With the current state of the world – thanks, corona – the workplace is full of uncertainty. People are losing jobs left, right and centre and constant changes to lockdown rules are preventing us from even travelling to new ones. Well, here are 5 ways you can boost your resume from home!

Take an Online Class

You may have spent the last 3 years telling employers that you’re excellent at excel, proficient in photoshop or a master of Microsoft – but are you really? We’re all a little guilty of spicing up our CVs sometimes, but now you actually have the opportunity to hone those skills. Sites such as the Open University are packed full of free online courses in subjects from business to the arts. If you have more time (and the funds) to commit, you could even get a degree online!

Learn a Language

It’s hard to get a job these days, there are so many great candidates out there with heaps of experience and a great education. So, how can you stand out from the crowd? Try learning a new language! Many companies now conduct business on a global scale, so a candidate that can speak multiple languages is a great asset to them. I guess it’s time for you to dust off those GCSE Spanish books after all.

Explore a Hobby

Do you love reading? Great, volunteer to run a zoom reading session for your local library. Love maths? Parents are always looking for affordable online tutors for their kids, so go share your knowledge with someone who needs it. No matter what you’re passionate about, there’s a way to turn it into a transferable skill to boost job opportunities. Start by researching the sector your hobby falls into and search entry-level roles for that area!

Sort Your Socials

Social media plays a massive part in job hunting now – especially in creative industries. It allows employers to find out more about you when you’re not actively trying to sell yourself to them. For certain job roles, like marketing or writing, having a strong social media presence could put you a step above other candidates if you show how you can expertly captivate an engaged audience. However, do be a little wary of what you post. Obviously, you don’t need to take the ‘social’ aspect out of social media – interact with family and friends as you please! But, definitely tone down any content that could hinder any job offers – no future boss wants to see you partying 24/7.

Volunteer

Volunteering has been used for years to boost people’s CVs and put them a bar above the rest. Luckily, even with the uncertainty of lockdown restrictions, you can still do this! Many charities are actually offering at-home volunteer positions, like content writing and social media management. Not up your alley? You can even volunteer to become an admin for local Facebook groups. It may not sound like a ‘career skill’ at first, but running one of these groups successfully actually allows you to work on a variety of transferable skills such as; management, problem-solving, leadership, communication and teamwork.

How To Own Any Zoom Interview

With so many industries now hiring remote workers, face-to-face interviews are coming to an end. It’s all about zoom calls now! Though you may think a zoom call is better than a traditional interview (okay, not having to wake up for a 6 am commute is better), the format is slightly different. People often fall into the trap of thinking that, just because it’s online, you can behave more casually. Here are five top tips to ensure you ace any zoom interview.

Find a Connection

There’s nothing worse than an interview that’s going great until y   ou st    art t   o break up. Unless you can fix it pronto, it will more than likely be rescheduled. If the employer is interviewing other candidates that day, you then risk the chance of them getting picked over you just because of your dodgy internet. So find somewhere with a strong connection, even if it means you having to pop to your local internet cafe.

Find A Laptop/Computer

It sounds like a silly thing to remind you of, but you wouldn’t believe how many people use their phones for zoom interviews. Obviously, if that’s the only device you have access to, by all means, go ahead and use it. If not, a laptop/computer is the way forward. You have no idea how long the interview could take, meaning your poor little arm will be aching after about 15 minutes of constant holding. Not only will this lead to camera shake, but it can also take you out of focus of the lens.

Find a Quiet Place

Employers understand that the typical person takes their zoom call from home. Life doesn’t stop because you’re in a meeting, but it doesn’t hurt to try and keep things as quiet as possible. If you’re living with family or friends, have a word with them beforehand to let them know when your interview is so they know when to be quiet. Though you can’t have the same conversation with crying babies or barking dogs, you can make use of your microphone’s mute button (while the interviewer is talking) if the noise gets out of hand while you’re being interviewed. 

Practice Eye Contact

Maintaining good eye contact is just as important in a zoom interview as in a traditional one. However, to do that requires not looking at their eyes. Okay, that sounds odd but, if you look into their eyes throughout the call, it will actually look like you’re looking down. It may feel unnatural at first, but you should actually keep your eyes focused on the camera to look engaged. 

Wear Professional Clothing

By this, I do mean a full professional outfit. An outfit that says business on top and a three-day hangover on the bottom just won’t do. Not only will you feel more professional and interview-ready by dressing the part, but you’ll also avoid any embarrassing camera mishaps. No one wants to knock over their camera and have their future boss getting a good old look at your fluffy unicorn pyjamas or worse.

Find a Good Background

Always make your zoom background as appealing as possible. No one wants to see your unmade bed, dirty washing or two-foot high Harry Styles poster behind you. So always make sure you give your room a thorough tidy up and remove anything you wouldn’t want your future employer seeing. 

How To Prevent Loneliness When You Work From Home 

Working from home can be a lonely place. It’s bad enough that lockdown restrictions have prevented us all from seeing our friends and family, but the amount of office’s turning to remote working, for the time being, has got rid of the last bit of social contact we had. To ensure you don’t have to run to your local Asda just to remember what the human voice sounds like, here are the best ways to prevent loneliness when you work from home.

Work at a Coffee Shop

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get out of the house. Being trapped inside the same four walls every day will only exacerbate your loneliness. Providing restrictions have been lifted in your area, head to a local cafe or coffee shop to work. You’ll be surprised at just how exciting it can feel to be surrounded by real-life people again – even if they are total strangers. Plus, if you have a friend that also works remotely, you can even invite them along to sit at a safe distance from you and have a catch-up.

Make the Most of Zoom Calls

Not only are they great to catch up with your work team, have meetings and go over plans for the day ahead – you can actually use zoom to have fun too. You don’t need to miss out on any work socials just because you’re stuck at home and you can’t get into a pub. Why not try hosting a work game night once a week? Or, if you’re feeling really brave, you can even suggest karaoke – that’s always a laugh! Every team member is feeling just as lonely as you are, so I’m sure they’ll all appreciate you taking the initiative. 

Join an Online Community

After a day of absolutely no contact, talking to someone – even if it’s just through social media – feels amazing. You can join Facebook groups for people in your situation, or start tweeting people that share the same interests as you – you’ll soon see just how easy it is to make friends online. If you join local groups, you may even find a new friend to work with in that coffee shop! Plus, the beauty of the internet is that you can connect with anyone in the world at any time, it’s never off! So if you’re loneliest at 2 am, no problem, someone is waiting to talk to you!

Do Stuff you Enjoy Sometimes the only company you need is your own, just because you’re alone, it doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. And it’s hard to feel lonely when you’re having fun. So curl up with a good book, follow an online cooking class, go to the park with your dogs – whatever your idea of a good time is, do it.