As students and professionals, you are all profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your classes are now given online, you may have been forced to interrupt your professional, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and many of you had to move out or even back home. Although you may feel powerless, you need to remember this:
There is plenty you can do right now to become more desirable candidates on the job market.
Here are three unsuspected ways in which you can not only cope with the current situation but really make the most of it.
Tip #1: Highlight your adaptability on your resumé
For each of your experiences (academic, professional, volunteer and extracurricular), take stock of the ways in which you are adjusting to current circumstances, and provide concrete evidence.
- Are you cultivating working relationships with your community (professors, coworkers, classmates, student club members, etc.) through social media and technologies?
- Are you significantly improving your proficiency with new tools and platforms?
- Are you finding creative solutions to problems you’ve never encountered before?
- Are you actively supporting your peers, providing them with academic or emotional support?
- For those who are parents, are you successfully honouring all your academic and professional commitments while also homeschooling your kids?
Tip #2: Prepare for interviews
“Tell us of a time when you had to adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances?” If you’ve never been asked some version of this question in a job interview, chances are you will be sooner or later.
This is the perfect opportunity to prepare your answer: you are forced to learn and work (and potentially even parent!) in a new environment. Think about: the ways in which you are growing; the strategies you are putting in place; and the positive outcomes you are experiencing as a result.
Tip #3: Complete your LinkedIn profile and use it
If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, why not use some of it to finalize your LinkedIn profile (you know, the one you’ve created 5 years ago and never got to complete or even use)
First, make a list of what’s currently missing. You should focus first on your photo, headline, Summary section, and your two most recent work experiences.
Second, build a new habit. Do something useful on LinkedIn every day: add a contact, add a skill, ask for an endorsement or recommendation, share an article, make a small improvement to your Summary, etc. You will generate views and attract potential employers.