MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - With COVID-19 creating such an overwhelming impact on businesses, it’s been very difficult for people who are unemployed to find work.
“Here at the Department of Labor, we have accepted a record number of unemployment claims. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, we surpassed the entirety of 2019 in the number of claims that we have taken,” said Alabama Department of Labor Communications Director Tara Hutchison.
For those who are recently unemployed or even college graduates, officials recommend finding an essential job to get you by until things return to normal.
“You want to show that you didn’t just sit and stall, you want to be doing something even if it’s volunteer work, if anything you can do to be honing your skills to be shown your value to show that you didn’t just sit back,” said Auburn University’s Jan Moppert, director of the Office of Professional and Career Development in Auburn’s Harbert College of Business.
The good news is there are resources available to help you in your job search.
“Our Career Center staff, even though there are career centers that are closed to the public, they are still working. We do offer various training programs, educational and vocational training, a lot of times at no cost to the job seeker," said Hutchison. “There are some options where we can help you if you’re out of work. We are still offering all of those services to both job seekers and employers, if employers have a need to hire some folks we can help you get in touch with with people who need jobs.”
Moppert says a key to landing an interview is by adjusting your resume and making yourself stand out.
“This is not a time for just sending out 10, 20 resumes and cover letters that all look the same," said Moppert. "It’s about a quality game, and really making sure you know why you’re the best candidate, and you tell the employer why you’re the best candidate. It is key to remember, this is about them. This is about you being a solution to their problems.”
Moppert says many employers are doing virtual interviews, but it’s still important to watch your body language.
“It’s important that you’re making great eye contact, even though it is to a cell phone. It’s important that you’re smiling and letting that warmth exude through the phone or through the computer,” Moppert said.
Moppert also suggests following up on submitted applications.