College of DuPage Career Services Center offers tips for job seekers during uncertain times
While COVID-19 is impacting the health of scores of people nationally, the pandemic also presents a new set of challenges for jobseekers and recent college graduates who are looking for employment. Furloughs, hiring freezes, layoffs, canceled job offers, revoked internships, rising unemployment and an uncertain economic future are significantly impacting workers and jobseekers across most industries.
Interim Manager of Career Services Krystina LaSorsa said that while landing a new job during the pandemic is challenging, companies are still hiring.
"While it may be a difficult time to seek employment, most traditional job seeking methods still apply," she said. "It's important to do your research on the company, develop a strong cover letter and resume and take advantage of local resources to practice your interview skills."
Responding to a growing need in the community, Career Services staff members have upped their game to help jobseekers navigate a quickly changing employment landscape. Career Services continues to offer its usual services, support and resources to students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. While staff are not conducting in-person meetings, they still provide a full range of services, including cover letter and resume reviews, mock interviews, webinars and one-on-one appointments virtually through Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom.
Career Services also has launched the Career Tip Thursday video series on Facebook. The series features staff members providing answers to career-related questions they receive through the Career Services Facebook page and covers topics including resume length, following up on an interview and dealing with job loss.
LaSorsa provides the following tips for jobseekers during the pandemic:
Take the time to review your resume, have someone review it or take advantage of the Career Services Center virtual appointments or electronic resume review services, which provide you with quality feedback within one week of submission. If you're a career changer and worried about your next career not matching your experience, virtual appointments with Career Services staff members are available to discuss your skills, interests and career goals.
Begin by researching companies that are currently hiring, checking large job boards such as indeed.com that pull opportunities from a variety of sources. LinkedIn is a great tool you can use to search companies, connect with past colleagues and network with other professionals. Also, take advantage of Chaps Get Hired, an online career job board which enables COD students who are searching for employment and internships to connect with employers who need their skills.
While virtual interviewing may be new to some, prepare as you would for an in-person interview. Research the company, do multiple tech checks to make sure your computer and software work, and practice interviewing with a friend or through Interview Stream. You can record your practice on Interview Stream and send the recording to the Career Services Center for review. When it comes time for the interview, be sure to be on time, dress professionally from head to toe and ask questions.
Follow up with your interviewer via email within 24 hours and then again one week later. When crafting your email follow-up, be relevant and provide a personal connection or memory of the interview in the message.
LaSorsa said that while searching for a new job can be a full-time commitment that requires specialized skills, it still provides opportunities.
"The current circumstances provide a great opportunity to build job search skills and grow your network of professional connections," she said. "Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile and actively engage in professional organizations and groups. Finally, it doesn't hurt to seek out employers who would be interested in an informational interview for you to learn more about the industry or culture of that employer."
Learn more about Career Services at College of DuPage at www.cod.edu/student_life/resources/career_services/index.aspx.