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How to Navigate the Job Search During COVID-19

Submitted by on May 28, 2020 – 8:46 pm
Student and employer speak during 2017 networking night

Former NECC student Nathan Miller speaks with Brian Sullivan of Dietz and Lynch Capital during 2017 NECC Networking Night.

A change of circumstance calls for a change of approach. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, that can extend to everything from how we socialize to how we navigate the process of searching for — and obtaining — a new job.

If you are faced with the challenges of finding work in a new landscape, please check out these useful tips from our professional Career Services team and be sure to visit the Career Services page for more information on the services available to you at NECC.

Remain positive, patient and think outside of the box

-Remember to maintain a positive attitude and to demonstrate patience when approaching the job search. It could take longer than normal for employers to get back to you, especially those who are trying to convert their hiring practices to remote methods.

-Know that the company you want to work for may not be hiring right now. Further, entire industries are facing challenges and are having to completely change because of the pandemic. With that, start thinking about which industries are hiring and how your skills and strengths could apply.

-Keep an open mind and think broadly about your job search. If you’re an accounting major, for instance, think not only about jobs at finance and accounting-based companies, but also any type of organization hiring for these roles. The possibilities are vast!

Enhance and expand your network

-Utilize your resources: Your college’s Career Center can help — make an appointment to talk about your career goals and expectations. Our professional team works with employers every day and will be able to help connect you to open opportunities or to resources for your job search.

-Reach out to your entire network – you might be surprised by what you’re able to learn. Whether you are speaking with close friends, mentors, professors, neighbors, or advisors, share your career goals, ask for help and advice, and utilize their professional networks as much as you can. When possible, request and conduct informational interviews with people in your field whom you admire.

-Access virtual career fairs and information sessions to learn about companies and opportunities. Join professional associations and online communities relevant to your field or industry. Participate in as many webinars and trainings as you can and comment and share your insights on their open forums.

Utilize your time effectively

-Practice and prepare for virtual interviews with friends and family. Prepare for interviews in advance by researching how the pandemic has impacted the company you’re looking at and the industry as a whole.

-Think about how you address challenges. Many companies will want to learn about how you spent your time during quarantine, how you handle adversity, and how you navigate the challenges you faced. Plan to demonstrate how you took advantage of the situation to better yourself.

-If your internship was canceled or you were laid off, contact the company or your direct supervisor. See if there are other projects/work you can assist with remotely during this time. Being proactive and showing continued interest and willingness to assist will go far. Additionally, search for remote work or virtual internships, supplement your income by participating in micro-internships or work with a reputable staffing firm to find temporary work.

-Volunteer with local non-profits. Think about how you can be useful, whether it is through social media, bookkeeping support, graphic design, etc.

-Take the time to work on YOU. Take a non-credit course, learn a new language or a musical instrument, start a micro-business, participate in professional development, or train for a competition or new challenge!

Take advantage of available resources

-Learn how to navigate the various job boards that exist. Use Google to search for the types of roles in your target location. From there, narrow your search down to the most relevant job boards for your industry.

-Keep up with websites like The Muse and Handshake’s blog to find a list of companies who are hiring.

-Follow #hiring20 on social media to keep up with companies who are hiring interns, along with full time and part time positions.

-Subscribe to Get Hired, a newsletter on LinkedIn to help you “land your next job.”

Career Services staff are meeting with students and alumni virtually. Please reach out for help exploring potential careers, crafting your resume, looking for an internship, or landing a job.  You can set up an appointment through Navigate or contact Deb LaValley at