Top tips if you have been impacted by COVID-19

In light of the unprecedented pandemic, the news have highlighted much pessimism in the hiring market. With global headcount freezes, it seems to be that there is greater focus on retention strategies as well as beefing up on retrenchment policies with new regulations and laws in place.

Industries which have been hit the hardest by this job ad decline include Hospitality and Travel (-7%) and consumer-facing service industries such as accommodation and retail trade (-7%).

Nevertheless, there is positive outlook for the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industry, along with a stronger emphasis for remote working during this digital age.

 

STEM industry remains resilient

Resilience in the STEM industry have been prominent in the Asia-Pacific region.  Notably, there has been an increase in amount of job seekers on LinkedIn namely in healthcare, public administration, professional services and technology sectors i.e data analysts, IT specialists and infrastructure.

According to Workforce Singapore (WSG), there were 13,000 job vacancies with 11,000 applicants as of April which signifies that hiring and job-seeking remains high in demand. Indeed, a renowned job-site, highlighted that job seekers across Singapore are increasingly searching for terms such as "remote", "work from home" and related (183% increase), greater interest for contractual and gig roles.

With these new trends taking over the workforce, what are some of the steps job-seekers as well as employers should take moving forward?

 

We ran a virtual webinar: “Have You Been Impacted?”

Here at Huxley, we ran a virtual webinar “Have You Been Impacted?” where our expert consultants – Sharlyn Soh, Delfina Tan and See Xuan Bin – shed some light on trends within their markets. According to those who gave their insights, fintech companies and online lenders are likely to emerge as big winners with the closing of physical bank branches and more transactions driven online. Roles in strong demand for Q2 include engineers and developers for in-house roles and this is especially so amongst banks.

On the flipside, roles with hiring freeze and uncertainty remains with sales roles. Nevertheless, there is still positivity especially within IT. Job-site Monster, witnessed the highest surge in e-hiring demand for Q1, with 19%, 16% and 7% growth for January, February and March, respectively.

You may watch the recorded session below: 

 

Adapting to new ways of working with soft skills

Soft skills such as Social Intelligence & Communication, Time Management, Digital Literacy, Collaboration and Agility and Negotiation are now more in demand than ever before. We expanded on this in our article on '’Soft skills that are in demand with new ways of working’’, which you can read in full here. These soft skills are more important than ever as we have seen with the transition to remote working, and are highly desirable within the jobs market right now. People who have engaged in remote working previously are also seen as having a competitive edge, and this is set to continue as long as remote working is seen as business-as-usual (BAU).

 

Having a strong digital profile – LinkedIn and CV tips

“Hiring managers only take less than 15 seconds to glance through a CV”

Before you throw yourself into a new job search the first step you need to take is to update your LinkedIn profile and optimise your CV. These platforms carve the first impression you offer to a potential employer. We expanded on theses in our article on “12 steps on writing a successful CV’’, which you can read in full here, and “Five top tips to create an impressive LinkedIn profile” which you can read full here.

 

Common concerns and frequently asked questions in light of COVID-19

  • Will age group be an obstacle in securing a job especially during times like this?

This is highly dependent on the role that we are looking at – management roles are

Mindset plays an important part in this as well – keeping a positive and vibrant mindset and this would make you more attractive

  • Apart from having a strong CV and LinkedIn profile, is it important to prepare a portfolio when applying for a job?

If you are applying through a recruiter or headhunter, having a portfolio will definitely help as it gives them a holistic understanding of the projects you have done in the roles you have worked in.

On the flipside, hiring managers tend to focus on CVs and LinkedIn and these remain as priority especially during times where the majority is working remotely.

Nevertheless, ultimately it all depends on the requirements of the role itself. Be sure to showcase what is most important and relevant to the role that you are applying.

  • I had 3 online interviews for a role, it all went really well, however my role was put on hold due to COVID-19. Will it be good to chase them for a status?

Yes, do try to follow up once a week to get updates with the hiring manager. While you do not want to try and be too pushy, patience is key. This could also be an opportunity for you to look at competitors because being shortlisted suggests that you do have the right skillset and competitive edge to secure it.

  • Should I highlight that I have taken a sabbatical gap on LinkedIn?

It is always good to be honest, having a gap in between will not be detrimental to your profile. A tip would be to include the training, activities or courses that you have done during that gap which can add value to your overall profile. Try to focus on having relevant keywords to ensure that your profile remains searchable and optimised.

 

We can help

As we navigate through the course of this pandemic, the jobs market is set to change time and time again. We aim to keep you as informed and up to date as possible and to support you with your respective hiring and job seeking needs throughout this challenging time. Therefore, we recommend you keep an eye on both our website and LinkedIn for regular updates. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss anything on the above or to find out more about the recruitment services we offer, and if you are looking for the next step in your career then keep an eye on our live roles.

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