By: Priscilla Akpabio
With everything happening in the world right now, things like job searching seem even more impossible right now. In this post, I will be sharing some useful tips on how to get started with getting your dream job during a pandemic.
The first step in beginning your job search is having an updated resume and creating an outline for your cover letter. The content in cover letters typically vary depending on what job or position you are applying to. You can also tweak your resume to account for every job you are interested in if they are in different fields. I always recommend getting feedback from others on resumes and cover letters. You could upload your resume/ cover letter on handshake or stop by for drop in hours to get feedback from the staff at career services. If you do not have a resume at all you could check out an earlier blog post on creating one ( Creating Resume 101 ), read the resume guide on our career services resource page (Resume Guide ), book an appointment or stop by for walk-in hours (Drop In ).
The second step I typically recommend is putting together a list. This often seems tricky to students because there are so many companies out there. I always get the question; “How do I make a list?” And there’s really only one answer to this very popular question. You can make a list however you like, it can have whatever company you like on it. Just make sure you do your research on each company and have some insight into what exactly they do. There’s really no such thing as being too ambitious when searching for jobs. I know this is a huge concern especially amongst international students, so I would suggest creating your list and ensuring you have different options just in case some companies don’t actually sponsor or hire internationals. List companies you are genuinely interested in working for. Think about your non- negotiables and things you would want from a prospective employer. Remember that this entire process is about you so you should be happy with your list at the end of the day. Feel free to dream, you never know!
The third step is networking and learning how to use LinkedIn as a job finding tool. Before the pandemic, we could go to conferences, information sessions and alumni events to network and meet people who could help shape our career paths. Now we no longer have those resources available, but what we do have is LinkedIn. I did not understand how helpful LinkedIn could be until last year when I became a Peer Career Coach. The easiest way to make connections in companies you are interested in is finding an alumni or someone you have something in common with who also works there. You can filter your searches on LinkedIn to get those results. After connecting with them you should send a short note and ask for time to talk or if they would be willing to answer questions you have about their company or their career path. I would recommend putting together a list of at least six questions you think will spark meaningful conversation. These connections are typically useful when you apply for jobs because referrals go a long way. You could also find recruiters on LinkedIn and work directly with them.
The last step in job searching is remembering to follow up. People get busy and meet hundreds of other people, it is your responsibility to make sure you are not forgotten. Reach out, endeavor to keep the conversations and connections you have made alive. You will never know when or how they will be useful.
I really hope you take something useful from this and that it helps you get a great job during these trying times.