1. Know that this in an unprecedented time. Depending on your circumstance, you might need to pause your search. Self-care is most important. If you are physically well, but are experiencing concerns or anxieties please consider reaching out for support. The CDC has resources and also recommends that individuals visit SAMHSA website.
You can contact them directly at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. When you call or text, crisis counselors will listen to what’s on your mind with patience and without judgment. There is no need to give any identifying information when you contact the Disaster Distress Helpline.
2. Assess your goals and strategies. If you are able, take time to review your short-term and long-term career goals and review your strategies. Are you on track? Are there adjustments you can make to your approach? If you need assistance, reach out to your college career office for student or alumni support. Many college career centers are offering virtual appointments and resources for students and alumni. Not sure where to start? I am happy to point you in the right direction.
3. Make sure your resume is ready to go. Your resume is often your first introduction to the employer. Here is a resume workshop I developed for students, but the rules are pretty standard and can typically translate to professionals. If you are pursuing positions in academia, medicine, law, or research, you will need a Curriculum Vitae. The Muse is one of my favorite career platforms and I regularly share their articles on resume tips and action verbs with students and clients.
4. Review and update your LinkedIn page. Does it align with your personal brand and support your current goals? Penn State’s Business Career Center developed a LinkedIn workshop for students, but really anyone can benefit from this advice.
5. Reach out to your network and connect virtually. Grow your network on LinkedIn. Try to get 500+ connections. Follow organizations and leaders that interest you. Post and re-share professional information (not personal or political). Connect with alumni from your school or alma mater. Introduce yourself and inquire about setting up an informational interview. Reconnect with former supervisors, colleagues, professors, and peers. The key to successful networking is to stay connected.
6. Stay informed and increase your skills. Some great resources include Coursera, Google Skillshop, Hootsuite, LinkedIn Learning, Khan Academy, Skill Share, Udemy. I am a huge fan of Ted talks to increase awareness. The Muse and Vault are two of my favorite career platforms for advice. Lindsey Pollak is a multigenerational workplace expert, and I sing her praises to anyone who will listen. Do yourself a favor – read her books and follow her on social media.
7. What if you are contacted for an interview? Discuss the option for a phone or video interview. Several companies are changing their recruitment strategies during this time. If you cannot avoid an in-person interview and choose to attend, Vault published essential tips for candidates.
8. Thank employers and connections. Email a thank you note within 24 hours after a job interview or informational interview/conversation. So long as US mail is accessible for you, also consider sending a hand-written/typed thank you note.
9. Be patient and persistent. Consider using an application tracking spreadsheet. Have you ever applied to a job and by the time the interview comes, the job posting is no longer available to reference? Save all job descriptions. You must take action to expect results. The rapidly changing environment requires flexibility. If you are feeling ready and want to maintain momentum in your job search, you need to be proactive and adaptable.
10. Remember: There is no precedent for a job search during the Coronavirus pandemic. Understanding, communication, and compassion are essential for employers and job seekers.