Your Job Search Checklist Updated for Coronavirus

by May 7, 2020

Your job search checklist updated for Coronavirus conditions

It’s NOT business as usual. You need a  job search checklist updated for Coronavirus, so you can still find that perfect job.


The job search landscape has shifted as a direct result of the global pandemic. That’s why you need to have a job search checklist updated for Coronavirus conditions, so you can take into account all of these changes. It is not business as usual, despite what people are saying.

This updated job search checklist factors in the impact of social distancing and the damage to many sectors of the economy by the pandemic. It is important to remember that many people-facing roles may not be around for a while and whole sectors may remain inactive for many months.

Yet despite concerns about high levels of unemployment and the competition that may bring, companies are still hiring. So don’t feel despondent. Organisations are making offers (even cross border) and onboarding remotely. It will just be a different landscape and one we need to get used to.


Job search checklist updated for coronavirus


Job Search Checklist Updated for Coronavirus

We have curated the main components and split into four easy to read sections so that you can easily find the tips you need. Check it out below:


1. Construct your profile


1.  Carry out your inner work – what are your goals, values and vision? If you are have an underlying condition or other vulnerability to COVID19 (living with an at risk person, being in a certain age group is also a factor in some geographies) this will impact your goals. If you rely on public transport to get to and from work, you may also want to change your thinking.

If you are struggling without a framework, download our Career Reflections Worksheets HERE.

2.  Identify your key skills and learning development needs. Now is the perfect time to reflect and dig deep. If you are changing sectors or doing a career pivot because of the impact of the pandemic, understanding your transferable skills is vital. There will be many people on the job market through no fault on their own, simply because their sectors have been mothballed in the foreseeable future. If you need help you can also ask 3Plus for a Career Audit.

3. Craft an impactful message of success stories. What are your key words? Remember that you now have some new skills. Note your remote working experience and ability to cope with uncertainty. Make sure you use powerful language. Download our free power word list HERE.

4. Update your LinkedIn profile with a compelling and searchable narrative weaving in keywords. Again, include your experience working remotely. Make sure you have checked “the open to receiving InMails” and “contact from recruiters” tabs in your privacy settings.

5. Create a CV tailored for each job title and company. Mirror their language. Many companies may now be looking for remote workers or employees willing to work shifts on a daily basis, or even weeks on and weeks off. The workplace is changing, so if you are flexible you can make it work.

6. Draft a cover letter outline. Set it up to address the pain or opportunity points in each advert. Don’t put anything in your cover letter that is not in your CV, because they are frequently separated.

7. Design a professional email address and signature. Check your emails at least twice a day, including LinkedIn InMail and other platforms, plus spam folders. Include your LinkedIn url. It is a good way of sending out your CV every time you send an email.

8. Make sure you have a professional voicemail greeting. Listen to your messages regularly.

9. Design and order business cards. Use your USP instead of a job title if you are unemployed and concerned.

  • Multi-lingual CPA, Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Marketing Director, Digital Transformation, eCommerce
  • ex Events Management, Operations and People Manager

  You can do this easily and inexpensively on-line.

One thing worse than no LinkedIn profile? A poor one. Check out our program LinkedIn for Career and Business Success.

Job search checklist updated for coronavirus


2. The job search itself


1.  Draft a list of target job titles.  Ask yourself:

“Can that role or function  be carried out currently because of social distancing?” No? Go back to the drawing board.

Some jobs will literally be mothballed in both the short and medium term. Make sure you choose career opportunities that are compatible with social distancing or your personal circumstances. You may also want to think about specifically targeting remote roles. Check out our 3Plus newsletter for a list of remote job boards.

2. Create a list of 20 potential companies and research them. Sign up for alerts. Make sure this is relevant to the limitations of the current situation. You need to ask:

Is that company still in business and how sustainable is that business in light of pandemic mitigation issues?” 

Many sectors involving the mass public, or some kinds of personal contact, are going to be restricted for many months. See above.

3. Identify key people in your network who can help you. Reach out to at least 3 people a day, even during lock down, making sure to maintain existing contacts. Have you migrated your address book and contacts from your previous employer? If you have a job, even if you are working remotely, on notice or furlough, there are still certain things you can do to protect yourself. Watch this FREE podcast 10 ways to create a post pandemic career safety net. Be smart.

4. Look for a job search mentor and set up a Personal Advisory Board for feedback and to maintain your morale. This is more important than ever during lockdown.

5. Set-up a tracking system for all job applications. Look for any patterns in terms of your results. Even no news is a message you need to do something differently. If you have no response to your applications you need to review your resume. If you don’t get beyond first interview get feedback  on your performance. Do you need coaching?

Maintain your network. Check out our Daily LinkedIn Routine for Today’s Super Busy Women.


3. Prepare for the interview process

1. Get updated on tech. It’s more important than ever that you become familiar with the tech around job search and recruitment. Many recruitment drives are moving online, so even job fairs for graduate level will replace in-person events.  It will also take a while for in-person networking to happen on a large-scale, so get comfortable with Zoom coffees. That once out-moded voice call is making a come back as well. Sign up for job posting alerts so you get notifications as soon as they are posted.

2. Practise your pitch to tricky interview questions. Why should we hire you? This should be 30 seconds max. Following this crisis, there’s a good chance that you’ll be asked about how you experienced lockdown and how you coped. Be authentic. If you were able to learn a new skill or took up a new hobby, then good for you. Or if your challenge was learning how to teach primary school or grade 9 maths online, then say that. If the interviewer is not receptive  – that might indicate you should pass.

3. Practise for automated interviews. This is especially important now that many parts of the hiring process will now be conducted on-line and automated. These are different to online interviews (see below) where questions will be presented by software without interaction with a person!  They need practise and can be challenging as they are usually timed. Make sure you are comfortable with the tech.

4. Set aside a work space for in-person video interviews. Online interviews will be the new normal so it’s important that you treat them like any other interview. This includes wearing bottoms!  Don’t do them on the move, or on your phone. If you don’t have ideal space  (any many of us don’t) you can select a virtual background taking care that it’s not distracting. Don’t forget the Zoom touch-up your appearance button! Every little helps!


Do you dress to impress? Try our Introductory Professional Image Consultation.

4. Take care of yourself


1. Set up a schedule to avoid “busyness.” Look at your times of highest productivity and “lows.” A great way to monitor this is through a daily traffic light test of your mood. Are you green, amber, or red? If you are consistently red, think about enlisting support.

2. Block out white noise. Only check into news twice a day. During the Coronavirus lockdown, you ought to be extra vigilant in this. It’s important to do what I call “managed realism.” There is so much fake news and misinformation, you need to try to identify your main reliable sources and cut out all the rest. You can’t and shouldn’t ignore hard data about employment trends. You need a strategic grasp of what is going on in your target market so you don’t waste your valuable time because you are not up to date. Don’t sweat over what you can’t control and focus on what you can.

3. Practise self-care. It is essential to take care of yourself during this crisis. It will end, so in the mean time you should stay well by eating healthily, exercising, getting enough sleep and maintaining regular hours if you can.

This too will pass

This crisis will pass. It maybe longer than any of us anticipated (especially me.) It will probably be in different and staggered phases, rather than an overnight wand waving-miracle. It’s important to stay calm and collected. Things will never be what they were before. In some ways this will be a good thing. But it’s more important than ever to be focused and savvy.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst is currently the best strategy.


Check out your executive presence. Download our FREE SelfAssessment 


Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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