Ask Placed: Lockdown Special

You asked, we’ve answered! Find tips, insight and advice on the topic of lockdown job hunting.

Your questions on lockdown job-seeking are in – it’s time for answers. Keep scrolling to discover which industries are still hiring, how to become a standout candidate, and student job ideas.

How can I stand out to employers when thousands of others are applying for the same roles?

Izzie, Jobseeker

There’s no doubt about it, it’s a tough time right now with fierce competition for roles. But don’t let that demotivate you – keep in mind that you have a unique set of skills and experience and focus on crafting your profile and applications in a way that signals those specific qualities to employers. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Make yourself memorable by adding fun facts to your profile
  • Demonstrate your interest in the company, not just the job. If you shop at Iceland – tell them what you like about their in-store experience when applying for a role there
  • When detailing experience from previous roles, focus on the value of your activities and be as specific as possible. Don’t say: I set up a new bookings system. Do say: I designed and implemented a new bookings system to improve efficiency by 50%.

If you’ve got some time on your hands and want to craft a really strong application, look into online events and courses and upskill in areas you might not be as strong in.

What industries are still hiring? Where is my best bet to apply if I’m trying to find work?


While many sectors, such as hospitality, have halted hiring there are many others that haven’t. If you’re looking to secure a job fast, you may want to consider applying to roles within the following industries:

  • Home delivery and logistics – Many delivery companies are expansively hiring as online shopping increases – Royal Mail, Amazon and Hermes, to name a few
  • Grocery retail – Most big name supermarkets, such as Iceland, are hiring in great numbers, particularly for home delivery and online picker roles.
  • Care – Care workers are still in demand, with a range of roles available from care assistants to catering assistants – great for if you’re looking for a meaningful job that makes a real difference.
  • IT and Digital Technology – The tech industry continues to boom, with a diverse variety of jobs available from big name brands such as O2. Many of these are customer service or sales roles, perfect for candidates that enjoy putting their communication skills to work.
  • Education – Despite the schools being shut, there are many roles within education waiting to be filled

Head to the Placed App to explore and apply for jobs with Iceland, O2, Adidas and more.

Find jobs, upskill and follow your fave brands.


I have been trying to get a part-time job for a while now. I need a job on the side as I am a student, however I have a degree already and I wonder if this is stopping me from getting these jobs?

Oyin, Jobseeker

There’s no reason why employers would look down on you for pursuing a second degree, if anything it demonstrates that you are motivated and growth orientated – two qualities that most employers generally look for in candidates. 

We can’t give you an exact answer about why you’re struggling to find a part-time job, but we can give you some insight on the broader situation…

Currently, due to the pandemic, unemployment rates among young people are higher than they have been for a while. According to official statistics, the number of people on Universal Credit between the ages of 16-24 increased by 282,000 between March and November 2020. To put it simply, there are more people competing for jobs than there were before, which might explain why you are finding it harder. 

Another factor is that part-time jobs are more common in the industries that have been hardest hit by the pandemic – retail and hospitality for example. Try switching up the companies that you are applying for to target roles in lesser affected sectors, such as grocery retail, care and logistics. You could also try the Kickstart Scheme, but you’ll need to be on Universal Credit to access a six month placement. We also have some job ideas for students listed here

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Can I work?


I mean, I think a lot of us are asking ourselves the same question at the moment! Of course, the short answer is yes but it’s fair to say there are lots of obstacles in our way at the moment – and some are more visible than others.

Whether you can’t work due to being made redundant or put on furlough or are just struggling to muster up the motivation due to the mental health challenges of lockdown, remember to be kind to yourself. Your self worth is not determined by how much you are working. Try and stay positive and find contentment through other things. And if you’re struggling financially, there are many support services available.