Photo Research in Action Michael Harari, Ph.D. and Amy Cooper Hakim, Ph.D.

Tips to Ensure Employability Despite a Pandemic

Michael Harari, Ph.D.
associate professor,
FAU College of Business

Amy Cooper Hakim, Ph.D.
executive consultant and founder,
The Cooper Strategic Group

Several years ago, my employer added a coffee room and encouraged employees to go there and chat. Even though perhaps that negatively affected productivity, that action dramatically improved employee morale and engagement!   

It's a wonderful idea to have breakrooms for employees. Interestingly, companies that promote "balance" within the workplace have happier, more productive, and more engaged workers.

Are there some other relatively simple actions organizations can take to improve employee morale?   

Employers will have morale issues for different reasons. In order to actually address the issue, you need to begin by diagnosing the problem. There are few tools that can be helpful here. Note that they all require buy-in from upper management and there has to be a commitment to using the results to make changes. One is anonymous employee opinion surveys. Another is exit interviews (assuming that the morale issue is leading to turnover). There are also a number of well-researched models that help to outline characteristics of jobs that employees can find meaningful and stressful (the job characteristics model, job demands resources model). If you are in a managerial position and interested in addressing morale issues, please feel free to contact me.

Does FAU help online with a resume?   

Yes, visit the career center website here.

When having a zoom interview, should I dress from head to toe or can I wear my PJS? Is it good practice to dress fully for work or interviews every day even when working from home?   

Would one make you more comfortable than the other? How do you think you would perform your best? Research does suggest that it is a good idea to continue with normal routines when working remotely. Engaging in behaviors typical of an interview can facilitate activating an interview "script" whereby being in one’s PJs can activate more of a lounging/relaxation "script." I recommend that my students dress for class even though they don't have to. For job interviews, I would do the same.

When should I disclose my disability in the job search process?    

This will vary based on the nature of the disability and the individual's preference. It can be left until the offer stage, but in some cases (e.g., if the disability requires an employment testing accommodation), might come out earlier.

If you understand what job you are looking for, besides LinkedIn and networking, is there any other sources you would suggest?    

There are a range of useful options. Online job boards, company websites (if there are particular employers that interest you), professional associations, career fairs, search firms (particularly if you are in an in-demand area) and employment agencies (these deal with temporary employment, but can often lead to permanent positions).

How to make the resume stand out? Can we use different colors?    

Using different colors strikes me as risky; it can appear unprofessional. If you have a good read on a company's unique culture and think that this would be viewed desirably, it is a judgment call that you can make. When listing functions of prior jobs/accomplishments, use action verbs and spotlight those that are most relevant to the position at hand. Keep the resume to one page if at all possible.

What is RAW again, it was interesting?!    

Happy that you saw value in this! Research suggests that, in general, employers look for candidates with three characteristics. They want employees who (a) are rewarding to deal with (i.e., good interpersonal skills), (b) are able to do the job (i.e., knowledge, skills, education, experience, etc. required to succeed), and (c) have good work ethic (i.e., motivated, achievement-oriented, diligent). Being able to authentically demonstrate these characteristics to employers appears to be important for securing a position.