LinkedIn career expert shares tips for those preparing to re-enter the job market

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — More than 400,000 Hoosiers have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, and many did so for the first time.

While this time is marked by unrest and uncertainty, LinkedIn’s career expert Blair Heitmann believes there is a positive side to being at home right now.

“I think staying at home has really been a moment of reflection to think what is most important to you both personally and professionally,” Heitmann pointed out.

She describes this as a good time to think about your long-term and short-term goals, and chart a course to get there. The first thing she recommends is investing in both your soft and hard skills.

“We know from hiring managers that soft skills are incredibly important. Things like communication, the ability to adapt, collaboration. It’s all about how you do the job that’s really important to hiring managers and companies alike.”

You may also want to use this time to develop a new skill. There are online resources and lessons to help you do that.

LinkedIn Learning alone has more than 16,000 online courses.

The next step Heitmann points to is working to build your network.

“You don’t need to be in person when building that network,” she explains. “You can do things like reaching out online, talking to other people in your industry and hearing about what they’re dealing with right now. That’s how you build and maintain a relationship. Not just calling them when you need something.”

Heitmann also recommends taking time to focus on your resume, or LinkedIn profile.

When thinking through what’s important to highlight, she says to consider not only what you have done, but also what value you add.

“When it comes to building your resume or your LinkedIn profile you really want to focus on the impact you had on the business and the company,” she says. “You don’t necessarily want to say what you did, but why you did it that made an impact on the bottom line.”

Now is a good time to make sure you have a head shot. It can be as simple as taking a picture in front of a white wall or something simple that makes you the focus.

Recent graduates looking to enter the job market for the first time may want to find an online internship that provides experience and builds a skill.

While this is a challenging job market, LinkedIn data show a spike in several industries. There is current need in health care, transportation and software engineering according to the data.

Heitmann says many industries have become more open and empathetic as a result of the virus. She encourages employees to continue to open up communication about the resources you need.

“It’s really important to work together with your manager and company to find a solution that works for both of you so you can set yourself up for success and set the company up for success.”

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