The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed every facet of normal life, and safety precautions put in place to halt the spread of the virus have meant that much of the working world has had to halt its regular activities. This has also impacted anyone looking for employment, but how has it specifically affected the job market, and how can people hunting from jobs improve their employability in these trying times? Here’s what’s changed, and ways you can adapt to the changes.
Changes to the job market
One of the biggest impacts Covid-19 has had on the job market is the enforcement of lockdowns, which has meant that all but the most essential jobs have had to either move operations online or stop altogether.
The lockdowns also significantly reduced public spending, disrupting businesses on a global scale. Some businesses have been able to transition relatively seamlessly to working remotely, or take out a loan to pay for overheads, but many had to cut costs by furloughing or letting employees go. According to statistics from the Bank of England, around nine million people were being paid 80% of their income through furlough support, which is expected to extend to March 2021.
Unemployment rates have soared as a result, with the most recent unemployment figures putting the UK at an employment rate of 4.9%, or 1.69 million people unemployed. This figure is expected to rise in coming months as lockdowns tighten in response to the new strain of Covid-19, and more of the country moves to higher lockdown tiers.
How you can adapt to the changes
If you’re currently looking for a job, the current circumstances are possibly the most difficult in recent memory to try and look for employment in. If you’re having a hard time looking for employment, don’t be disheartened- remember that these are very trying times and the job markets have had to close themselves off from candidates.
With that in mind, there are some things you can do to improve your odds of employability, whether you’re currently actively looking for employment or waiting for the vaccine distribution to begin searching in earnest.
- Making use of online job fairs and events to discover opportunities and network from home
- Establishing a social media presence to make valuable career connections during lockdown
- Building an online portfolio to highlight your skills and accomplishments
- Taking up part-time work or volunteering to develop skills and gain experience during lockdown
- Develop your online skills in preparation for remote work, through online courses or freelance work
- Practicing talking into webcams and creating a presentable space in preparation for remote interviews
- Expanding your skill set by exploring different sectors
We hope you all the best in your job searching journey!