Finding work in the pandemic: DWD says more than 58,000 jobs available now

Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 18:59:05-04

According to the Department of Workforce Development, there are over 58,000 jobs available right now in Wisconsin.

"There are some occupational feeds that are in demand right now because of the pandemic," Dave Shaw, Job Service District Director for the Department of Workforce Development, said. "This includes community and social service occupations, maintenance type occupations, food prep and serving, healthcare occupations, which might be a little higher skill position."

Shaw says these jobs range in pay from $10 per hour to $25 or more depending on skills and experience.

With a record number of people filing for unemployment, career coach Shontina Gladney says now is the best time to reassess your career.

"It's time to stop pressing the snooze button on your dreams," Gladney said.

Career coaching tips

As of April 27, 472,631 people have filed for unemployment in Wisconsin since March 15. Gladney says, during this challenging time, to utilize the extra time you have. Whether you were in a dead-end job or a dream job, she says to use this time constructively.

"First, look at yourself to see exactly how competitive you are," Gladney said. "I always like to say, hire you. If you were to hire yourself, you're that boss or manager taking the interview, how would you want to be perceived."

Gladney also suggests scrubbing social media profiles to be as professional as possible.

"Really look at how it is you're using your time online and really get into those groups on Facebook and network with people," Gladney said. "When it comes down to really cleaning up your social media, your LinkedIn, really take a look at how people look at you there. When they search your name, what do you come up as?"

If you plan to return to the job you were laid off from, Shaw suggests preparing yourself for the worst.

"My best advice to give folks is to keep options open at this point," Shaw said. "No one knows how things are going to turn out. Always be looking for a good opportunity that might be a good fit for them should something unfortunate happen."

Shaw says the Department of Workforce Development has counselors in every part of the state who can help guide job seekers. Whether it's opportunities available or helping establish a new career path, they have people to talk through options.

"Each district has a counselor," Shaw said. "It's a good time to connect with a counselor and talk about opportunities going forward. Training opportunities, skill-building, or helping them get into a career they may really flourish in moving forward."

Shaw says to go to the Job Center of Wisconsin website and call the appropriate division to get started.

There are fewer jobs available than before the pandemic. Shaw says there is usually 100,000 or more jobs available weekly. But that means more competition.

"A lot more resumes in the system for individuals looking for employment," Shaw said.

Gladney says you need to do what you can to stand out.

"How can you become that go-to person?" Gladney said. "Find ways where you can be able to be the ceiling compared to someone's floor. If you love your job, make sure you become that person that no one will be able to let go. A company would lose money over you being let go."

For more information on jobs hiring, click here.

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