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Here are job-hunting strategies for those in mid-career and out of work

Out of work and uncertain, mid-career business owners are pivoting
Out of work and uncertain, mid-career business owners are pivoting

For anyone who lost their job or their business during the coronavirus pandemic, moving forward is fraught with obstacles.

The competition for jobs is fierce thanks to the large number of people looking for work and the lack of income is taking its toll on families.

Those who are mid-career have their own unique issues. They are also likely trying to juggle family responsibilities, as well as trying to pivot after working for years in a certain field.

Shari Hiudt and her family
Source: Shari Hiudt

Shari Hiudt is one of those who finds herself taking stock of her career. The 36-year-old mother of two owns an event planning company, Noteworthy Events, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"2020 was going to be my biggest year," Hiudt said of the company she started six years ago. She expected to bring in about $60,000 this year.

However, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, things came to a "complete halt" and her events were either postponed or cancelled.

"My income is now zero," Hiudt said.

"It keeps me up every night," she added. "I don't know if this is going to work. I don't know if I'm going to have to just shut down."

Here are eight strategies that can help you land on your feet, according to career coach and recruiter Abby Kohut, also known as Absolutely Abby.

1. Seek out companies hiring recruiting staff

If you see job postings for recruiters, hiring managers or learning and development managers, that means the company plans on growing, Kohut said.

"Nobody is going to hire those people if they are not growing and healthy," she said.

"They are the first ones to go when things go bad."

2. Reinvent yourself

"A lot of people are looking deep into their souls and thinking, 'Is this really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?'" Kohut said.

She recommends thinking outside the box when trying to figure out ways to make money.

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It could also mean pivoting a business you already have, like Hiudt. With no events to plan, she's turned to yard balloons and lawn signs, as well as driveway parties complete with a DJ booth in a pick-up truck and non-contact inflatables.

"You need to change your business enough so that you can generate revenue but that it still looks like your current business to your clients," Kohut advised.

In fact, even Kohut has adjusted since the recruiting business is slow. She's starting a new venture called Persistent Prenuers, where she interviews successful entrepreneurs on camera.

3. Master the online interview


Even before the pandemic hit, video interviews were becoming part of the job hunting process. Now, they are even more prevalent.

That means making sure you have good lighting and a good background. Find a quiet place with no interruptions from people or pets and still dress like you are going on an in-person interview, Kohut said.

4. Write a cover letter

With so many people looking for work, you need to stand out in a crowd. The best way to do that is with a cover letter, according to Kohut.

Don't make it generic. Instead, gear it specific to the job. Identify the name of the hiring manager and explain why you want to work at this company.

You have to believe that you are an awesome candidate. You have to be able to tell that to the company.
Abby Kohut
Career coach and recruiter

5. Virtually network

While meetings over coffee and in-person networking events aren't happening in this era of social distancing, there are still ways you can network.

Many networking groups are meeting on Zoom or other online meeting places. Do a search for job networking groups in your area. You can also check with your local church ministry, which is open to everyone, to see if they have job clubs, which are also meeting online now.

"You really should not be afraid to network. That is how you get a job," Kohut said.

6. Volunteer

Reach out to people you know working at companies and ask them if you can help them with some projects for free. If you do a good job, maybe you will get hired.

You can also do some virtual volunteer work for a non-profit. It builds your network and can help fill gaps on your resume, not to mention the fact that you are doing something to help those in need.

7. Learn a new skill

How to protect your financial future if you've been furloughed
How to protect your financial future if you've been furloughed

There are a number of free online classes you can take to learn a new skill. You can also pay for classes towards a certificate.

Not only will you gain new knowledge, it is good for your resume.

8. Get a job search buddy

Team up with someone who is looking for a similar job. This way you can have someone to talk with every day and help you stay on track.

At the end of the day, having confidence in yourself can help you land a job.

"You have to believe that you are an awesome candidate," Kohut said.

"You have to be able to tell that to the company and you have to explain to them why you're interested in this job."

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CHECK OUT: An NFL player walked away from a $925,000 salary to pursue his 'passion' - here's what he's doing now via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.