Job searching during COVID

Any suggestions for people struggling with - job searching - during the COVID-19 pandemic after being furloughed?

Like most people, I have had plenty of time to update my resume, but am still unemployed until I can find a job that is actually hiring.

I’m stuck not really knowing if the employers are seriously considering anybody at all, or just waiting it out until they plan to open up again (whenever that may be). I’ve been contacted by a few companies kindly replying that they are currently closed.

What are some ways to tell if a job is actively hiring during this time of quarantine? Has anyone had any luck in finding relevant jobs close to what they were doing before?

Also, how would you go about finding out if they are requiring workers to be physically at the office, or if the work can be done remotely from home? Would you lower your salary expectations in order to attempt a better shot at being hired?


This is the 4th major economic downturn as a member of the fashion industry; the first one in stores, three on the home office side. You’d think I would have some great advice BUT these are truly, unprecedented times.

You are doing the right thing by updating your resume. The whole idea is to be ready when opportunities come available. The same would go for updating your LinkedIn and StyleCareers profiles too.

Also in the spirit of being ready, I would practice your Elevator Pitch and/or answers to typical interview questions. Since there is a good chance your next interview will be through a camera, I would go so far as to record your practice and have family members or friends critique your responses.

As for knowing if a job is open or not, unless they say something specifically in the ad OR you know someone at that company, you won’t really know. Many companies have legit openings and others have anticipated needs for when the economy comes back. The latter is called pipelining. Either way, keep applying.


If the next recovery is like those of the past, freelance work will come back before permanent jobs. Why? Less risk for the hiring companies in terms of onboarding expenses and benefit costs. Plus, it is easier to let a contractor go than an employee in the event the economy turns south again.

I’d recommend having a version of your resume/cover letter that is geared toward freelance work. The freelance world is different than permanent placement, make sure you do a lot of research into things like what you would charge, what government forms you need, tax implications, etc…

There are a ton of freelance resources on the Internet. If you have the time, it might be useful to take a “deep dive”.


The numerous fashion recruiters I have spoken with all expect some jobs and companies will start looking at hiring again after labor day and closer to Q4. But all of these discussions were before the new recent spikes in various states.


From my experience after 9/11 and 2008 recession, I believe that we’re looking at a year minimum before things really pick up again. As mentioned above, freelance will come back first once things start picking up again. I would take this time to update portfolios, create online websites and learn a new skill or master one in order to stand out when companies start seriously looking again.

It’s a tough time. Very hard to plan ahead because we don’t know what will happen in terms of a virus or a second wave. In 2008, many people went back to school. This time around even that option is up in the air. I think you have to focus on bettering yourself during this time. That will help you keep mentally occupied.


The elevator pitch is something I am yet to master. I wish fashion agencies and webinars would explore this topic in more detail.


Take time to really optimize your Linked In profile. Ask contacts for recommendations on your profile. You could even reach out to contacts to ask if they would take a quick look at your profile and offer feedback. If you’re willing to freelance, then definitely write a post about what you can offer people with an enticing and relevant image (hopefully of some of your work!).
Good luck!


All I can say is maximize your network. Rarely does someone get hired from a cold apply these days. I was unemployed for 2 years recently. Applied for over 1,000 jobs and had less than 10 interviews. 8 of those came from a connection. Every job landed over the past 6 years has been via a connection within my network. Today, you have thousands applying for a single opening, so getting your resume pulled and referred by someone the company trusts, sadly is your best chance.


Suggest to also look to relocate for a position I know companies hiring like the north face and our in California

1 Like

Great idea to be ready with an elevator pitch! Chances are the same exact questions will be asked again and again. If everything stays consistent, there won’t be any misunderstandings of who I am and what work I’m searching for. Then I’ll know I made clear the main points I want to get across, and did my best.

@Kajagoogoo thanks for the link!

1 Like

I actually belong to a job hunt group and have a cold call list in an excel sheet. DM me your email and I can forward you either one if you would like. There are mostly designers and technical designers in the email group just FYI