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Job Hunting In a Time of Coronavirus

Naturally, there is a lot of stress in our country about people keeping their jobs and wondering if organizations are still hiring.  Already during the COVID-19 global health crisis, I’ve heard from employers who are still hiring and from others who are laying people off.

Should you continue looking for a job during the crisis?

Yes, of course, you should continue your job search during the COVID-19 health crisis. People tend to be a little more friendly and approachable during tough times. Fortunately, you can use several technology tools to aid in your job search.  Some tips to consider:

  1. Spring Cleanse - Make sure to review your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.  Present your most “professional self”
  2. Professional Email Address – I still see students who use “cutesy” email addresses. Those will not impress potential employers. If you must, use “cutesy” email addresses for friends. For employers, make sure your name is clear within the email. You don’t want to miss out on an interview either because the employer is unimpressed with your crazy email address or they can’t remember your name to contact you.
  3. Update your resume/cover letter - I see a lot of what I call “lazy” resumes and cover letters. By that, I mean that some job candidates tend to send out the “same-old, same-old” resume/cover letter for each opening. Back in the day, people had to sit down and type each and every resume/cover letter on a typewriter. I know, “Hey Boomer!"  Now, technology is your friend. You should have several different resumes/cover letters for the different targets you are going after.
  4. Skype and FaceTime are your friends during COVID-19 – The natural tendency is to do nothing during a crisis. While you may not be able to meet with potential employers for job interviews or informational interviews during the crisis, you can suggest Skype/FaceTime, phone and email exchanges. Reach out to people and ask for help.
  5. Linkedin – I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face … if you don’t have a Linkedin presence, employers may think you don’t exist. You should have at least 500 connections because employers are looking at that. I know, I know, there are exceptions – if you’ve been stalked and/or work in intelligence, you may be prevented from having a Linkedin presence. Those folks are in the minority. Don’t use it as an excuse if you don’t “fit the bill”.
  6. Keep Going – There is a thin line between success and failure. Don’t give up! Do whatever you have to do to try to maintain your mental and physical health during this trying period. Remember that your professors, friends, family, and university staff are with you during these hard times. Good luck!

Margaret “Mag” Gottlieb is the Career Director at the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University. Connect with Mag on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/margaret-gottlieb-1457753/ or contact via email: mag@gwu.edu

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