First, take good care: Nothing is more important than maintaining your mental health and wellness. Without them, all other efforts will be futile! Every so often, stop and do a mental health check to ensure you remain hopeful and connected to others.
Disconnect from technology to recharge, reconnect, or enjoy activities that bring you happiness and relaxation
Stay well-informed via reputable and fact-based sources, but remember that this is a time of stress and panic for many people, and the internet can exacerbate those feelings
Take advantage of any or all of the UMass Student Resources available at this time (including telephone meetings with CCPH)
Adjust your job search strategy:Reference newly-developed career content specific to COVID-19, remote job boards, etc.
Keywords to use when you need employment NOW: urgently hiring, urgent hire, immediate hire, hiring now
Consider a virtual or micro-internship: There are many alternatives to the traditional on-site, 12-week, summer internship! The below organizations allow students to apply for short term (ranging from 5 hours to 8 weeks), paid, professional projects – most of them remote – with reputable companies. These assignments allow employers to vet potential full-time talent efficiently while offering students the chance to develop/strengthen their skills, explore career paths, and build their professional networks.
Parker Dewey – allows students to apply for micro-internships, which are short-term, paid, professional assignments similar to those given to new hires or interns; assignments take place year-round and typically range from 5 to 40 hours of work; typical assignments involve sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance
Paragon One – helps companies offer 8-week remote internship programs to students in non-technical fields; mentorship and training provided
Network: Take time to strengthen your existing LinkedIn connections and build new ones. Set up time to talk with family, friends, mentors, previous employers, etc. Join and participate in specialty Groups on LinkedIn that align with your career interests (e.g., Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Group; Business Intelligence & Analytics Professionals). Of course, be sensitive about the current circumstances when reaching out to contacts during this time period; responses may be understandably delayed. Helpful tools include the following:
Explore career fields and job functions: There are a wealth of online resources to help you explore and research different career fields and job functions. The ability to remain open in terms of the roles, companies, and industries you are willing to consider will increase your opportunities, even if they do not completely align with your future career goals. Every recruiter in the world will remember what job seekers encountered during this time period and will take this into account when reviewing your qualifications for future opportunities.
Access the valuable career resources available in the UMass Amherst Libraries Business Collection by clicking on the “Business Collection A-Z” tab; scrolling down and selecting “Career Insider;” and logging in with your UMass Net ID and password. There, you may access the following:
Vault Career Guides
Vault Company Rankings
Vault Career Blog
Review the Career Insights by Major resources, developed for Isenberg undergraduates by the Chase Career Center:
Add to or refine skills related to your career interests: Hone valuable skills that employers are seeking, including technical skills, foreign languages, advanced online classes in your functional area, etc. Take full advantage of the goodwill companies are lending during this time to earn digital badges, complete certificates, and engage in other tangible learning opportunities to stay marketable. These efforts will also showcase the purposeful initiative you took during this time.
LinkedIn Learning – provides relevant courses and online instruction curated for the user based on the skills, experiences, and education listed in his/her profile
Coursera – free online courses, guided projects, and certifications offered online by top universities and companies; sample topics include machine learning, social media marketing, financial markets, innovation management, programming languages, and Excel skills
HubSpot Academy – quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications in topics such as social media, email marketing, SEO, inbound sales, and many others
Duolingo – learn and/or strengthen your second or third language skills using this free app
DataCamp – online learning and certificate platform for data science, with emphasis on increasing technical proficiency in Python, SQL, R, Git, etc.
Practice your virtual interview skills: Given that most, if not all, interviews will take place virtually in the near future, excelling in this area is a great way to help positively distinguish yourself among other candidates.
Utilize Big Interview to view a multitude of instructional, interview-related videos
Complete industry and skill-based mock interviews available on Big Interview and email them to a Career Coach for feedback and review
Strengthen your resume, cover letter, and online presence:Use this time to make sure your application materials are as strong as they can be, and do the same regarding your online presence. Refer to the many guides available in the For Students section of the Chase Career Center website or schedule a virtual appointment with a Chase Career Coach.