"How do I find a job during Covid-19?" "My internship offer was rescinded...what do I do now?" "The industry I am interested in has slowed down, how do I use my gifts and talents?"
If you’ve had these thoughts you’re not alone. Try adding this positive word to your situation – YET. Yet is defined as ‘up until the present’ and is a hopeful word. I haven’t found a job, yet. I don’t have an internship experience, yet. My gifts and talents haven’t been used, yet. You see, it sets a different tone doesn’t it?
There is not one path to your dream job and it often takes a while to get there. Right now is your time to build and strengthen your skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and flexibility. It is ok to develop a Plan B or even a Plan C with the ultimate outcome of achieving a new path!
The Center for Academic Advising and Career Engagement team is here to remotely support you! We can review resumes, practice virtual interviewing, assist with job/internship strategies and provide online resources and tools to help prepare you for life after college.
We encourage you to work on the following strategies for your career development:
Networking in a Virtual World
It is never too early in your college career to build your professional network. Start with identifying people you regularly connect with: professors, classmates, friends and family, former employers and supervisors. Next, ask your contacts to connect you to people they believe would be helpful in your career exploration, internship or job search. Be sure to reach out to Concordia alumni through CUWConnect. Once you have been e-introduced go ahead and ask if they would be willing to have a quick phone call or virtual chat. Yes, you can most definitely network effectively while at home. And you should! In fact people are more accessible and willing to help, share information and give advice – take a look at this Forbes article for some helpful networking tips. Also, stay organized with a networking spreadsheet, don’t forget to connect on LinkedIn and follow up promptly with a thank you email!
The Experience and Job Search
Spend time crafting (or recrafting!) your summer experience plan. It may look different than what you planned earlier in the year, but do not feel defeated. Employers will be curious about how you built resiliency during Covid-19 and it is key to be action oriented, entrepreneurial and gritty! Have you searched for virtual or e-Internships such as the State Department e-Internships? Do you know about micro-internships or have you job searched on your Handshake account? You may also consider attending virtual events through resources like Handshake, Jobfairsin.com and LiveCareer. Or perhaps your summer experience will include investing in your professional development through massive open online courses (MOOCs) like Coursera, or Open Culture. Take ownership during this time to work on your college to career pipeline!
You are experts in technology, learning online and virtual chats by now! Interviewing virtually is a very different experience and your CAACE team is here to help. Begin by practicing online with friends and family and record yourself. Take time to look at the lighting, background, where your eyes appear on the screen, and of course how you present yourself. Read this Handshake article for more virtual interviewing tips. Once you have practiced and feel more comfortable please schedule an appointment with your advisor for a virtual interview session.
Create your Digital Brand
Start by updating your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles. Showcase the story (your brand) behind your resume by highlighting your accomplishments, passions and gifts in a detail. Employers will reference your online presence to learn more about you. Be sure to examine your digital shadow – what are people saying about you online? Now is the time to clean up your social media and view your presence through the lens of a potential employer. Lastly, your digital engagement is critical – respond promptly and professionally to all email and messages.
Your job and internship search will require discipline, flexibility, time and hard work, just like your academic career. Employers in a variety of sectors are turning to us for their hiring needs. They know the value of employing Concordia University students and graduates. You have a reputation for being professional and diligent with great critical thinking skills. Continue to stay focused on your goals and use the resources available to you. Please reach out to your Academic and Career Advisor if you need more help.
—This article is written by Stacy Tolomeo, who serves as Concordia’s assistant director of industry relations within the Center for Academic Advising and Career Engagement Office. Contact Stacy at Stacy.Tolomeo@cuw.edu.
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