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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Tips to get back into the workforce during a pandemic

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PEORIA (HOI) – On Thursday May 28, the Labor Department announced another 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, which brought the 10-week total for first time filers to over 40 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on the economy.

"Even if the virus went away tomorrow we still have millions and millions of people who lost their jobs and some of them may be able to sort of immediately step back into their jobs, but others won't," said Colin Corbett, assistant professor of economics at Bradley University.

Corbett said the fact that people won't be able to step back into their job right away will continue to impact the economy since some people won't have extra money to spend.

"No matter what happens we are going to go into a recession. We basically already are and in terms of how quickly we can come out of that recession that depends on the virus," said Corbett.

He added making a long-term economics prediction is difficult, but he feels it probably won't be as bad as 2008 since the underlying economy was pretty healthy before COVID-19. 

So, what should you do if you're still looking for work?

Jon Neidy, executive director of the Smith Career Center at Bradley University shared five tips.

  1. Assess and build your skills
  2. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and reflects who you are and what you want to do
  3. Research the company you're applying to

"Really dig into those website(s). Figure out what they're mission is, being able to talk to the interviewer about how you see you skill set fitting into the work of the company," said Neidy.

4. Network

Reach out through social media or tell someone you know that you're looking for a job.

5. Stay positive and take little steps each day in your search

With millions of Americans on the hunt for a job, how do you get an employer to notice you?

Neidy said, "It's easy to have our standard resume, our standard cover letter, but taking the time to step back and say these are the words they're using in the job description and these words need to appear on my resume, on my cover letter, and that's a really good way to stand out."

He recommended including any volunteer work so an employer can understand who you are as a person.

Since the nation is facing a tough economy you should also be open to other careers you may not have considered before.

Jessica Cook

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