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Job Search Tips From The Expert

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Job counselors often say do not accept positions below your skill set. That may not be an option during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

But Tennessee Tech Career Development Director Russ Coughenour said a high demand skill set will almost always ensure employment.

“You can cast a wider net now than maybe what you could before because you just don’t know what the future is going to bring,” Coughenour said. “That’s highly dependent on what the person does for a living. Some people, they do things that just don’t have a high demand, so they’re going to have to throw a very, very, very wide net.”

More than 148,000 Tennesseans have filed for unemployment in just the last three weeks. That number of unemployed is expected to decrease as retail and restaurant workers return.

“In general, you have to be ready and willing to take a job that may be beneath the level you think you’re prepared for,” Coughenour said. “You must factor in with that question, how long you personally can go without employment.”

Many Americans have found the unemployment process challenging during COVID-19 with long waits to get answers. State unemployment websites have had multiple software issues. The information on resources from federal and state officials has changed constantly. But Coughenour said it’s important to focus intently on your job search, tuning out the negatives.

“Look for a job as if it were a job,” Coughenour said. “What I mean by that is get up every morning, put some structure into your job search. Put some routine into your job search to where you’re doing some of the same things over and over again.”

Coughenour said during these difficult times employers are especially interested in individuals who are positive, possess good attitudes, and acceptable skill sets. Coughenour said employers are less likely to view your unemployment negatively as a result of the pandemic.

“The job market in general is supply and demand, and I think it still remains a supply and demand driven field,” Coughenour said. “However, some industries are hurt more than others. I think it just depends on who you are, what skills you bring to the table, what you’re looking to do.”


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