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Job Search During COVID-19

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What students can be doing now for a job search?

Research/clarify job search targets 

Reflect on all of your experience since high school: your classes, projects, on-campus involvement, internships, employment, research, conferences / workshops attended, athletics, and community service. Think about the skills you developed, and how they can be applied in your next role. Think about the skills you would like to learn.
 
Identify companies that typically hire for positions that would fit your interests, education and skills. You may choose to apply for positions that specifically require your major, or you may focus your job search on opportunities that would use your skills.

  • Start by researching job postings on HireJayhawks, Indeed, and LinkedIn job search:
  • Research industries that are currently hiring (see a separate section below).
  • Expand your research using the following resources to identify companies of interest; then visit the company career webpages to view jobs and apply, and follow the companies on LinkedIn or Twitter:

Be open and flexible. You might have an ideal job in mind, but you might not be able to get it right away.  Think of different ways to get there: take a role that would utilize similar skills in a different industry - the experience will be transferable, take a different role within your target organization or industry - you can prove yourself and move up, or take a position to learn new skills - you might discover a rewarding career you have not considered.

Research industries that are hiring

Companies are hiring for jobs in industries such as health care, software, shipping and delivery, e-commerce, online education and training, grocery retail, and customer service.
 
Here are some lists of employers that are currently hiring:

Investigate remote job platforms

Research the following platforms:

  • Working Nomads (job search site for remote development, design, customer service, and marketing roles) 
  • We Work Remotely (job search site for remote copywriting, marketing, customer support, design and management positions)

To find remote positions on other platforms, use keywords "remote", "anywhere", "telecommute", "work from home", or "virtual".
 
FlexJobs, a platform for work from home and flexible jobs with fee-based access, has a free company guide. Do no pay for a subscription, research the free directory of companies hiring for remote jobs, and apply on individual company sites.

Expand your social media presence, including LinkedIn

Review tips for creating a great LinkedIn account, and take time to make updates to you LinkedIn profile.

Expand your network by using online networking sites

Networking is always the best way to find employment. Think of networking as developing and maintaining relationships, getting to know people, and sharing information and resources. Check in with your existing contacts, and reach out to KU alumni without asking for a job. Conduct informational interviews - show interest and ask for advice.
 
Connect with KU alumni through the following sites: 

  • KU Mentoring (KU Alumni Association's platform to connect with KU alumni mentors) 
  • KU Alumni on LinkedIn (research KU alumni by locations, majors, keywords, skills, or type of work; connect with KU alumni)

Here's an article on how to conduct networking online: 

  • Networking is still important. Here’s how to do it while you’re stuck inside (LinkedIn article
Research the skills in demand and work to include them in application materials (as relevant)

FlexJobs, The Ladders, and The Muse mention these major soft skills for remote workers: ability to work independently, organization, self-motivation, discipline, balance, strong written communication, technical aptitude, and teamwork. Read closely job descriptions and make sure to provide examples of relevant skills in your application materials. Highlight any remote work experience.
 
For more information, visit: 

Target your job search materials

Effective resumes address employer needs. Read job descriptions carefully, highlight words and phrases in the descriptions that describe skills, tasks and qualities. Make sure to include these words and phrases in your job search documents, if you have these qualifications, and provide specific examples. For more tips, visit the following websites:

You can make an appointment with the University Career Center for resume building and other career coaching services. Graduating students continue to have FREE access to KU UCC services for 6 months after they graduate. To schedule an appointment, please call 785-864-3624, or schedule online at http://hirejayhawks.ku.edu.

Polish your remote interviewing skills and set-up

Before the Interview--

  • Test your technology - your Internet connection, your camera, and your microphone.
  • Research the company, write questions to ask the employer, and print out your resume to have it in front of you during the interview.
  • Practice your answering techniques, focusing on examples and stories on your own, and schedule a practice Skype or Zoom interview with a UCC career coach before the actual interview date. Request an appointment through HireJayhawks or by calling 785-864-3624.
  • Set up your computer so that the camera is as close to eye-level as possible. Try to be near a window, brighten your computer screen, or turn on a lamp, so that your face is well-lit. Make sure the room is quiet and your background is not distracting - position yourself in front of a blank wall (preferred), a bookcase, or a neutral picture.
  • Minimize distractions - put phone on silent, move the pets to a different room, and let your family or roommates know the time of your interview.
  • Dress as you would for an in-person interview.

