Ms. Yolanda Burnett is the program coordinator for JEVS Career Solutions for 55+, where she provides mature Philadelphia workers with professional job readiness workshops, one-on-one job coaching and advocacy.
For more information on how Ms. Burnett and JEVS can help you, register for our next free Information Session. Sessions are held every Friday at 11:00 AM. via Zoom videoconference. See our events page to RSVP for an upcoming session.
First, are employers even hiring?
Yes! During this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ continues to see a rise in job placements with their mature participants. Employers are hiring but they are also using video devices to meet with possible job candidates. That’s why it’s imperative for you to learn and/or become more proficient in using video conferencing technology.
Okay, so how can I adapt to online video conferencing like Zoom?
Well first, congratulations to you if this is your first time visiting JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ website! Finding this website means that you’re capable of using computerized technology and that you are already adapting to this worldwide change of virtual connection.
Due to COVID-19 we are now forced to learn more and more on how to communicate with each other by using video devices such as Zoom video conferencing, FaceTime and Skype. If finding a job is a priority for you, you must learn how to virtually connect. Read on for some tips on how to adapt, including a list of ways to increase your video knowledge and prepare for a video conference, meeting and/or virtual job interview.
- Practice makes perfect:
If you are a beginner, it’s ok to ask a family member and/or friend to practice with you. Practicing may include creating conference call links, accepting conference call invitations and sending meeting invitations to others. The most common video device that employers are now using is Zoom. If you go to https://zoom.us/ you will find a video tutorial that will provide you with steps of learning Zoom. Also, if you are familiar with YouTube check out this Zoom tutorial; How to use Zoom Step by Step for Beginners at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOUwumKCW7M
- Be prepared and punctual:
Keeping on a schedule is very important! Do your best to be on time. During these times we’re all juggling multiple responsibilities. That said, we must be respectful of other’s time. Because we all know that computers can often have a mind of their own; you must test your virtual devices at least one hour before your scheduled virtual meeting begins. If you know you are going to be late because of a technical issue, please let the host (employer) know by calling them via telephone. We’re all in the process of becoming adjusted with social distancing and video communication. Therefore, most employers will understand your dilemma, they will appreciate your call and will more than likely reschedule your virtual meeting if need be.
- Eliminate distractions:
If you have other people in your home; make sure to let them know that you are about to attend a virtual meeting. Also let them know how important this video call is to you. While it’s not always possible to find a completely quiet place to have your meeting, try to find a place that will be least distracting to you and other attendees.
- Be seen and heard:
Position yourself in good lighting. One of the biggest mistakes people make is sitting in front of a bright window, which has the effect of fading you out. The second biggest mistake is placing your lighting behind you, this will only create a dark silhouette figure of you. Make sure that your wifi is strong. An employer will need to see you and hear you. There’s nothing more distracting than speaking to a frozen person and/or a person who’s wifi is constantly breaking up.
- Represent yourself in a positive light.
Wear clothes that adhere to the meeting. If the video call is a job interview, please dress for the occasion. Even though you are meeting virtually an employer can still notice if you’ve put some effort into your appearance. Sit or stand at a table rather than lounging on a couch or bed. Find a neutral background and remember that less is more and everything in your camera frame is visible to those in your meeting.
I hope that you’ve found these tips to be enlightening and informative. If you have any questions, need support with your résumé, job leads and professional career coaching, please feel free to contact me about our free services (generously funded by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging–PCA):
Yolanda Burnett, Program Coordinator for JEVS Career Solutions for 55+
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ program understands that finding a job can be frustrating. However, we’re pleased to report that employers are hiring! Therefore, we encourage you to be patient, pace yourself and seek professional support. Also, continue to connect with positive people who are on the same journey as yourself.