161 people registered for In the Hot Seat: Recruitment in COVID-19 times. Cathy was one of them, so I (virtually) sat down with her and interviewed her with how she found it, how COVID has affected her job and what take aways did she leave with. If you missed it, you can watch the session here as well as the extra Facebook exclusive Q&A we had with Rachel and Mark after. You may also be interested in our Transitions Group network - a safe space for where people between roles are accepted and feel safe.
So Cathy, you attended the “In the Hot Seat” event on recruitment in COVID-19 times along with over 100 people over Zoom. Why did you come to this Headstart? What drew you to it?
Yes that's right Mark, I came to this Headstart along with many others to gain some insight from a recruiter on how to better approach job searching in this COVID-19 season. This was definitely a timely opportunity for me, as I'm currently finding it difficult to look for a new job role that better suits my field of study (city planning) and one where I can have less stressful working hours. Furthermore, I was talking to a friend from church the week before the event, and she was similarly struggling to find a graduate position in this uncertain climate, and that's why we decided to sign up.
Thanks Cathy for being vulnerable and sharing that. I know for certain that there were many on that call on have been or are going through something similar. So, what has it been like doing virtual interviews and applying and everything else?
Honestly, it hasn't been that fun at all. Even though my first video interview was exciting as I could do it straight from my bedroom (in my comfort zone!), as I received rejections after another, I quickly felt demotivated and started questioning my ability. It's definitely been hard going through this weary journey, in spending countless hours writing and preparing for applications and then to hear back weeks after with unfavourable results.
Another struggle I have been facing is the temptation to start LinkedIn "stalking" my peers and compare myself with their achievements or positions, but nevertheless I find it helpful to read up on the interviewers' profiles on LinkedIn to get to know a bit more about them in preparation for the interview.
Yes - LinkedIn is a great tool but I can see how comparing is a ‘factory setting’ inside each of us. So, how did the Hot Seat help you? How are you approaching these situations differently now from a practical perspective?
Hearing Rachel (a recruiter in a large firm in Sydney) gave me some insights on what it’s like to be on the other side. One shocking statistic she shared was that an average recruiter spends an average of 6 seconds reading a resume to decide if it progresses further. Following from this, I took away a few tips of using the method of “accomplished [x] as measured by [y] by doing [z]” to highlight my achievements and skills, and utilising white-space to enhance readability. So rather than saying I was a member of UNSW string ensemble, I can say I was selected as one of the 30 UNSW String Ensemble participants for an ongoing 12 months music practices and collaboration for performing more than 20 classical pieces throughout the year.
These were just a couple of the many practical tips Rachel shared that I found useful!
Yes, there were many practical tips. It was so good to get that insight from other side of the table. But how about spiritually speaking - how are you approaching these situations different after the Hot Seat?
We also looked at the Bible where we explored Exodus 15. Surprisingly, we saw how we are just like them. We saw how the Israelites started grumbling when they couldn’t find water in the desert to quench their thirst. Their search proved futile. Similarly, during COVID, our job searches can prove futile and we may be prone to grumble. We also, saw a better way to respond. When the reality is not as expected, we aim to respond the way Moses did, in crying out to God in faith knowing God listens.
Also, in the passage, we saw that we are to remember the bigger picture that God uses times of struggle and testing, to build more resilient faith in his people. As then, so now. Let us keep trusting God during this season as we continue to depend on Him, grow in our conviction and faith, and prepare ourselves with what’s ahead.