How to Outsmart your Competitors in Job Search, COVID Edition

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Source: Antioch University of Santa Barbara

Antioch University’s Undergraduate Studies program hosted a workshop via Zoom: How to Outsmart your Competitors in Job Search. Covid Edition. 

Pre-pandemic, qualified candidates with college degrees were easily receiving 3 to 4 competing job offers during their job hunt, and the national unemployment rate for college-aged graduates was only 4%. Now, it's a struggle to even get an interview; statistics show the unemployment rate has more than doubled for this same demographic.

We were joined by Elle Hall, a native Los Angelino who is skilled in identifying client needs and candidate career goals; she calls herself a 'Career Matchmaker'. Elle has walked alongside hundreds of candidates while interviewing for their dream job, giving them each the confidence they need on the tough journey of job searching. She encourages each candidate to always put their best foot forward and to be themselves.

When the pandemic hit, Elle explained that she was able to get a real snapshot of how people were feeling about the sudden change in our workforce and hiring trends for the first time in her career. There was lots of uncertainty, worry, fear, sadness, but also a strong amount of hope in those that she worked with.

Elle further provided many useful tips in job searching. These included 1) learning the most updated format of resume writing; 2) planning at least 6 months ahead of graduation to research the job market of your desired industries; 3) practicing how to network in business or social events; 4) optimizing your LinkedIn profile to create your presence among potential hirers and other professional contacts.

When asked what skills are most in demand, Elle explained, “It all depends on the industry and the position. In general, being detail-oriented or organized are popular traits employers look for.” Anna Kwong, Director of Undergraduate Studies, elucidated that the economy is forced to shut down due to the pandemic, but most businesses still try to operate in order to survive or prevent losses. Therefore, an overall strong force in the job market still exists. Marketing jobs are typically high in demand, and therapists and counselors are also needed due to the mental trauma, isolation, and hardships many people are experiencing. Obviously, medical care providers are also widely sought after these days.

After the sixty-minute discussion, Anna Kwong closed the evening with words of gratitude and praise and added, “With the world changing at lightning speed, so must we. At Antioch University, we approach education and career building from a modern point of view by redefining success, leadership and personal growth.”

In this workshop, attendees learned resources, strategies and methods for landing that interview and making a great impression, including how to optimize the LinkedIn profile in order to land the dream job.


Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic and environmental justice. Antioch aspires to be a leading university offering learners and communities transformative education in a global context that fosters innovation and inspires social action.

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ChillinGrillin Feb 28, 2021 07:31 PM
How to Outsmart your Competitors in Job Search, COVID Edition

Searching for a job isn't about "outsmarting" your "competitors." It's about gaining useful skills and experience then matching with an employer who needs them. Competitors don't matter if you're genuinely right for a position. The title is nauseating, mean-spirited and pretentious.

Hokey-Pokey Feb 28, 2021 07:54 PM
How to Outsmart your Competitors in Job Search, COVID Edition

Where exactly is the 'trick' in a world where your resume may not even be seen by a human? Because of the use of computer HR software, if your resume gets seen by a human, it is for 3-6 seconds.

Every job skills center with it's salt will teach a candidate how to get their resume seen, getting the interview is the next step to getting the job.

Given 2 candidates of equal skill, the one who doesn't get an interview isn't going to work. Or eat. They'll be under the bridge and taking handouts. I bet you'll tell them then to pick themselves up by their bootstraps.

And I'm sure within 10 minutes the 2 of you will be talking the value of competition to allow the best competitor to be chosen.

You're arguing that people should not understand the system they're working in?

Are you going to support them in the victimhood you want then to embrace in their/your ignorance?

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