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Good Eye! with Baillie Buchanan | Getting Hired in the Time of COVID

Baillie Buchanan

July 27, 2020

Job hunting is never easy and, in the time of COVID, it’s particularly challenging. Some businesses in our industry have had to shrink their teams, others are expanding rapidly. So what does it take to pivot your career (by choice or circumstance) today?

WIRe’s kick-off session “Seeing #MRX Job Tracks in 2020 Study Results” was a well-timed opener to their annual webinar series. Much of the discussion focused on research WIRexec members conducted with individuals in our space and how they are coping with business or career changes. The panelists also delved into career progression, change, and job hunting in such uncertain times. If you missed it, check it out here.

Being in the fortunate position of hiring during this time, I believe I’m not alone in recognizing an opportunity. The current circumstances have led to new talent being “on the market.” For companies that are growing or investing in strong pivots to weather COVID-19 and “the new after,” the hiring pool is strong. Please don’t feel that a layoff or redundancy is a barrier — you can easily market it as a positive!

Take the opportunity.

COVID-19 has taken us all in entirely new directions personally and professionally. Career-wise, could this be an opportunity you’ve been waiting for without knowing? Take a leap of faith and shift your career in a direction that may be a little (or a lot!) out of your comfort zone. In parallel with your job search, take some time to develop new or existing skills. Highlight that proactivity on your resume and in interviews. Proactive self-improvement goes a long way in today’s job hunt.

Ask for help.

The industry has come together to support each other in many ways this year, and chief among them is support for job hunters. Make sure you’re utilizing your LinkedIn and connections to expand your network or get your resume in front of the right person. Take up offers for resume reviews, introductions, exploratory conversations. An informal chat can quickly become a job offer when your skillset matches a company need.

Use the second most common C-word used right now.

Change! One takeaway from the WIRe webinar is the significant role that flexibility and change will play going forward. As an employer, I have never valued the adaptability of the RFG team more. It is an invaluable characteristic that will be a pillar of our hiring criteria now and in the future. Take every opportunity to demonstrate your ability to adapt to changing demands thoughtfully yet quickly.

Stand out!

For managers who are fortunate to be hiring, their business is growing. Therefore, it’s likely they’re doing more with less time. They may be doing their normal job plus scaling, filling in for the vacancy, and managing recruitment. That hiring manager is busy! They’re looking for quick “aha!” moments on resumes or in discussions. Make their job easier by going above and beyond in the process. Don’t just click “submit resume” on a job search site and think you’ll hear back. Actively connect with the hiring manager. Demonstrate you’ve taken time to understand their company and how you would be a great fit. Engage with that company’s content online and use your network for an additional intro. The drive you show in your job search directly reflects the moxie and self-starter mentality you would bring to the table.

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas — and a bit of a kick in the pants — to accelerate your job search. I’ll leave you with one additional offer of support: next month, RFG, in partnership with WIRe, will be offering an opportunity for current job-seekers to showcase analysis and reporting skills and have that work shared across our collective networks. Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing more details soon. In the meantime, if I can help you further in your search with introductions or help to craft outreach messages, please reach out to me directly.

About the Author

Baillie Buchanan is a Co-Founder of Research For Good, an online sample, research services, and technology company. Since 2012, RFG has lead the industry in connecting market researchers with real people while using a portion of the revenue on every completed survey to support charitable causes. A sample industry veteran, Baillie oversees sales, marketing, and product development, including the recent launch of The Sampling Place, a do-it-yourself sample buying portal. Baillie is a wife, mother of 2, fierce seeker of work-life balance, traveler, and a  transplant from Seattle to Fort Worth, TX.

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