By: Maira Zamir, Peer Career Coach

By now the whole World collectively has somewhat become used to living in what is now called the ‘Covid-era’. This era is associated with social-distancing, quarantining by staying at home and in general just limiting physical contact with the outside world. A lot of people have lost jobs or future prospects of having one. Students have lost internships and are adamant that the chances of getting one is unlikely. But in tough situations like these, improvisation is key

Most of us don’t have the opportunity to network with potential employers right now and while yes that is a disadvantage, there are definitely other ways to overcome this obstacle: 

  1. Take an online course 

All this extra time at home is an excellent opportunity to take up an online course and either learn something new or attain a more detailed knowledge of something you already know. You can even look up the requirements of a particular job you are interested in and enroll in a course accordingly. Nothing bad can come out of this because at the end of the day, you are learning something new. There are great resources out there that offer a vast variety of free online courses like Coursera, Khan academy, Harvard university etc. 

Here is a useful resource that lists online courses depending on your needs: 

  1. Learn a new language 

The increase in globalisation means that knowing more than one language can make you an attractive candidate for a job. Infact, a research study in 2014 showed that people who were bilingual received a 15 to 20% increase in their pay. It also greatly helps with interacting with people from other countries and really broadens your hiring chances. Duolingo is a popular online application where one can learn a variety of languages free of cost: 

  1. Learn a new software 

Modern technology is ever-changing, therefore knowing how to work on different 

softwares is the most sought after skill that employees look for. Infact, most employers when looking for interns are interested in what kind of technical skills they have. To name a few, softwares like Python, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Rhino 3-D, Revit are among the most in demand softwares currently. 

  1. Personal Branding 

Think of yourself as an item (only hypothetically!) that needs to be sold to customers (employers). In order to sell, marketing/advertising is obviously necessary. Having a stellar resume and cover letter is a great way to market yourself for a start. If you want your employer to get an idea of your skill set apart from just face-value, then a website or an online portfolio are also great tools to showcase your work to a wide variety of employers. Also don’t forget updating your LinkedIn, which is the fastest way to create an online network of potential employers. 

Illinois Tech has comprehensive Resume and Cover Letter Guides and Adobe is also offering recent graduates and students Adobe Portfolio free for one year, so make sure you avail this FREE tool:

Learning/Re-learning Skills to Boost Candidates