotiate with a higher salary for you and help with your resume.”

Meanwhile, economics professor Jose Bautista said that employees and job applicants must be mindful of how industries have changed their policies and practices — to align with their states’ safety requirements amid the pandemic.

“Those who are applying for jobs need to understand changes being made in various industries to adjust their skill sets and be more marketable,” said Dr. Jose Bautista, economics professor.

Bautista added that while job opportunities are limited, people should be more open to make a living — in whatever way they can.

“If there’s a part-time job available, whether or not it’s in the industry or line of work that you are used to, they should do it or take it. If the wage is less than what you earned before, you might as well pursue that.”

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  • Mario
    20 June 2020 at 2:33 pm - Reply

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