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Job hunting during the Covid-19 lockdown? What you need to know

Posted: 24 Apr 2020

Job hunting during the Covid-19 lockdown? What you need to know

Keeping in touch with a specialist recruiter when job hunting during the Covid-19 lockdown can help you find out about opportunities that may not be advertised.

Figures released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection recently (20 April 2020) show that well over half a million people have availed of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. This payment was introduced to support employees and the self-employed who have lost their income due to the pandemic. While the sectors most impacted are Accommodation and Food Service activities (126,000), Wholesale and Retail Trade (88,400) and Construction (77,400), IT workers are not unaffected. Eolas Recruitment has seen an uplift in the number of candidates job hunting in recent weeks.

So, what do you need to know if you are job hunting during the current lockdown?

 

“The first thing I’d advise is to get your CV up to date,” says Senior Recruiter Peter Kirby. “Lockdown doesn’t change the fact that your CV has a huge bearing on how a potential employer will view your job application. One of the biggest mistakes we find is that candidates think all they have to do is add new information to an earlier CV. Most candidates will need to create a fresh document tailored to the role they are applying for. Earlier this month, we shared tips on our website about how to update your tech CV.”

Senior Recruiter Stephen Daly says another thing job hunters can do during the lockdown is use the time to enhance their skills and qualifications.

“In recent times it has been very much a candidate’s market with a lot of opportunities for IT workers across a broad range of sectors. However, due to the current pandemic, there are more candidates in the market which means competition for good roles will increase. While your current qualifications may look good on your CV, other candidates could have additional technical and/or management qualifications. It is really good to show that you are committed to ongoing learning and development. There are lots of online training courses out there so there’s plenty of ways to enhance your skills. This can make a real difference when applying for all kinds of IT roles, from project management through to information and cybersecurity, cloud and DevOps.”

Check out this Eolas Recruitment article for tips on how to improve your chances of getting the job you want.

Candidates need to keep an open mind when it comes to applying for roles, perhaps considering temporary or interim roles during the lockdown period, says Senior Recruiter Nollaig Leydon.

Nollaig says if you are selected for interview, it will most likely be a phone or video interview due to the current social distancing restrictions.

“We’re seeing a lot more employers now willing to use phone and video interviews when screening candidates. Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, WebEx and GotoMeeting are the most common apps companies are using. Job hunters really need to familiarise themselves with these apps and practice using them. Usually, there’s only get one chance to make a good impression in a video interview. I’ve seen good candidates lose out because their Internet connection was poor and it affected how they came across to the employer. It’s really important that your technology is properly set up and that you know how to use it. Another point to bear in mind is that many people are working from home at the moment. So, if your job hunting is successful and you secure a new role, don’t be alarmed if your onboarding process is virtual,” Nollaig advises.

When it comes to finding out about upcoming IT vacancies, one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse of the market is keep in touch with a specialist IT recruiter.

Managing Director Vincent Flynn says an advantage Eolas Recruitment has over general recruiters is his team’s in-depth knowledge of the IT sector.

“We’ve been providing temporary, interim and permanent IT professionals for companies across Ireland for more than 20 years now so we have built up great relationships. That means we often hear about upcoming vacancies before they are advertised. Another advantage, which clients have been commenting on recently, is our ability to find suitable candidates for particular roles, even in the current lockdown. Since the pandemic outbreak, some companies have found they are getting fewer applications than usual because candidates are cautious in an uncertain environment. Clients really appreciate our ability to source talent. All of our consultants have IT and recruitment backgrounds and people know they can trust us. You can see that in the favourable reviews that Eolas Recruitment receives from the companies and candidates who use our services,” says Vincent.

Asked what candidates can do if they don’t have an IT background, the Eolas Recruitment team agree that learning to code is a good start.There are always new problems to solve and many companies are looking for coders to support their ongoing development. Even if you have no previous experience, you can learn the basics of coding online.

Candidates who are job hunting during the current lockdown can find out more about Eolas Recruitment in these informational videos. We also encourage you to check out our job listings. For more information and/or a chat in confidence, please reach out to us. Our team will be pleased to help you.

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