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COVID-19 job market tight, but not hopeless

With more than 580,000 Georgians out of work and the state's unemployment at a historic 11.9 percent, finding a job now takes creativity and thinking out of the box.

ATLANTA — More Georgians are now out of a job than any time in history.

In April, the state unemployment numbers hit more than 580,000, and with so many jobs disappearing because of COVID-19, many qualified and experienced people are sitting on the sidelines hoping for the next opportunity.

Wanda White is one of them.  She is an executive assistant and writer. But now, she's unemployed and only able to land temporary jobs.

“The salaries have dropped tremendously," she said. "The position I had at Coca-Cola, I was making $58,000 a year. But now, the jobs are between twelve and fourteen dollars an hour."

White said she's applied for countless jobs since leaving Coke.

“But everything is on hold, and with every company where I applied, they have put me on hold," she explained. "They put the jobs out there, but they are not hiring. ... I just hold on to my faith and that one day I will be blessed with a job."

RELATED: Women hit hard by unemployment during pandemic

With thousands facing the same dilemma, recruiting consultant Ryan Hansen said you've got to get creative and think out of the box.

"It is a tough market out there right now," he admitted. "It's very competitive and not a lot of companies are hiring right now. From a standpoint at looking at how compensation is going, it is really boiling down to what it's always been - making yourself standout above the rest."

RELATED: Virtual hiring event connects Forsyth & North Fulton County businesses and employees

Hansen pointed to banks and call centers for jobs right now, as they handle the flood of federal loans, while call centers are working overtime with medical collections and claims.

But he said there's one real standout to try when starting a job search.

"The first thing that I would type in is the word, 'remote'," he advised. "And any search that has remote in it, is going to get a position that will be posted."

RELATED: Here are over 35 companies hiring or offering work from home positions

And good news for Wanda White: she and Ryan Hansen will be teaming up to quickly hunt down a position that fits her skills.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.

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