With unemployment rates rising in Australia, an increasing number of people will be looking for work once coronavirus restrictions are lifted. Here’s how to prepare for a return to the workforce as best you can.
Looking for work can be stressful, and not having your finances in order is only going to add to that stress. If you’re out of work, it’s a great idea to check your eligibility and apply for the government’s Jobseeker payment. The federal government also announced a six-month freeze on evictions for tenants whose income has been affected by the coronavirus. So, if you’re renting, it’s a good idea to try and sort something out with your landlord so you can focus on getting back into the workforce.
Once you’re able to focus on getting your resume in order, it’s important that you update it, even though you might not have been working much lately. Completed an online course? Mention it. Done some remote training? Include that as well. The job landscape is changing, and what employers are accepting as experience is changing too. There are a number of articles on Scout to help with resume layout and what to include, and in a world where it’s difficult to showcase yourself in person, resumes are more important than ever.
It’s a good idea to speak to your references before you start applying for jobs. Let them know that they can expect to be contacted and what sort of thing you’re going for. There’s nothing worse than someone who you want to vouch for you sounding confused on the phone, so you’ll both benefit from a bit of preparation. Plus, with everyone staying home, it certainly doesn’t hurt to reach out to people you may not have spoken to in a little while.
While a lot of workplaces might not be actively hiring, most are planning for the other side of coronavirus restrictions. Relaunch strategies and hiring staff to help with an upturn in business will be high on the agenda, so if you can be front-of-mind with business owners, it’ll help you stand out. You’ll need to do this sensitively, as a lot of businesses are experiencing hardship and some have had to close altogether. Dropping a manager a friendly expression of interest along with your resume doesn’t hurt, and it could help make some hiring decisions easier for them when they return to regular service.
If you’re able to, it’s good to keep your skills sharp or, if necessary, your portfolio updated. If you work in creative industries, it’s a good idea to keep writing, drawing, filming or whatever else you can to keep yourself busy. If you’ve maintained your practice through the downtime, it’ll help impress potential employers. While this is more difficult for hospitality professionals, chefs can still work on new menu items at home and have the freedom to try building dishes they might not have been able to at work.
Photography: Pete Dillon