Job Search during Covid-19

You graduated and are entering the job market. To make things more interesting, the world is dealing with a global pandemic.  Learn tips on how to get ahead of the job process during these uncertain times!

Recently I had the privilege of attending a webinar titled #GetHired Live for the Class of 2020; which featured moderator Andrew Seaman, LinkedIn News Editor and expert panelists Dr. Jason Wingard, Dean and Professor at Columbia University; Elise Gelwicks, Founder of Eleview Consulting; Grace Foy, Associate Director, Strategic Communications & External Relations at Vanderbilt University’s Career Center; and Jenny Foss, Founder of and Career Consultant for JobJenny.com.

The conversation focused around what recent graduates can do right now, during COVID-19, to get ahead of their job search process. Most of the tips provided not only should be prioritized during this national crisis but should be embedded into early career professionals’ best practices when searching for new opportunities. I would like to share a few.

  • Take bold, proactive steps-fearlessly and strategically reach out!
  • Reach out to those who are in jobs that you aspire to have.
  • Go beyond applying for jobs online; always supplement your application with a follow-up. Identify a contact, express interest and ask questions.
  • Lean into your alumni network.
  • Take initiative during COVID-19-brag about what steps you took to stay ahead, eventually this will become a talking point during future interviews.
  • If your industry is currently on a hiring freeze, find positions/industries that are adjacent to what you are interested in. These skills and experiences can easily be transferred.
  • Take advantage of skill development webinars, a lot of companies are currently offering free resources.
  • If the position requires 1-2 years’ experience that you do not have, translate the skills you DO have into the job you are applying for. Be compelling-often college leadership experiences count and 1-2 years is really more to let the audience know that this is an early-career opportunity.
  • Be willing to pivot.
  • If you are currently working, jump in and take the lead on tasks, even if they aren’t assigned to you.
  • Identify ways to be a self-starter-develop self-research projects or perform micro-internships.
  • This is your first job, not your forever job. Don’t stress too much about salary if you can live comfortably.
  • The value of informational interviews cannot be overstated (use LinkedIn to outreach).
  • When you outreach, be brief and purposeful-focus on the small-asks such as, “I would love to learn a bit about what you are currently doing in your job?”
  • When reaching out to alumni, include your availability (perhaps include Google calendar appointment slots)-the sky is the limit, set a large outreach goal.
  • Most important-connect with your institution’s career coach!
By Patti Moran
Patti Moran Director of Career Programming & Experiential Learning Patti Moran