Custom graphic for an article at our chapter

Job Hunting as a College Student in the Time of COVID-19

Job hunting has always been a hard and lengthy task -- put a worldwide pandemic and it can become even harder and stressful. But don’t worry, I got you! With these tips and tricks you’ll get a better chance of getting noticed, and possible even hired: 

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Take advantage of online/social media tools 

I know that right now, it might be hard to attend career fairs and meet with people, but I have a little secret for you -- use the Internet to your advantage! Although this might seem like an obvious first step, you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t take the plunge. If you haven’t already, go on a computer and create a LinkedIn account. Make as many connections as you can, message recruiters, comment on posts. You never know when one of the connections you make might be looking to hire! Just keep an open mind and talk to as many people as you can - you got this! 

 

Attend virtual career fairs 

If you’re confused by this one, I understand -- I was also confused when I first heard of it. Virtual career fair? What could this possibly be? Well, it turns out, you can still meet with recruiters via zoom and email. Some colleges, including Penn State, gather a huge list of recruiters from different companies and host a virtual career fair, where thousands of students can send their resumes via email to recruiters. After this, recruiters can choose whether they want to schedule an interview with the candidates. Not only is this a great opportunity to potentially find a job, but it also encourages you to practice and learn how to interact with recruiters. An added bonus: for just one day, recruiters will be talking exclusively to people from your college, so chances of getting an interview are higher, as there will be less candidates! 

a person is seen sitting at a table, from the neck down. they are typing on a laptop and have a mug with tea and a highlighted book open next to them Startup Stock Photos | Pexels

Google it! Simple, but effective 

Ever thought of just googling your dream job? This was my first step when I embarked on my job-search-journey. I remember searching for “journalism/writing entry level jobs” and I was amazed at the endless possibilities of jobs that were available for my desired field. If you haven’t done this yet, I encourage you to just do it. Who knows? Maybe your dream job is just a computer click away from you! 

 

Job searching websites 

Now, with this one, I’m not talking about websites like LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn is a great tool to make connections, it is not so great at finding job postings, in my opinion. Websites like indeed.com or ed2010 (for communications majors) are two great websites that will help you find great, recent job postings. Also, some companies, like NBC or Condé Nast to name a few, actually have their applications on their website. However, I recommend you go to a more broad job seeking website, like indeed.com, as you have more options and will have a greater chance of success. 

 

Talk to your friends/family members/acquaintances

Connections. This is a word you’ll hear a lot when you begin job hunting. Knowing someone who works at your dream company or your dream field, could definitely serve to your advantage when you’re applying for jobs. Maybe a family friend works at a company you love, or maybe your brother’s girlfriend’s best friend works in your desired field. However it might be, it is always a great idea to talk to people who are close to you and ask them if they know anyone working in your industry. 

 

Consult your college’s career resource center 

Last but certainly not least, talk to your college’s career resource center -- please! I still cannot believe how many people I’ve talked to who tell me they didn’t even know their college had a career center. Obviously, finding a job is a big part of your postgrad -- and even college -- formation, so take advantage of all of the resources that your college has to offer while you still can. Schedule an online appointment and have someone guide you, so that you won’t have to go through this stressful process alone. 

a woman sits at a wooden desk writing in a notebook. there is an imac in front of her.  Retha Ferguson | Pexels  

That being said, I just want to remind any college student or recent grad that you’re not alone. If you’re ever too stressed and overwhelmed, remember to ask for help and to have someone that you can rely on. Rejections are a part of life. Just remember to keep your chin up and keep trying -- always. You got this, collegiettes! I believe in you.