Just because you are hearing about workers being laid off, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on your career dreams. Even if your target companies are not hiring this minute, they will begin hiring again.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to prepare! Here are a few things you can do:

EMBRACE ONLINE NETWORKING

Look for professional groups to join on LinkedIn and Facebook. Both platforms offer a wide range of groups for every profession. Post relevant articles, share important information, and keep yourself visible. Post daily or weekly, but always look for relevant content that will increase your credibility and grow your professional network.

UPSKILL

This is the perfect time to improve your marketability. Read job descriptions carefully to see if you have the qualifications it will take to get your dream job. Take courses to gain certifications that will enhance your skills. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile and other social media platforms reflect the professional image you want to project. Take a hard look at your resume to see if it will stand out from the competition. Will a recruiter quickly understand how you can provide value to their organization? Or will they be turned off by typos or too much unnecessary information? Ask an unbiased person to review your resume with an objective point of view so that you can make improvements now.

One more skill to learn – practice virtual interviewing with someone you trust. Ask them to check your lighting and learn how to angle the camera so the person you’re meeting can see your entire face. Be aware of your background and practice good eye contact. Be ready to ace that virtual interview when you get an invitation to meet.

REACH OUT

If you have had an interview, but have not heard back, be mindful that COVID-19 has impacted organizations in many different ways. That doesn’t mean that you should not follow up with your contacts at the company. To stay top of mind, follow up with an email that acknowledges the unprecedented change we are all experiencing. Then share relevant information that may be valuable to your contact and showcase how you can provide value. This will serve you well when the company is ready to hire again.

DON’T GIVE UP!

The most important thing that you can do is to continue your job search. Whether you have recently been laid off, or you have been looking to make a change for a long time, your full-time job is to market yourself. Spend time each day researching organizations, building professional relationships, reaching out to people for endorsements or recommendations, looking at promising job postings, applying to jobs, improving your qualifications, creating compelling cover letters, and improving your resume.

Don’t believe people who tell you that there’s no point in looking for a job right now. You can be sure that your competition is hard at work trying to get noticed. There may be fewer job opportunities available, but that shouldn’t stop you from preparing to get that great job in the future.