Job Search During COVID-19

Covid Page

Understandably, career-related questions may be at the front of your mind now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to assure you that our office will continue to offer our service and support while still providing the best and most realistic advice possible. We are working very closely with the Notre Dame community as well as our employer partners to stay informed about the impact of COVID-19 on the economic climate, hiring trends, and opportunities.

Uncertainty with career plans may have now just become a new reality for you; however, there are still several ways to practically continue your search for opportunities. Utilize the resources below to create your plan.

Note: If you have recently learned that your job offer has been rescinded or modified, please schedule an appointment with the appropriate industry-related counselor on our staff. If you are unsure how to get connected with us, please use our quick help tool.

Five Things You Can Do Right Now

  1. Act on the Things You Can Control - Your story of what you accomplished during this time to build skills and help support your community will be important come hiring time for your next opportunity. 
  2. Maintain and Build Your Network - Most people find jobs through networking and personal connections. Staying connected with people and growing your network is crucial to success in a virtual world.
  3. Enhance Professional and Skill Development - Work on rounding-out your skill sets. Many educational companies and universities are offering content online for free. Use this opportunity  to enhance your skills.
  4. Build Your Digital Presence - Now is the time to focus on your online presence. Search for your name in Google. Ask a family friend to review your resume.  Our staff can help with building and refining your online presence.
    1. Digital Brand - This is who you are perceived to be online. Ensure that you have fully completed profiles on both Handshake and LinkedIn. Make sure to express your skills and interests for potential employers to see.
    2. Digital Shadow - Your shadow is what people find out about you when searching online. Clean up anything you don't want others to see, particularly social media accounts (even if private).
    3. Digital Engagement - What are you commenting on? Who are you following? How are you engaging in your professional platforms?
  5. Actively Engage in the Job Search Process Every Day -  Explore COVID-related remote options. Seek out opportunities, connect with people, and try your best to be comfortable with the unknown. You will persevere, but this requires an action-oriented approach. Our staff is available to help you set goals and create an action plan.

Adjust Expectations

The hope is that opportunities come through as planned, but this is a time to also consider alternative options.

The company, industry,  or job you were preparing to go into may not be hiring right now or perhaps even later this year. Align your job search with the companies and organizations that are hiring and can help you build skill sets that will leverage you into the direction you want. 

Recognize that your first job is not forever, and it does not necessarily set your course for the rest of your career. In this environment consider expanding your options.

Keep Career Plans/Goals in Mind

Stay focused on your long-term career goals. Conduct research, know what industries are hiring, know where your skills are best utilized, and keep in mind what experience and skills you want to gain. Consider next year when you are applying for internships - what’s the narrative you want to tell about what you did in Summer 2020? Think about professional development and skills development - what did you learn or cultivate?

The Actual Search

  • Stay Focused - Focus on what you want to do OR build skills that leverage you into the job you really want.
  • Broaden Your Horizons - Expand beyond just one industry for applications. Some industries are actually growing during this time. Forbes outlines four of them. Check your state's regulations on which businesses are essential during this time (particularly helpful if you are looking for short-term projects or a summer internship.) Department of Homeland Security has identified 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors. This is not the time to application slam; apply strategically. Industries that may be growing or maintaining include:
    • Healthcare
    • Shipping and Logistics
    • Digital media
    • Streaming services
    • Teleworking software
    • Start-ups in intense product development phase
    • Federal and State governments
    • Nonprofit - community services; philanthropic organizations; trade associations; public interest legal services
  • Plan for the Alternative - Pursue options that will work if the curve turns downward quickly and pursue options that will provide alternatives if the curve stays up longer.
  • Build Skills - Check out opportunities that will build your skills and help you become a competitive candidate for the job you really want.
  • Apply - Apply to what’s available and interests you.
  • Follow-up - Expect delays in responses to your applications and interviews, but follow-up on your applications. Sample email templates here.

In the Meantime...

The good news is that there are still things for you to focus on and do during this time to increase your appeal as a desirable candidate. Consider the following: