Expert shares advice on finding work during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 7:03 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 08:29:21-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At least 36 million Americans have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. And in the state of Nevada, more than 300,000 people have filed for unemployment.

If you're among them and looking for a job right now, 13 Action News some expert advice for you.

"You determine where you best fit in the job market, and then you go find those jobs," said Shannon Hilmar, a job search strategist with Audacity Career Consulting.

Hilmar says before you start searching through thousands of jobs online, you need to identify your skills and strengths as a worker and write a resume that showcases them.

"It is not a job description. You use your job description in writing a resume to remind you of all the things you've done, but it's really about the accomplishments and achievements, the results you have garnered because you did your job," said Hilmar.

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She says your resume should only reflect your last 10-15 years of work experience, and it should be tweaked and tailored for each applied job.

"When you identify a job, you're going to know exactly what they want because it's in the job description. So, you use that language in order to ensure that you're highlighting the connection between your skills and experiences and the requirements of the role," said Hilmar.

When it comes to a cover letter, Hilmar says you should always include one with your application, unless the job description or company tells you not to.

"First and foremost, highlight your interest in the role and the organization. Then, it should recap your skills. And then, there should be a call to action. I always tell people three paragraphs, and in that third paragraph, the call to action [should say], 'I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications for this role further,'" said Hilmar, describing what to include in your cover letter.

With the pandemic making in-person meetings less common, Hilmar says you better be ready to do a virtual interview.

"If you get a video interview, you're on the link; you're ready to go at least 10 minutes beforehand. You've tested your audio, you've tested your video, and you've practiced," said Hilmar.

She admits the job market is difficult right now but says some industries are actually hiring now more than ever.

"[Look for] Which organizations are thinking about how they're going to survive in this more stay-at-home, socially distant world, and that's where the job will be," said Hilmar.

If you're wondering which industries are looking to hire more workers, Hilmar suggests starting your search in the following sectors: delivery services, grocery stores, retail, commerce, technology, and health care.