Tips for job and internship hunting while sheltering in place
Career advisers Corinne Snell and Kristen Gallo on eight things students can do to boost their chances.
Looking for a job or an internship isn’t easy. Trying to find one during a pandemic is even harder.
The staff at Temple’s career and professional development offices know this—and they’re here to help.
We spoke to Corinne Snell, assistant dean of Student Professional Development at the Fox School of Business and Kristen Gallo, executive director of Temple’s Career Center, about tips for students looking for jobs and internships during the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Put things into perspective
It’s important to realize you aren’t alone. “This is new for all of us. We’ve never gone through anything like this before,” Snell said. You’re trying to figure things out; companies and recruiters are too.
2. Prepare for virtual interviews
Because you won’t be meeting employers in person, virtual interviews are more important than ever. The most common types are one-way video interviews, where candidates respond to pre-recorded questions and two-way interviews, where you’re face-to-face with a hiring manager.
Start by doing your research. “Just because you’re doing it via phone, or via Zoom, or via Skype, that doesn’t mean that you should overlook your preparation as far as researching the company, having a good understanding of the position and how it relates to you and your skills,” Snell said.
Next, make sure you’re familiar with the platform you’ll be using, so you’re ready to deal with any technical difficulties.
Choose your location carefully. “You want to be seated, with good lighting, in a clean area, with no distractions,” Snell said.
And practice makes perfect. You can record yourself responding to questions and evaluate your performance using InterviewStream, which is free for all Temple students, and schedule mock interviews with the career staff.
“Practice, practice, practice. It’s uncomfortable,” Gallo said, but “I don’t think there’s any other way other than practicing it.”
3. Use Temple’s career resources
Staff at the Center for Student Professional Development are offering all their services virtually, Snell said, including workshops, coaching sessions and group chats where students get together and talk about some of their concerns with their job and internship searches.
The same goes for the Career Center. You can schedule an appointment with a career adviser, look through job opportunities on Handshake and see how well your resume matches a job posting using Jobscan.
4. Shift your strategy
Sometimes you need a fresh approach. A coach can help you think outside the box in terms of where you can apply your skill set, Gallo said.
5. Focus on your brand
Now is a great time to hone your resume and cover letter and highlight any experience you have working remotely.
Develop your social media presence too, especially your LinkedIn profile. “You don’t have to have years and years of work experience to have a good profile,” Snell said. “You can have a good one as a student.”
6. Build your network
Networking is critical to finding a job or internship. Reach out to alumni within your school or college on LinkedIn or via Temple’s own Owl Network. Also, look out for virtual discussions with employers hosted by Temple’s career offices.
“There’s lots of ways [students] can continue to expand their network,” Gallo said. “It’s just not going to be in person right now.”
7. Create a target list of companies
Have a target list of companies in your field and start following them on social media, Snell said. Keep up to date with hiring trends and other news.
“It will be really important to have an understanding of where [your] particular industry is landing,” Gallo said.
8. Stay positive
The Center for Student Professional Development is reaching out to employers to find out who’s hiring. And the Career Center’s outreach specialists are approving jobs daily on Handshake.
“There is so much that we’re offering for students and we definitely want them to feel like they have resources and folks that they can turn to, to help them through this time,” Snell said.