We are living during difficult times and a lot of people have lost their jobs due to the current pandemic. Some people will bounce straight back, but some will struggle to find something new. If you are experiencing problems finding a new job here are some tips to help you.

1. Learn to play the game today.

If you are job searching for the first time in a while, you can save yourself some headaches by learning how the job search game is played today. If you want to do the research yourself do so There are also plenty of people sharing thoughts and ideas that are willing to help. Just remember to keep an open mind as things have changed in the job search world (and probably even more so once the aftereffects of this pandemic settle down).

You can employ the services a professional CV writer to ensure your CV is up to date with today’s standards. A job search or personal coach can provide some practical networking strategies. It will not guarantee you a job, but it will ensure that you are presenting yourself effectively.

It can be easy to become dejected during the job search process, so it is good to get some objective feedback from people in touch with the hiring methods of today. Understanding what has changed can take some of that mental pressure off you and once you know what has changed it will make you feel better.

TIP 1: You can gain a lot of insight into the game by following on recruiters, job search consultants and CV writers on LinkedIn. Read what these guys post and follow the conversations that they have. A lot of job seekers follow these people and you will be able to find like-minded people as you scroll through the comments. Chances are, you will feel a lot less alone when you start following some of these conversations, so why not give it a try?

TIP 2: CVs have changed over the last few years and it can be a challenge to get them right for today’s job search. If you decide to pay someone to write your CV, please be warned there are a lot of providers out there that will take your money but none of them can guarantee you a job. If you choose to work with a CV writer or a career coach, talk to a few people that have worked with the coach/writer to understand their personal objectives (and results) before you plop down any extra cash!

2. Fill the CV gap.

If you find yourself headed towards a significant gap in employment, you may want to consider how you will explain what you did during that time. While you are job hunting every day look at trying to find some freelance work or work on your own project or do a course. This will show that you had other things to focus on and that to you were learning new skills and, most importantly, that you were doing something. It will help to make you feel better to be productive during this time, and it will demonstrate that you were not just sitting around waiting for something to turn up.

Most recruiters and hiring managers are likely to feel that a gap could hinder a candidate’s chances —If you leave a gap on your CV a recruiter or hiring manager won’t know what you were doing during that time, and that could land you in the “no” pile before you even get a chance to talk. Take some time thinking about how you are spending (or spent) your time off someone else’s payroll. It is important for you to show that you have been active or keeping your skills up during the non-working time.

You can explain the reason for unemployment, the reason for layoff, or the reason for the CV gaps in a cover letter or directly on the CV. You could also think about volunteering for a nonprofit to fill the gaps as well.

TIP:3 Use this opportunity to feature the right keywords into your resume, which can certainly help surface your name in recruiter searches.

3. Own your story.

There is a good chance that when you find yourself interviewing for a new position, someone is going to say, “So, tell me about yourself.” This is the ideal opportunity to let your personality come out and speak from the heart. Speaking sincerely about what has made you the person you are will naturally resonate with others.

FYI, this is not the time to dwell on your circumstance (“I lost my job due to the global pandemic”, “My company had layoffs due to being acquired”, “I was fired”, “I quit”). Go into the interview and expect to have to tell your story. Keep it short and sweet and put a positive spin on it. People will feel for you if you went through a rough patch, but they do not want to hear the sob story, especially not the first phone call.

TIP 1: The more you talk about your employment situation with someone else the easier it will become to talk about it in general. Your story will naturally come together and that is what you want – to feel natural and unemotional when you discuss it.

Regardless of whether you were just retrenched or you’ve been job searching for months, others can help and relate but you must put the effort into sharing your story one way or another. It is important to get the cobwebs out. Practicing your story with others will help you perfect it.

TIP 2: If you’re at a loss for where to start, reach out to some former colleagues and ask them for their thoughts. What did they like about working with you? Could they always rely on you to get something done? Do you have a knack for details most people cannot deal with? Are you a natural leader? This is also a great way to network and if they are willing to be a reference (and/or leave you a recommendation on LinkedIn), so much the better!

4. Expect nothing and learn from everything.

Expect to feel a lot of disappointment when you are job hunting. Disappointment comes from expecting something from others in a situation, and a job search is full of let downs for most people.

You may be completely qualified based on the job description, but you do not hear anything back from the company. You may be reaching out to former colleagues to network, only to hear silence on the other end. The list can go on and on, but the bottom line is you cannot take any of this personally and you can’t solely rely on others to help you move forward. Instead, figure out what you can change about your approach or mindset to make progress.

TIP: Be honest with yourself. A job search takes a lot of time and effort for most people. If you feel like you are beating your head against a wall and you’re out of work for longer than you would like, ask yourself what is in your control that you can change?

You are in control of what compensation you want vs what you need. Title is somewhat relative from company to company so do not get too held up on that. Geography is becoming less important as more companies move to remote work. The list can go on and on. There are lots of things under your control, so when you get tired of banging your head against the wall, ask yourself what is truly important at that time, then re-evaluate.