Your Insurance Industry Job Search During COVID-19- Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Job!
The insurance industry is resilient. We don’t need to tell you about COVID-19 and how it is destroying small businesses and putting over 20 million people out of work. While the insurance industry has not lost many jobs (see our COVID-19 hiring survey), the unemployment rate is usually 1.8% has increased to 3%. Insurance companies are not laying workers off yet, and many are still hiring (our insurance industry Virtual Job Fair has over 100 employers currently hiring). The longer COVID-19 hangs around, you will see layoffs become more prevalent in insurance companies. Allstate just announced they are laying off thousands but have no idea where and who.
If you are in a job search in the insurance industry, this article is written to help you understand and navigate these stormy waters so you can get some interviews and get hired. I have heard from many of you on some of your struggles and hope this information will help.
You can get an insurance job during COVID-19; it may just be a totally different process.
During COVID-19, here is some excellent information on what you need to consider in your job search:
- Insurance companies are hiring. You would think the world is coming to an end by watching the news or scrolling through IG or FB. The insurance industry has jobs and is open for business. It has made it through every recession and every world event since its inception. Many job seekers don’t pursue new opportunities because they “personally” made the decisions no jobs exist. You have to get away from those thoughts!
- Get ready for the video interview. Most insurance companies have still not returned to their offices so most interviews are now virtual The takeaway is that the virtual interview has the same power as face to face and will be the determining factor if you get the job. The great news is that YOU have the advantage in the video interview. My best video interview tips include practicing (with a friend on a ZOOM call) and cue cards. You tape the cue cards to the wall behind your computer (at eye level), so during the interview, you won’t forget anything important. On the cue cards, write down the most important reasons (with actual examples) why your skills will add value to the company. Never leave an interview again saying, “I wish I would have said…”.
- Your job search cannot be one dimensional. There is not a job website on the planet that has every single job posting. Indeed, Monster and Career Builder are national do everything sites that cater to the masses. Not a wrong place to start, but for many, not the answer. In COVID-19, you will spend more time finding great openings then applying to jobs. To do this, you have to use ALL resources to find a great job. This includes niche insurance job sites like GreatInsuranceJobs.com, which has jobs not found anywhere else, but insurance career information. Don’t stop there. Identify all the insurance companies in your city and go to their career website portals to see what jobs they have open. Yes, this takes time, but many of these jobs are only located on these sites. Look for associations that fit your background.
- Every city has claims, risk management, and other associations that are still having virtual meetings. Attend these meetings and let them know you are looking for work. Join organizations the CLM (theCLM.org) and RIMS (RIMS.org). Read insurance blogs and identify insurance companies that you never heard about and check out their jobs. 90% of your job search will be looking for a great job (not any job) and 10% applying. For so many, the job search is just one source and applying to any job that seems to be good. Change this now.
- Make sure your resume is outstanding. Your resume and LinkedIn profile have to be optimized for the job that you want to apply. The job you are applying to is the final exam of what should be on your resume. Many of you have tons of skills and want to broadcast your entire background to a future employer. Employers (and robots) who decide on who to interview only care about what they need, and that is found in the job description. Make sure those skills required are showcased in your optimized resume. During COVID-19, competition for every job is escalating. A great resume optimized to the job description will get you the interview.
- Be flexible. Employers don’t know what the future holds in the short term when it comes to hiring, work location, future promotions, company direction, and so many other things. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in forecasting the future in an industry that relies on risk modeling to set insurance rates! In an interview situation, make sure that you are prepared to take the career ride with the company no matter how unpredictable it may look. This doesn’t have anything to do with salary negotiations but only about being adaptable to the current situation.
I cannot wait for COVID-19 to pass, but all this information will be relevant even when it does.