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It’s no surprise that everyone’s lives have drastically changed this year.  We’re living in unprecedented times. Many companies are laying off employees, whether it’s temporarily or permanently.  The last two weeks’ unemployment numbers were through the roof. Over 10 million people – about 6.4% of the country’s workforce – filed for unemployment.  Maybe you’re one of those individuals that filed and are looking for a new job. You may ask,

“Are companies hiring?”

The short answer is yes, companies are hiring.  If you were recently served a pink slip, you’re looking for some side hustle money, or you can’t stand working for your current employer any longer, consider a change in scenery in any of these booming industries:

  • Childcare: With most schools being closed until the fall, approximately 30 million children are now at home all day.  Who is taking care of them when their parents are working? Family may not live near, or be willing to watch them for fear of getting sick. If you love children – scratch that – if you love watching OTHER people’s children – there are plenty of openings. You may have to ask around to see who’s hiring, as most parents aren’t advertising on the major job boards like Indeed.
  • Remote Meeting/Communication Companies: Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan recently announced that he’s giving K-12 schools his video conferencing tools for free. Last month, 343,000 people across the world downloaded the Zoom app in one day.  They need a few people to handle the flood of new users that experience issues and have questions. Microsoft Teams and Slack are also reported to be hiring.
  • Unemployment and Workforce Development Offices: On April 1st, Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Department announced that it needs at least 100 workers to try to keep up with the volume of claims coming in. Illinois is struggling with processing their claims in a timely manner as well. If you like working for the government and want to help people get the money they so desperately need, now is the time to apply.
  • Grocery Stores and Delivery Services: In-store shelf stockers and delivery staff are some of the hottest in-demand jobs out there right now. Several of the major chains, and a few regional ones, are looking to fill tens of thousands of those jobs as we speak. Gig jobs (Instacart, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, etc.) are also in huge demand as people still need to eat while they’re stuck at home.
  • Online Learning Companies: Not every parent is a teacher.  That’s why the demand for online teachers has skyrocketed recently. Companies like Outschool and VIPKid make it easy for teachers (credentials aren’t required) to teach from the comfort of their own home, making anywhere from $15 – $40/hour.
  • Shipping and Delivery Companies: UPS, some couriers, and Amazon are currently hiring.  Amazon recently announced that it is looking to fill 100,000 warehouse and delivery openings.  You’ll have plenty of options when looking to get hired on with them.  
  • Truck Drivers: Did you know that approximately 71% of all the freight in America is moved by truck?  And nearly 6% of all the full-time jobs in the country are in the trucking industry. The trucking industry serves as a vital lifeline between producers and consumers when it comes to everything from milk to gas.  The industry needs drivers to run regional and OTR routes. Some companies are offering up to $80,000 with sign-on bonuses and full benefits. There’s never been a better time to have your Class A CDL than right now.
  • Healthcare: When people get sick they visit hospitals, doctor’s offices, and urgent care facilities.  When a pandemic hits more people are visiting those facilities. That’s why nurses, doctors, and CNAs are in high demand.  Illinois sent out an emergency alert text last week asking for help from retirees in the healthcare industry to hang up their retirement shoes and come back to work.  The demand will increase even more if our current healthcare workers get sick and have to stay home and self-quarantine.  

Now that you know of a few companies that are hiring, how do you maximize your efforts to land that new and exciting job?  Here are a few things to consider:

  • What are your passionate about?  What skills do you possess that will allow you to turn that passion into a money-making opportunity?
  •  Are you looking for a Full-Time or Part-Time job?
  • Can you work nights and weekends?
  • Do you need to obtain any certifications or products to do the job?  Teaching or being a Customer Service Rep out of your home may require an Ethernet connection and/or a headset.
  • This may or may not become a long term job.  Enjoy it for what it will be now – a job that pays the bills that, hopefully, is of interest to you.
  • It’s more important than ever to have your resume current and polished.  With more people applying for jobs, employers will be looking for quick and easy ways to weed through all of the applicants.
  • Save your resume in the following format: “first name last name Resume” (or a similar format)
  • Keep track of all of the jobs that you applied for (company name, job title, city, state, shift, etc.)  If an employer calls you, you don’t want to ask what job you applied for. That won’t give you any brownie points.
  • Freshen up on your interview skills.  Do a few mock interviews with anyone in your house that is willing to ask you questions.
  • Never done a video interview before? Sign up for Zoom, Skype, and/or Join.Me and get as much practice in as you can.  Lighting, picture quality, and free of distractions and movement are things that you’ll want to keep in mind when actually conducting a real video interview.
  • Read everything on the application and don’t leave any field, area, or box blank.  Be thorough, but specific, with your information and answers.
  • Follow up 3-5 business days after you submit your application.  Email is best if you have someone specific to contact. If not, call the Corporate office and ask for the name and contact information of someone in HR/Recruiting so you can follow up with a nicely worded and professional email.
  • If you aren’t having any luck, consider some changes you may need to make.  Maybe you need to customize your resume for each job you apply for? Maybe you need to re-word some information?   Maybe you need to sharpen up on your interview skills? Maybe you haven’t researched each company enough (or at all)?

Keep in mind that some companies are hiring at rates they’ve never experienced before.  And they may not have enough manpower to handle the demand of applicants. Be patient, be persistent, and tell them why you’re worth hiring.


To view a live list of employers who are hiring, freezing hiring, or laying off workers, please click on this link:

Author: Nick Stafford, Talent Acquisition Specialist

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