How to apply for jobs amid a pandemic

Published February 2, 2021, 4:05 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

With all the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, applying for a job could be considered most challenging at this time – especially for those fresh out of school.

While it is true that there are challenges, there are also ways by which potential applicants – including the youth, fresh graduates, and first time applicants – can overcome these obstacles, and land on jobs amidst this extraordinary time.

To support the Filipino youth and to train them in the cultivation of leadership skills and the adoption of a growth mindset, the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and Citi Foundation on Tuesday unveiled a new learning platform called “First Future 2.0.”

The “First Future 2.0” is a career mapping pathways and training development program learning platform which aims to provide learning opportunities for the youth – specifically those without college degrees.

During the virtual press briefing, PBEd Director for Workforce Development Justine Eleonor Raagas shared the challenges that the Filipino youth face when it comes to employment.

She also shared some pointers and pieces of insight for new job applicants amid the pandemic:

1. Not all sectors are closed. While the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected many businesses and the economy in general, Raagas said that there are “some sectors that are open.” With this, job applicants focus on these industries that are hiring.

2. Boost your confidence. “A lot of them are shy and they feel that they are not qualified,” Raagas said. Given this, she urged applicants to be more confident in their skills and competencies. “It’s really preparing themselves for the jobs,” she added.

3. Build on your strengths. Raagas noted that when it comes to applying for jobs, it is very crucial to assess one’s skills and look for positions that would best suit you.

4. Despite the restrictions, you can still apply remotely. Using technology will be helpful since job applications can be accessed online.

5. Upskill, retrain,and prepare. Raagas said that “identifying the areas that you need to work on” is also part of preparing for future employment. Thus,finding means to upskill through training is also very important.

Overall, Raagas noted that there are a lot of opportunities for the Filipino youth – even for those who have not earned college degrees. “There are more companies now who are willing to hire based on skills and competencies not just on diploma alone,” she added.

The virtual launch was also attended by PBED Chairman Ramon Del Rosario, Citi Philippines Citi Country Officer Aftab Ahmed and PBED Executive Director Love Basillote.

Speakers coming from various sectors also joined the panel discussions. DepEd Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships and Project Management Service Tonisito Umali, University of the Philippines – Open University (UPOU) Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria and Concentrix Philippines Associate Director Hazel Aguinsada tackled the various issues and challenges in the workforce development sector as well as the skills-education gap.