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10 Tips to Getting a Job During a Global Pandemic

During busy and unprecedented times like these, job hunting can be tough. Many students are trying to find a way to balance schoolwork, extracurriculars and their personal life, all while searching for employment. Here are some things to consider as you start your search:

Work on your resume!

Make sure that the information you are sharing with potential employers is not only truthful, but up to date. That internship you completed last month? Add it in! Additionally, websites like ResumUP, Zety Resume Builder and Enhancv will help you build and review your resume for free.

Get LinkedIn

It’s easy to be skeptical about the mysterious world of LinkedIn, but it truly is a fantastic tool. So many students have been able to find jobs they love using LinkedIn. As you get more accustomed to the site, you can even filter your search results to include specific industries, locations and positions. 

Know what you are looking for

With COVID-19, we’re not only changing the way we apply for jobs, but also our vision in terms of the actual job we see ourselves working in. Ensure you are being realistic and know what you want. Do you want to work from home? Work part-time? Knowing what you are looking for will make the application process much easier.

Be proactive! 

Just because a company isn’t offering positions online doesn’t mean you can’t reach out. Many jobs are not listed, and new opportunities are constantly arising. Give the restaurant down the street a call or drop your resume off at your favourite retail store!

Connect

Develop connections through social media, networking sites, or even through family and friends. Make use of your resources, as opportunities come to those who are visible. According to LinkedIn, as of 2016, it has been estimated that 85% of jobs are filled through networking.

Develop your skill set

As a positive by-product of COVID-19, many companies have been offering free online workshops as a chance to develop your skill set and resume. Be sure to ask the organizers of the workshop if completion certificates are available.

Online classes

A site called EdX gives you the opportunity to take courses (from Harvard nonetheless!) for free. These include courses in computer science, several languages, data science, business, humanities, engineering and more – there is truly something for everyone.

Prepare properly for interviews

Got that interview? Yes, kill it! Now is the time to make use of your resources: host a mock interview with a family member, pick a professional outfit that will impress the interviewer, and once again, make use of free resources. Sites like AceTheInterview will help you be prepared. Your prep work can be as simple as googling the 10 Most Common Interview Questions.

Reach out again

Did you love your job last summer? Well then reach out and see if they are hiring again. Chances are, if you were a good fit and built good rapport with the management team, they will likely be interested in your application. 

Be Persistent

You submitted an application 2 weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything? Follow up! Be mindful of the fine line between being persistent and pushy; you don’t want to be following up 24 hours after submitting an application, but if a couple weeks go by and you haven’t heard back, send out a friendly, inquiring email! 

Whether you are beginning, continuing, or finishing your search, remember to stay calm and be kind to yourself. You’ve got this!

Hilary is a third year student at McMaster University, majoring in English while pursuing a concurrent Certificate in Leadership & Cross-Cultural Literacy. Outside of school, she loves to sing, cook/bake, and spend time with family and friends. Her happy places include the grocery store & outdoors (most likely hiking)
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