Pattie Lovett-Reid: Tips for finding a job during a pandemic
COVID-19 has decimated our employment landscape and sadly, we aren't through the pandemic. As cases across the country continue to climb, the fear of a second wave and an additional knock to the economy is all too real.
In the recent throne speech, the federal government offered up some support by the way of extending its Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program to assist businesses with covering fixed costs as part of a plan to create one million jobs.
Jobs are key in my opinion.
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Small businesses are struggling and we still have one million fewer people employed than we did prior to the pandemic. Add to this, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as we know comes to an end on Sept. 26, at which time the following is expected to happen:
1. The government is expected to transition to a modified EI program on Sept. 27
2. The government has telegraphed that it’s launching three new temporary recovery benefits covering self-employed, sickness and caregivers who in the past may not have been covered by EI.
3. The EI eligibility requirement has been lowered to 120 insurable hours across Canada
4. The majority of CERB recipients will be automatically transitioned to EI.
5. Ottawa plans to increase the value of weekly benefits for unemployed workers to $500 a week
These measures are temporary and will be only in place for a year. While the window may be closing, there is still time to get your financial house in order.
The key to getting our economy back on track – in other words, moving from survival mode to a place where you’re thriving – is getting people back to work. This will require education and, in many cases, retraining.
However, it’s tough to compete in today's competitive environment, so how do you stand out from the crowd?
I reached out to Pino Addesa, recruitment director at The Staffing Alternative, on how to position yourself and your resume as you look for new opportunities. Here’s what he said:
1. Keep your resume short and simple. That means two pages maximum. Cut out the fat; less is more.
2. Proof read your resume before submitting it. Even if you have the right skills, some employers will automatically discount your profile if they find a spelling or grammar error on a resume.
3. A resume should always be in chronological order from the most recent work experience to past work experience.
4. Before applying for a job, ensure you have the requirements in terms of hard and soft skills, and ensure they are effectively communicated on your resume.
5. Provide and showcase metrics on your resume to help tell your story. In other words, what have you done to make a difference or a financial impact on the business.
We need to focus on job creation and promotion of business investment. The recovery is clearly going to be uneven – and certain sectors are going to struggle and take much longer to recover than others.
In the meantime, try to control what you can. Finding a job right now isn't about finding your dream job. It’s more about creating some financial flexibility in your life – and that means taking advantage of every opportunity to stand out from the crowd.