The No.1 Tip to Land You a Job During COVID-19

January 27, 2023

You’re not alone.

2020 caught many of us off guard as social distancing and dwindling businesses have inevitably left hundreds of thousands out of work. Navigating something like a job search in these uncertain times is difficult and stressful, especially when almost 40% of Hong Kong’s employers have announced extensive hiring freeze.

The truth is, recruitment is a numbers game and there are now more job seekers than there are jobs. So unlike 3 months ago, your odds of finding a job simply by mass sending your CV directly through job boards like everyone else just isn’t an effective strategy.

If you’re a current job seeker, how do you keep moving forward when all you keep running into are dead ends?

First off, team up with recruiters that get you

It’s true that experienced recruiters will have the latest on who’s hiring and access to hidden opportunities that aren’t made public on job boards. But with so many recruiters in Hong Kong (6,000+), the chances of finding recruiters who actually understand your value is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. A common mistake I’ve seen a lot of job seekers make is blindly blasting their CV to dozens of recruiters on LinkedIn then feel defeated and frustrated because those recruiters can’t help them.

If you’re a Data Scientist, you need a recruiter who knows about Machine Learning and Neural Networks. If you’re a CFO, you need a Finance specialist that’s experienced in executive search. If you’re looking to relocate, you’ll need a recruiter who has that regional reach and understands visa applications.

Like soulmates, there’s a recruiter for everyone. Invest time in making sure they understand your aspirations and motivations so they truly get you beyond your skill set and resume. If done right, building a deep relationship with just 3 to 4 experienced recruiters will open more doors immediately and pave your entire career path.

As part of FindRecruiter’s COVID-19 initiative, we’ve released Recruiter Connect, a non-profit site that matches job seekers with experienced recruiters. Try it now.

Recruiter Connect

Now that you’ve teamed up with the right recruiters, here are 3 things you should do next

Give them a company wish list

There are essentially 2 ways recruiters can assist. The first is very straight forward, they’ll introduce your profile to existing job openings on hand and best represent your behalf. The second takes on a more active approach where they become your personal promoter and knock on doors for you – even when there’s no relevant job opening. Come up with a list of 10 companies you’re interested in and ask your recruiters to promote you to those that they have an existing relationships with. Companies that are resourceful will create positions for outstanding candidates or at least you’ll be on their radar when a relevant job opening arises.

Get ahead for interviews

At the interview stage, ask your recruiter for tips that’ll help you succeed. What’s the hiring manager like? Why did other candidates get rejected? What personal aspects should be emphasized? What do they want this person to achieve in the first 6 months? Compared to walk-in candidates, you’ll be armed with additional information that will give you an edge for interviews.

Ask for honest feedback

If you don’t hear back after applying or interviewing with a company, you’ll never gain insight on how to improve. The benefit of having a recruiter is they can help you find out what went wrong. It could be your lack of preparation, your unrealistic salary expectations or they had better candidates to choose from. Ask your recruiter for honest feedback and accept that feedback with open arms. Make changes and make them quickly.

Hopefully this has been useful to everyone that’s looking for work during these uncertain times. If you’re having problems teaming up with the right recruiters, drop me a line at and I’ll provide additional support. All the best!

Lawton Lai

ex-recruiter turned HR tech innovator.

Further Reading

#FindSuccess: Dealing with Uncertainty

We had the pleasure of having Nick Chow from Maclean’s Recruitment to share how he dealt with uncertainty amid COVID-19. Thank you, Nick!
Howard Sung
April 27, 2020

What is People & Culture?

Howard Sung
August 23, 2022