By Randy Mountz, Managing Partner

Searching for your next career opportunity certainly has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees have been furloughed or laid off during this time, creating an excess of job seekers in the market. Zoom and other video platforms have become the norm for interviewing and candidates are now getting hired without ever meeting the hiring manager or their colleagues in person. 

Many candidates have told me that the hiring process is taking longer than ever. With so many people looking for new jobs, the competition is tougher than before. Job seekers today must work hard to stand out from their competitors. I recently spoke with several ad-tech veterans to get their perspectives on how the job market has changed due to the pandemic and the techniques they’re using to stand out and land a new gig. A few takeaways:

  • Be proactive. Actively reach out to the hiring managers at companies that may need your skillset to create your own opportunities. Take time to research companies and roles that will be a good fit for you. Demonstrate insight beyond the obvious so you stand out.
  • Fill your pipeline. With a large number of job seekers competing for a limited number of roles, fill your pipeline with a large volume of relevant potential new opportunities. And be honest with yourself as you define how active, timely, and legit any particular opportunity may truly be.
  • Work your network. Try to find an internal champion who can recommend you for a particular role. Reach out to contacts in your industry – often they’ll have the scoop on when the company may be hiring before those jobs hit the market. 
  • Be confident. When you’re unemployed or underemployed, it can be difficult to maintain your self-confidence. Work to silence your inner critic and engage in activities to build up confidence, such as volunteering for a local nonprofit organization or industry group. 

Conducting a job search while navigating multiple crises at once – a major recession, a global health crisis, and the uncertainty of when it will improve – presents its own challenges that a candidate will need to overcome to land the right role for them. Don’t be afraid to pivot your search strategy and try new methods to make your job search successful. Once you get past the discomfort, that new tactic may be the one that helps you secure the next step in your career. 

I’d like to thank Chris Grech, Midwest Sales Director at Future – Chicago; Wendy Hidenrick, formerly National Director Account Development at AdQuick – Los Angeles; and Kent Austermann – formerly Central Region Data Sales at ShareThis – Chicago for their contributions to this article.