Career Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Career Development Center team has been taking advantage of many webinars and networking groups in order to educate ourselves, and you, on recruitment trends during this unprecedented time. We want to provide you with information on recruiting trends and resources to maintain your career development.
Yes, many are. Many others are still negotiating ways to adjust their recruitment and onboarding processes. For internships in particular, employers may have pushed back start dates and moved to a virtual format, rather than cancelling programs. Certainly, the pace of opportunities being posted has slowed, but we continue to add opportunities to Handshake daily.
- Click here for 500 companies hiring in Handshake right now
- Watch for our weekly Hot Jobs & Internships email where we highlight a variety of opportunities from our employer partners, and also our social media updates
- Stay active on LinkedIn, where you can find helpful articles and the latest information on employers that are hiring
- Visit our job and internship search sites page for more industry-focused opportunity listings
First, we are sorry to hear that. Be sure to stay in touch with the employer in case a future opportunity opens up. While this isn’t what anyone expected, there are other ways to gain experience.
- Open up your search to consider a wider net of opportunities, keywords, companies...be as open-minded as possible. Consider a remote internship. Experience is experience and will be a great resume-builder no matter what!
- Although the company has cancelled its internship program, offer to complete a virtual project that you can then still add to your resume.
- Offer to do research for a department, professor, or contact. These are often projects that are left undone and now could be a perfect time to lend your skills.
- Continue to network and do some information gathering over virtual coffee chats, webinars, info sessions, to build new connections and learn about your industry. Use our Stonehill Connect Mentor Database to start building relationships with Stonehill alumni who volunteered to help you navigate the exploration process.
- Take advantage of free online learning tools to build your toolkit! Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Hoonuit are all great resources. Learn a new language, develop coding skills, become a stronger writer!
- Donate your time by doing volunteer work from home (reading to kids, tutoring children, working at an animal shelter, helping healthcare staff, etc)
- What is something you’ve always wanted to do? Start a side business? Create your digital portfolio? Design a logo for a family business? Assist a relative with their budgeting? This is the perfect time to tackle them.
If you will be working in some capacity, think of the transferable skills you might gain from any job/internship/volunteer experience you may take part in: customer service, communication, working with others, etc.
Learning in any way is always great! Online trainings or classes to brush up or gain skills related to the field you’re interested in entering are always beneficial.
-Katie Mullaney, Campus Recruiter @ EY
This is not common. Employers who need to alter offers are typically choosing to delay start dates instead of rescinding offers. However, it is possible as organizations may need to restructure based on how the pandemic has impacted their teams and business.
If your job offer has been rescinded, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may wish to reach out to that employer and learn more about their particular situation. Then, sign onto Handshake and book an appointment with a Career Advisor. The economy will continue to shift, and opportunities are being posted. Let’s get you back out there!
Many organizations are moving to more flexible work environments and have transitioned their roles into virtual positions. Others are still hiring and allowing employees to work remotely until social distancing recommendations are lifted. Even prior to this time, with greater availability of collaboration tools, remote positions were on the rise and you can find some in Handshake. Here are some sites to help you get started:
Virtual Internship and Job Search Sites:
Helpful Resources to Guide You in your Search:
- Skillcrush - Finding Remote Work
- Four Best Places to Find Remote Jobs
- 25 Virtual Companies that Thrive on Remote Work
- Guides for Success: New to Working Remotely? These Resources can Help – LinkedIn Learning
Watch our recorded virtual program: “Now is a GREAT time to Network”
Yes, this is a great time to network and continue to build your brand! Recruiters have likely slowed down and are spending less time interviewing. They are often happy to dedicate more time to connecting with you. Also, there is very much a “we are all in this together” mentality among professionals as we navigate this pandemic, and most are more willing than ever to help. That being said, have patience and allow extra time before following up. Remember that your connections may be facing new challenges related to their own jobs and lives that may require their attention.
Networking is all about building relationships. Do not ask for a job or internship in your initial outreach. Instead, show that you genuinely respect this person’s time and that you have done research about their field and/or background. Prior to stay-at-home orders, networking may have taken place over coffee, or at a networking event. If you can, arrange to chat over video. It is easier to make stronger connection face-to-face.
Full-time Post Graduate Service
Participating in a full-time post graduate service program is a great way to gain professional experience and definitely gives your resume a big boost! Work in an area relevant to your career path or do something completely different, either way, this amazing experience and bold choice will help you stand out as a job or graduate school applicant in the future. Programs are still recruiting but don’t delay. Book a Post Graduate Service advising appointment in Handshake today!
Temporary and Contract Work
Temporary and Contract work are great ways to sample different types of employers and roles, while building your network. If you do well in your assignment, these positions often turn into full-time jobs. While regular hiring may have slowed, temporary positions are usually still readily available.
Sometimes companies will post their own temporary roles. Staffing firms can also be an excellent resource when it comes to these types of opportunities. These firms can help you to cast a wide net as you search, and typically offer interview coaching as part of their services. If you are considering working with a search firm, do your research to ensure that you are working with a reputable agency, and one that also specializes in your fields of interest. The Career Development Center has a list of recommended firms and is happy to help.
Every organization seeks to learn how a candidate has illustrated strong foundational skills including flexibility and adaptability, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, cultural competence, and problem solving, to name a few. This pandemic has tested everyone, and employers may ask this question to learn how you adapted to a rapidly changing environment, and if it illustrates any of these foundational skills.
This does not mean, though, that you must discuss your personal experience during this personally challenging time. While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, we have not all experienced the same hardships and losses, and not in the same ways, either.
If you do not want to answer this question, we suggest responding with, “To be quite honest, the COVID-19 pandemic was very difficult for my family and me. I would prefer to not discuss the reasons why. However, I would be happy to share with you how I have illustrated flexibility and perseverance in other ways.” Then, continue to provide illustrative examples that are not connected to COVID-19.
- Adaptability and the ability to manage difficult situations are both excellent talking points in interviews and are desirable skills for employers. Consider examples of how you have demonstrated examples of both throughout the pandemic.
- Learned how to adjust quickly to online learning platforms, virtual meetings, Slack communication, and any other technology which you have found to be useful.
- Hobbies, built digital portfolio, learned something new, deeply researched a topic
- Stay up-to-date with the pandemic via reputable news sources, especially with how marginalized communities are impacted. Paying attention to how states are (and are not) including marginalized populations in their responses shows compassion and cultural competence.
Yes, there are! First, though, let us recognize that it is also okay to take some time to focus on your personal mental health, and the health and wellness of your family members. This is not necessarily "downtime." We are all working to keep each other safe.
However, if you are looking for ways to keep busy and build some skills, here are sites offering great programs and educational articles: