Career Advice During COVID-19

While the prospect of starting your career during this time of uncertainty can be intimidating, it’s best to keep networking and applying for new opportunities.

Job Search

Continue your job search! Organizations are still hiring and handling the process remotely. Knowing that the search is more competitive can help you frame your expectations.

  • It is okay to feel upset or frustrated by the timing of the coronavirus, but the sooner you can begin to envision new opportunities, the sooner you can develop a plan of action.
  • Set aside a few hours each day to focus on your job search, then take care of other things the rest of the day. Stay positive and proactive.
  • Stay informed, but don’t obsess over COVID-19 news. Overconsumption of news will make it hard to stay positive and focused on your search.
  • LinkedIn, now more than ever, is an essential tool for your job search. Ensure you have an updated profile so you can begin to make important connections, learn about the career paths of others, build your network and research organizations. Connect with NWU alums in your field. Refer to LinkedIn’s guides to maximize all the features.
  • Consider opportunities in industries that are still functioning amid COVID-19, including utilities, biotechnology, telecommunications, finance, information technology, health care, logistics/delivery platforms, and grocery. Check out Candor or The Muse to see who’s hiring.
  • Expect interviews to be over phone and video. Practice! Schedule a mock interview with a career coach.
  • Free virtual career fairs are taking place around the country. Find one to participate in at JobFairsIn.
  • Use keywords of “work from home” “telecommute” and “remote” when seeking a job. Also consider hashtags when searching via social media (#HiringNow #NowHiring #JoinOurTeam #Remote #JobOpening, etc.)
  • In addition to JobZone, Indeed, and Career Builder, search out positions specific to remote work including FlexJobs, Remote.Co, SkipTheDrive, Jobspresso, and JustRemote.
  • Show your work. Organize your job search in a spreadsheet to keep track of application dates, positions, names and email addresses. This is helpful to show your career coach and to keep you motivated.
  • Set up job alerts in JobZone and other search systems so you are notified when new job postings in your field are listed.
  • Consider freelance work in your area to help with graphic design, social media, writing, editing, or software development.

Additional resources and articles

Conducting a Virtual Job Search

COVID-19 Hiring Insights

Virtual Career Fairs

Remote & Freelance Opportunity Sites

Working Remotely

Remote Interviewing Tips

Remote Networking

Internships, Experiences and 2020 Summer Jobs

If your summer internship is cancelled, inquire with the organization about the possibility of a virtual internship or a micro-internship that would allow you to work remotely.

  • Virtual internship: An online or remote internship is an opportunity for an intern to gain valuable work experience from their own location. The employer, who may be local, national or global, will make regular contact with the intern and other members of their team via video, phone and email.
  • Micro-internship: A short-term, paid, professional project or assignment typically given to traditional interns or new employees. These opportunities allow students to gain relevant work experience in their field, explore career paths, and build networks with employers. These internships can take place year-round, range from 5 to 40 hours of work total, and usually last between one week and one month.

Additional suggestions for cancelled summer experiences:

  • Continue your search! There are still opportunities available and the Career Center can help you find them. Make an appointment with a career coach to help you with your job/internship search, resume and cover letter revisions, and for mock interviews.
  • If you needed your cancelled internship to graduate, consult with the internship coordinator in your department about possible alternatives. You may be able to participate in projects, experiences and programs replace your internship experience.
  • There are many other ways to gain experience this summer, including volunteer work. The coronavirus has impacted many organizations and nonprofits that need assistance in reaching their populations. Explore volunteer opportunities at GivePulse.
  • Use your free time to learn something new. LinkedIn Learning, Edx, and Coursera all have programs designed to help you develop valuable skills.
  • Search JobZone for current part-time and summer jobs. Also, many employers are now offering paid virtual summer internships that will help you gain valuable experience.
  • Consider jobs and organizations that are less affected by COVID-19 such as landscaping, construction and cleaning. Also consider in-demand positions such as stockers and shoppers for grocery stores and other essential stores and pharmacies.
  • To find home-based job opportunities, try these sites:
  • For more information about the industries that are still hiring and for job search strategies, read Job Searching and Industries Hiring During A Pandemic.
  • Remember to make a virtual appointment with the Career Center for assistance in your job/internship search, for resume and cover letter reviews and for mock interviews.

 

Career Exploration

Virtual informational interviews are a great way to learn from professionals when you can’t meet in-person or shadow. Reach out to alumni through the Career Assistance Network or the alumni tab on NWU’s LinkedIn page. Send a message/email to introduce yourself and ask to schedule a phone call or video appointment to learn about their career path and their advice for students interested in their industry. Consider expanding your reach beyond NWU alumni as well, searching LinkedIn or Google for professionals working in areas of interest.

If you had previously scheduled virtual interviews or shadowing experiences, be sure to check in. It may not be possible to shadow at this time and informational interviews may need to be postponed or rescheduled. Ensure you are empathetic and understanding.

Take advantages of resources available to you such as What Can I Do With a Major in handouts, and Onetonline.org.