How to Improve Your Job Prospects During a Pandemic | Sponsored | Adult Ed-Continuing | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Ros Geuss
  • Ros Geuss

Like the 2008 recession before it, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a wave of joblessness in the US. With the economy projected to take well into 2021 to recover, the job market for recent college graduates or those suddenly laid off in the middle of their careers might remain especially tight.

Certified Career Development Coach Ros Geuss and owner of Rhinebeck-based Fulfilling Futures consultancy knows the constant stress and challenges that jobseekers have to navigate during turbulent periods of employment. From re-crafting a résumé to prepping for an interview or exploring entirely new career directions, she empowers her clients to rediscover themselves and their opportunities. "By knowing your authentic, best version of yourself and leaning into the positive of what you can do, learn, and control, you can refuel your self-worth as you discover new career possibilities,” she says.

For those currently job seeking, she recommends setting a daily action plan and developing goals for where you'd like to improve your skills. "Making progress toward your goals can give you a better sense of control and an increased feeling of well-being during these uncertain times," she says. 

Below are five areas for career development Geuss recommends adding to your daily plan right now.

1. Look critically at your résumé and LinkedIn profile

It might be a no-brainer, but the first step should always be a résumé refresh. According to Geuss, this can be especially important for mid-career job seekers who might not have updated theirs in years. In addition to ensuring accuracy of contact info and recent job positions, she recommends making it easily skimmable. Recruiters reportedly spend less than eight seconds looking at résumés. According to Geuss, “Your content must not only summarize your work history, but clearly and concisely showcase your strengths, achievements, and expertise."

A LinkedIn profile is simply an enhanced online version of your résumé. Since many recruiters use it to find potential applicants, make sure it’s up to date, too.

2. Hone your personal brand statement

Ever struggled to find a quick answer to the question 'So, tell me about yourself.'? According to Geuss, you can remedy that by creating a memorable personal branding statement. “It should tell your story and communicate your uniqueness and value powerfully and concisely,” she says. You might be surprised how often you’ll use it during your job hunt, from initial introductions to the last interview before landing your job. According to Geuss, it should change as you evolve throughout your life, reflecting your current goals and ambitions.

3. Head online to keep learning

You can take your reeducation, training, and up-skilling into your own hands using the wealth of courses and resources available online. This can be especially helpful for gaining proficiency in software programs that can give you a leg up in your desired job field. Geuss suggests exploring educational sites like LinkedIn Learning, which has lessons on topics related to business practices, time management, computer and technology, career development, and more. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), EdX, COURSERA, and courses offered by local universities and community college are also great resources to improve skills during periods of unemployment.

Geuss also recommends exploring O*NET and CareerOneStop, sites sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor that provide a wide range of resources and tools for job-searchers and career-changers.

4. Network, network, network

Word of mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to the job search. Geuss often points people to professional association websites, which can help put you in touch with people working in industries you’re interested in. She recommends CareerOneStop's professional association finder search tool, which indexes thousands of professional associations. Many of them host job boards that advertise employment opportunities from member organizations, an easy way to narrow down your job search.

LinkedIn, college alumni centers, and those same professional association websites can also help you find contacts in your desired industry. 

5. Volunteer your time

A volunteer position certainly might not be your dream job, but the impacts of volunteering are wide-reaching, especially in times of crisis. “In addition to positively impacting the lives of others, volunteering develops skills, structures and brings meaning to your day, and expands your network,” says Geuss. Both New York Cares or Volunteer Match can help you find out how and where you can help.

To find out more about career development support and services with Ros Geuss visit

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