During the Interview--

  • Be aware of your body language. Communicate your enthusiasm through intonation and expressions.
  • Deliver thoughtful relevant responses that emphasize results.

After the Interview--

  • Send a thoughtful thank you email within 24 hours of the interview to reiterate your skills and interest.

How to assess fraudulent opportunities

According to a CNBC article on Landing a Remote Job, for every one legitimate work-from-home job, there are approximately 60 to 70 work-from-home job scams, in other words, less than 3% of all work-from-home job listings are for legitimate jobs.

Tips to Avoid Job Scam
  • Be wary of chat-only platforms (e.g. Facebook Messenger, Yahoo Messenger)
  • Know the red flags:
    • unusually high pay
    • grammatical and spelling errors in a job description
    • a misspelled company name
    • a vague job description with low requirements - everyone qualifies
    • the job requires upfront expenses from you
    • the potential employer wants you to deposit a check into your bank account
    • you are asked for personal or financial information (e.g. social security number, birth date, home address, credit card or bank account information) early in the interview process or as part of your application
    • you are offered a job without an interview, or reference checks
    • the company doesn't have online presence
    • the recruiter's contact information is not professional / the company email address is modified, or no contact information is provided
  • Confirm contact information - scammers often use a personal email address (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo) or a modified email address with an added letter or swapped letters within an email - which is often hard to notice - always copy the last part of the email address after "@" to see if there is a corresponding website, and check the website to see if the site itself is legitimate (notice spelling and grammatical errors, design, phone number, and address)
  • Google the company name, and call the company to verify the recruiter exists
  • Watch out for common scams, which include secret shopping, general office, product testing, reshipping, or rebate processing
  • Don’t share personal or financial information via email or chat
  • Search the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission websites to verify company information, and search the company name on a search engine with the word “scam"
  • Report scams immediately - if you’ve been targeted by a job scam, file a complaint with the FTC at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov

Staying positive during job search

Make some income through project or part-time work

To get income during job search, consider a temporary position. These resources are great for temporary or side jobs:

  • Parker Dewey (micro-internships for recent graduates and current students) 
  • Upwork (freelancing site)
  • TeamKC's KCCN Special Edition COVID-19 Response (list of employers hiring in the KC Metro Area) 
  • HireJayhawks (job database for KU students and graduates)
  • FlexJobs Company Guide (FlexJobs is a platform for work from home and flexible jobs with fee-based access; do not pay for a subscription - conduct employer research, then click on company website links or google company names to visit individual employer websites, review jobs and apply) 
  • VIPKid - Teach English Online (teach English online to students in China; bachelor's degree required)
Continue to enhance your professional skills and knowledge to get job ready

Strengthen your qualifications. Take a course online (many are free to audit, or listen to, and you do not necessarily need a certificate to prove your knowledge). Find your own, or to get started, visit:

You can also review this article for ideas on skills employers need the most and possible courses to take on LinkedIn.

Volunteer

Enhance your skills and get experience while making a difference.  Many of the volunteer tasks can be done remotely - you can create or improve an organization’s website, design a social media campaign, develop partnerships, or process data. To learn more, please visit: 

Take time to do what you love

Take a walk, read a book, learn a poem, watch a movie, listen to a podcast, play music, write in your journal, bake cookies, start a craft, play a board game, or plant a garden. There are virtual classes, clubs and challenges for most hobbies, including languages, photography, design, dance, exercise, reading, cooking and more.
 
Find your own, or visit the KU Edwards website to get started:  

Finish projects

Organize a room, a closet, your pictures, or anything else that you usually don't seem to have time to complete - to restore calm and gain the sense of control.

Exercise

Take a walk, ride a bike, or take an online yoga class.


Events, Workshops, & Info Sessions

 
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University Career Center
Over 10,000 jobs and internships are posted on HireJayhawks.com annually.
Over 1,800 employers post jobs and internships on HireJayhawks.com each year.
Have you found your community? Over 4,200 students are exploring career pathways through KU career communities.
The P.H.O.G. offers free professional clothing for any KU student preparing for a career event, interview, or workplace.
More than 600 employers visit campus each year to recruit Jayhawks.
More than 1,000 students enroll in career classes annually.
HawkQuest was a runner-up for NACE’s Technology Award in 2018.
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44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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