Five Tips for Job Hunting during COVID-19 Pandemic

GW Career Services offers advice for navigating the evolving job market.

Career Fair
Even though career fairs have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students can still take advantage of virtual career resources. (Maansi Srivastava/GW Today)
April 06, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically shifted the world as we know it, and there is uncertainty around the future of job markets everywhere.

As most George Washington University students have returned to their homes around the world, many students will still be graduating and looking to start their careers. While global circumstances are still adapting and evolving to a new normal, Career Services is offering a wide range of support for GW students in any time zone.

Rachel Brown, associate vice provost for university career services, said her team is staying on top of the evolving situation, and they created numerous articles in the resource library on Handshake to help students be prepared to take on these uncertain times.

“No matter where you are right now, literally and figuratively, Career Services is here for you,” Ms. Brown said. “We are working collaboratively with our GW colleagues, employers, alumni and our professional networks to know what is happening in real time so we can help students successfully navigate this challenging environment with care, current information, strategic contacts, leading edge tools, and the full support and backing of the GW community.”

GW Center for Career Services put together five tips for job hunting during COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Connect with GW Career Services. With expanded virtual career coaching hours to ensure that students can make appointments that fit their changing schedules, Career Services has next-day availability for everything from general guidance on strategy to application reviews to virtual practice interviews to online assessment reviews. Students can schedule a virtual appointment through Handshake.
  2. Take advantage of virtual resources. Career Services has expanded its virtual resources available to students to help during the internship and job search, such as resume  support for undergraduate students through VMock. This is also a good time to take advantage of LinkedIn Learning trainings (at no cost to GW students, faculty and staff) to brush up on old skills or even learn new ones.
  3. Embrace remote opportunities. Even though they can sometimes be challenging to find, this is a great time to look for remote or virtual job opportunities, said Nicole Kolt, associate director of industry coaching. On Handshake, GW students can search through jobs by using keywords such as “remote” or “virtual” to start. After Handshake, using those keywords on other job search engines is the best next step.
  4. Maximize your online presence and network. Students who have a complete profile and make it visible to employers in Handshake are to be contacted by employers, said Ms. Brown, and 80 percent of students who share their interests on their profile are contacted by a recruiter. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the LinkedIn Learning course on Professional Networking. In addition to peer networking, students can network with alumni through GW Career Connect, which has integrated video chat and phone options to connect virtually. Students can search through profiles by industry, location and school, and can even join industry communities and crowdsource answers to key questions about the changing job-search environment.
  5. Prepare for virtual interviews. Employers who are hiring are moving to all virtual interviews, which can be very different than in-person interviews, so students need to practice, said Katie Greene, industry career coach with GW Career Services. Some tips for this include doing a trial run with the necessary software before the virtual interview, use headphones with a microphone to cut down on background noise, look at the camera instead of the screen and have a back-up plan for potential technical issues by exchanging phone numbers with your interviewer beforehand. Students can also use InterviewStream, a virtual interview practice tool where they can practice live virtual interviews by scheduling a mock interview on Handshake. 
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