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HELP PEOPLE GET BACK TO WORK

As a result of the pandemic, millions of employees have lost their jobs. However, the good news is that there are still companies hiring. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 6.6 million job openings on the last day of July. This dynamic creates new opportunities to make a difference, both within your own network and with nonprofits that help people find jobs.

Put your skills to work

Whether you’ve had a long career in your field or have a knack for spotting typos, you may be able to help your out-of-work friends. Offer to help write, review, or proofread a friend’s cover letter or résumé, or tell them about AARP’s free resume review. If you are a social media whiz, help them set up or spruce up their LinkedIn profile with some tips from the website. The simple act of helping someone get their job-search fundamentals in place can be important support in what often feels like a daunting task.

Share who’s hiring

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many leading career and job-search websites have online resources and listings of who’s hiring. Share this information with your network and on any social media or email lists you may have. LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor are just a few of the sites listing companies that are hiring immediately. You can also send them to AARP’s Job Board, which features job postings by employers who value older workers.

Be the boss

Practicing interviews, especially for someone who hasn’t searched for a job in a while, can help quiet nervousness and boost confidence. Offer to do a few mock interview sessions via videoconferencing. CareerOneStop has a list of common interview questions, as well as a broad collection of other job-search resources, you can use to get started. Or you can find many interview question suggestions via a simple online search. You may find that you’re able to mentor the person searching for work. If you’re so inclined, consider making introductions to your contacts who may be able to help your protégé.

Check in with your local library

As many as 30 million people per year turn to their local library for job-search resources, according to a Department of Labor report. And it’s no wonder. Librarians are research super-heroes, able to help visitors find information, resources, and support options in the community and beyond. Check your local library’s website for job-search resources, and call or email the branch to find out if they have remote volunteer opportunities to help job-seekers. 

Find a job-search organization

Many communities have nonprofit job-search organizations that help people find work, especially people from low-income and marginalized groups. You may be able to help remotely with preparing résumés, interviewing, and other aspects of the job-search process. Use your search engine to look for nonprofit job-placement organizations near you.  Or search for organizations on a charity-reporting website like Guidestar.

Reach out to industry groups

Virtually every industry has a trade organization. And many of those groups have taken action to respond to COVID-19, including hosting virtual networking sessions and listing job openings. Contact your industry association’s member services representative, and see if there are opportunities to help your colleagues with their job searches. 

In addition, encourage the job seekers around you to spend some time volunteering, if possible. Doing so can help them build new skills, meet new contacts, and stay upbeat and busy during a stressful time. Plus, helping others feels good. One caveat: Be sure that your volunteer activities don’t interfere with any job interviews you may have or affect your unemployment benefits. Find great volunteer opportunities here.

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