April 15, 2020

Job Seeking during the Coronavirus Pandemic: What you need to know



Extraordinary times have resulted in extraordinary measures being taken to counter the spread of the coronavirus.                

Many of us are working from home, uncertain what the future holds and when ‘normal’ working practices might be resumed.                        

For those approaching qualification the next few months are key to finding out whether you will be kept on by your training firm or to start looking for an NQ role elsewhere.                              

Some of you working within the legal profession will be waiting it out at home whilst ‘furloughed’, others may sadly be dealing with redundancy situations.                       

Whatever the reason, if you find yourself looking for a job during this time, we have put together some practical tips to help you adapt to the current situation:                      

Be patient – whilst businesses adjust to home working, decisions that may have been made quite quickly whilst in the office can take a little longer especially when hiring partners will be swamped with other more pressing tasks                           

Be flexible – consider practice areas that are likely to be more resilient during a time of economic uncertainty, widen your geographical search area if at all possible and be open minded to different types/sizes of law firms                                   

Do your housekeeping – use this period of ‘downtime’ to update your CV and refresh your LinkedIn profile. Whilst normal activities are limited, make sure to keep yourself ‘match fit’ so you’re ready to act the moment restrictions are rescinded.                                           

Adapt – if you are fortunate to be invited to interview it is likely that it will be a change from the usual procedure and will be conducted via telephone or video. Don’t be fazed, treat it like you would any other interview – prepare, practise and be professional!                           

  • Prepare – questions and answers. Be able to show evidence of the research you’ve done into the firm/role/interviewers with your questions but don’t just use phrases from the firm’s website. Answer the question – it’s easy to talk a lot but say nothing. Don’t leave it to the last minute to check your technology – make sure it works ahead of time so you’re not in a fluster.
  • Practise – stand in front of a mirror, or record yourself on your phone/lap top to check out your body language and tone of voice. (Do you fidget or mutter or pull strange faces?)
  • Be professional – dress as you would for a face to face interview. Remove any distractions and make sure you’re in a quiet place. Check that you have an appropriate background setting. Don’t forget to smile – even on a telephone call it will come across and will help you build a rapport with your interviewers.                                     

Keep a positive mindset – of course, recruitment has slowed down and not every firm will continue to hire but there are still those who are looking to bring on great talent. Less recruitment activity does however mean a more competitive search so it’s even more important to know how to stand out and be the person firms want to hire.                                    

Although we don’t know how things will pan out over the next few months you can take positive action and if you follow these simple steps you will be better equipped to bypass your competition and land the job offer you want!

If you'd like to discuss your own situation and find out how we may be able to help, please call Jane Biggs on 07973 734215 or email jane@bygott-biggs.co.uk

The team are well aware of what is happening within the marketplace both locally and on a national scale and you can always rely on them for an intelligent, honest and supportive approach.

Vicki Simpson, HR Manager Freeths