The COVID-19 pandemic has not only reshaped the classroom experience for college students, but it has left students with uncertainty about finding jobs and internships for the summer. As a result, you may be feeling a number of emotions: anger, sadness, fear, anxiety and more.
However, there is some good news for those searching for jobs: employers are still hiring in several industries.
According to a recent poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 64 percent of employers are not revoking offers to full-time recruits and interns, and 30 percent of employers surveyed are continuing internship programs as planned, while others have moved interns entirely virtual, reduced the length of the internship or moved events online. It is important to recognize that these numbers are rapidly changing as the situation evolves. However, you can still focus on the industries and employers that are hiring.
Therefore, take this opportunity to improve your chance of getting hired. Below are several ways to do so at home.
1. Refine your resumé and cover letter
Use this time to create a stellar resumé and cover letter template that works best for your background, experience and career goals. Ask yourself, “What are the top three things I want an employer to know about me?” Be sure your resumé and cover letter showcase your skills, strengths and experience.
Need a personalized resumé review? The Career Center has moved to virtual appointments. Schedule a time to meet with a Career Specialist or Peer Internship Ambassador remotely.
The Career Center also has online guides for building your resumé and crafting your cover letter. Many working professionals on LinkedIn are offering free resumé reviews as well. Use the search tool on LinkedIn to find professionals in your desired industry and ask if they are willing to review your resumé. This is also a great way to learn from someone in your dream job or company.
2. Increase your networking efforts
Although you might feel stuck as you “shelter in place,” effective networking can still be done while social distancing. Consider setting up a remote meeting by phone or video with an employer you want to learn about. Check out this guide on how to conduct an informational interview. If your Linkedin profile needs updates before reaching out to professionals, review this LinkedIn article written by their former human resources manager.
Create Content & Share
It is also possible to draw employers to you during this time. Create content, such as articles or industry-specific projects, and then share it on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or YouTube so prospective employers can see what you have been spending your free time on during quarantine. This demonstrates creativity, resourcefulness and adaptability. To go even further, share your projects directly with professionals in industries of interest and ask for their feedback and insight. This is a great way to start a conversation and build your network.
3. Learn how to ace virtual interviews
Not only have the job search and networking processes gone completely digital for the time being, job interviews have been moved online as well. If remote interviews sound intimidating, check out this comprehensive list of interview tips. Be sure to practice with Big Interview, which is a free and interactive interview training platform for Biola students. Big Interview also offers industry-specific mock interviews to calm any pre-interview nerves.
Some Tips for Feeling Prepared:
- Dress professionally - This will get you into the interview mindset.
- Set up in a quiet and clean space. Be mindful of your backdrop and background noise if you are video conferencing.
- Test out your technology and have a backup plan for if a problem arises.
4. Remain flexible
Given the new reality of a shifting economy and hiring trends, consider applying to a wider range of industries, job functions and geographical locations. Keep in mind that companies may have you begin with remote work for the time being. This does not mean your dream job or internship are out of reach. It simply means you may have to be flexible in this season. Remember that no experience is wasted and will contribute to your career journey.
5. Stay up to date on who is hiring
Continue building your LinkedIn profile and use online job boards such as Handshake and Glassdoor. Check out these resources that specifically cater to students and recent graduates:
- Is My Internship Cancelled?
- Wonsulting Community Job Board
- TheMuse: 56 Companies Still Hiring
- LinkedIn: Here’s Who Is Hiring Right Now
Looking for more help on getting hired remotely? Handshake has some additional posts helping you step up your virtual career preparation.
The Biola Career Center is here for you, even virtually! Schedule a virtual appointment with a Career Specialist or PIA today.
Misheel Bayarsaikhan is the Peer Internship Ambassador for Computer Science and Math. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org