BerkeleyBefore COVID-19 hit the state, people on unemployment needed to prove they were looking for work to get paid. That requirement was lifted during the pandemic but was recently reinstated.
If you don’t know where to start, the California Department of Employment Development is offering Resources For job seekers, with criteria to prove that you are trying to find a job.
But your job-hunting skills may be at risk. We Spoke with Employment Coordinator Adrian Vasquez Sacred Heart Community Service which provides career services to low-income individuals, and Dr. Justin Ritz, an assistant professor of economics at San Jose State University, who runs a COVID-19 Economic Dashboard for Silicon Valley, about the status of the job market and how to find work.
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Q: Are Gulf Area Jobs Available Now?
Ritz: The data shows that unemployment is going down, so people are returning to the workforce, which is clearly a good sign. But we still have room to increase employment to where we were before COVID-19. For example, employment in retail and hospitality still lags behind their pre-pandemic levels. This shows that there are good job opportunities.
Q: Where should I look for a job?
Vasquez: There are many sites to do job search, but we use Actually Because for us it is the most reliable. When you’re looking for a job, there are employers out there trying to find employees, so you can actually post your resume and get scouted.
In fact the application process is also really simple. They require very little information from you to actually submit an application. They just need your phone number, email address, how many years of experience you have, and what your relevant skills are.
We also recommend networking. Word of mouth always helps. You can start networking with former coworkers, former managers, friends, family, on social media, and friends of friends. They are best to start with because then they run out. For example, if I post “Hey, I’m looking for a job” in a group chat, chances are a friend will say, “Hey, we’re hiring here” or “I’ve seen this recruiting position.” .
Really just get out there and start applying, because the typical turnaround time from the time you apply for the job to the time you actually get hired is about three months.
Q: What if I am not computer savvy or have no access to the Internet?
Vasquez: The pandemic has greatly changed the job market as everything is virtual. If a person is not computer literate, it becomes very difficult for them to get the help they need to apply for a job, even if they are qualified.
If you are a resident of Santa Clara County and have no internet connection at all, we can help you connect. Whether it’s getting a hotspot from a library or connecting to a central internet. For those in the Bay Area, go to libraries for free internet and you can also ask schools for resources. Going back to friends and family, I’m pretty sure someone knows someone who can help.
Using Zoom has become a bit easier for the community members as the interface is very straightforward. You go ahead, create an account, and as long as you have the password and meeting ID, you can log in.
(San Jose public library offers iPad, Dell computers and hotspots for up to 120 days for library members. Public Libraries of Oakland They also provide computers for checking out, while most libraries in the Bay Area provide free Internet access.)
Q: What are your top resume tips?
Vasquez: You really want to identify your unique qualifications by creating a resume that reflects your skills, certifications and relevant job experience. You don’t want to use an employment history of more than 10 years because the employer wants a very brief summary of what this person has done? And how are they qualified for this job? That’s all it comes down to.
If you’re trying to switch your job expertise to something else – for example, if I’m in hospitality but I want to get into technology – in your spare time you should invest in yourself.
Research the job you want, see what those skills are, and see how you can learn those new skills and techniques. Take advantage of voluntary roles, which can be a form of free training.
Q: What are your top interview tips?
Vasquez: Interviews can be very intimidating, especially in a virtual setting. What I would suggest is to do mock interviews. Mock interview can help you answer tough question, improves your communication skills, and reduces stress before interviews.
Although being in front of the camera and wearing something professional may seem silly, you still have to prove yourself, so dress professionally.
When it comes to pay negotiation, really look back at the job market and say “Hey, how much of a job is going on in the job market today.” And stick to it.
(Bureau of Labor Statistics provides wages an estimate For various jobs in California.)
Q: What will happen to the job market next year?
Ritz: Unknowingly, I was told many times that people who were working but are now on unemployment are earning more on unemployment than work. It suggests that once additional unemployment benefits from the federal government expire in September, we will see a jump in the number of people trying to find jobs.
And also remember that September is when school starts. So if you were a stay-at-home parent during COVID-19, when those kids go back to school, it will be easier for you to get back to work. So the job market may become more competitive in September.