By: Peer Career Coach Zahra Khuwaja
The last couple of days have been filled with uncertainty and fear. Where social distancing and isolation have become the norm, it is very easy to get out of routine and succumb to spending days on end in your PJs binge watching shows. However, in times like these, it is very important to remind yourself that you have more control than you give yourself credit for. If you are currently trying to pursue internships/full time job offers, here are some tips to maximize your efforts in doing so and to keep that drive going:
- Stay in routine!
Wake up at the same as you would on a daily basis and create schedules for meal times, recreational activities, reading books, etc. Doing so will allow you to preserve normalcy which will inevitably allow you to make the most of the excessive time at hand. This is the perfect opportunity to do things that you have put on hold for the longest time, including career development, or learning a new skill.
- Brand yourself
With mobility on hold, social media usage has skyrocketed and this is especially important to note in terms of one’s career development. This is a great opportunity to update your LinkedIn profile, resume, cover letters, etc. Post about your projects, achievements and advocate yourself. Network strategically with your connections, and reach out to recruiters. There are more companies that are hiring for positions than those that are not. With conferences being cancelled or postponed, hiring processes have been moved over to remote technologies, hence do not be discouraged. Career Services will continue to operate and is moving all appointments online via the Illinois Tech Google Hangouts application or phone. Moreover, our New Alumni & Students Career Fair on May 28th will proceed as a virtual event.
- Be mindful of how you spend your time
Get actively involved with online forums that talk about your interests and things that you care about. Use these platforms to connect with people that you can learn from. Be a helper and reach out to people you can offer assistance to, be it in terms of advice or opportunities. Check in with your connections and embrace the sense of virtual community that has come to existence as a result of current circumstances. The number one thing that most recruiters look for is genuine excitement and passion for whatever position you are applying for. Take advantage of this time by talking about your favorite topics and projects on different career platforms and perhaps create your own website showcasing your interests!
- Carpe Diem!
In the process of applying for multiple positions, don’t forget to prepare yourself to seize an opportunity once it comes knocking at your door. In other words, develop virtual interviewing skills and make a list of smart questions that you can ask during the process. These questions must not only show your interest but should also be reflective of whether the position is a right fit for you and if your career objectives align with the company needs and culture.