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The Labor Department reported on Thursday 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ending March 21. The number of jobless claims went up across the country in all 50 states and it broke a record for jobless claims set in 1982.
Americans who are having trouble finding a job can get unemployment benefits by applying to their state’s unemployment insurance program online.
There are still, however, a number of companies hiring amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some steps you can take to secure employment now.
Set job notifications
Set specific notifications for job titles you’re looking for and get alerts the minute they post. Job sites and boards including Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Google for Jobs, Indeed and Monster are a few job sites that connect employers with potential employees. Most of these websites allow you to upload a resume, register and get email alerts when jobs are listed that match your saved job searches.
Indeed.com is hosting a webinar on March 31 covering tips on finding work and teaching users how to apply advanced search methods to find work from home or gig jobs.
And those looking for remote jobs specifically should consider FlexJobs, a career website that specializes in home jobs. Click on its “Job Notification,” select career categories you prefer and receive emails when jobs in those fields become available.
Take time to update your LinkedIn resume and profile with job skills to make you more marketable to employers. Then, start networking digitally connecting with friends and former colleagues and tell them about your job situation and your recent accomplishments. Join discussion groups for your industry or a field you’re interested in breaking into and start building your social network by following companies of interest.
Seek out a recruitment agency
If you’re having trouble finding work on your own, you may consider calling on a recruitment agency that can search for roles on your behalf. Recruiters can help candidates land interviews by optimizing their cover letters or coaching them for interviews and serve as the middle man between prospective employees and companies.
Recruitment agencies are completely free for job seekers because employers pay the agency to find staff.
A number of companies are on hiring sprees, particularly in customer service and delivery fields. Companies such as Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, Domino’s, Papa Johns and Pizza Hut are looking for workers. Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut announced plans to employ at least 30,000 workers to manage an increased demand. And Amazon announced it would hire 100,000 workers and increase wages by $2 an hour to help speed up its deliveries.
And Sheetz, a Mid-Atlantic restaurant and convenience chain, announced a $3-an-hour increase Thursday for its 17,000 store workers and has more than 1,300 active job openings for anyone who is looking for a job.
With delayed online grocery delivery, a number of Supermarkets are ramping up their hiring efforts. Costco, Albertsons, Kroger and Safeway are some national grocery store chains looking for more workers, with Target listing 9,000 jobs across the country, CBSDFW.com reported.
Warehouse and distribution jobs are also emerging in fields like food production and packaging.
Consider remote work
If you're concerned about doing work that requires you to leave the house with the ongoing spread of the virus, consider jobs that will allow you to work from home.
Career fields such as medical and health, computer and IT, customer service, education and training, sales and accounting and finance have the most remote employment opportunities, according to Flex Jobs.