Covid-19 Career Resources

All the information you need to prepare yourself for today's changing world of work during the pandemic.   Whether you're on the job market and aren't sure what to do next in your virtual job/internship search or are adjusting to the idea of working remotely, Career Services is here to help you navigate this new environment.

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Yes, there are jobs!

Employers are actively seeking Gies students, but you must also be actively engaged in the search process.

According to recent Handshake.com data, Business students are the top major receiving outreach from employers regarding full-time job opportunities and internships right now.

The top jobs being advertised on Handshake.com include: Business Analysts and Management Consultants, Accountants, and Data Analysts.

Tips for Managing a Virtual Job Search

Tip 1: FOCUS ENERGY EFFECTIVELY

With so many aspects beyond individual control,  we would advise students to focus on maintaining a positive mindset and on what can be controlled. Don’t abandon the dream job, but devise a Plan B and Plan C to get through the next steps. Use the immediate time to make investments in foundational career development and job search skills.  Start by:

  • Clarifying the skills that you have that can be offered to employers (technical and soft skills)
  • Matching skills to fields and industries less impacted by COVID-19
  • Developing a brand and translating it to an online profile and application materials
  • Investigating contract positions, remote work and other flexible working arrangements

Tip 2: USE YOUR NETWORK EFFECTIVELY

Your network is probably the most valuable resource that you’ll have at your disposal. This includes your friends, family, former colleagues, and professional connections.  It’s much more likely that you will land your next job through someone in your network than just through an online listing, so it’s essential to leverage this invaluable resource.

  • Talk with recent grads from your major about the job market, employment opportunities and seek their advice about potential employers.
  • Connect with alumni in your field (find them on LinkedIn)
  • Conduct informational interviews with alumni to increase knowledge and expand professional networks (Best kept secret!!!)
  • Attend info sessions, networking events, workshops and other events where you can talk with recruiters and professionals. Developing personal contacts at the organizations you want to work for will increase the success of your job search immensely.

Tip 3: CREATE A JOB SEARCH SCHEDULE AND STICK WITH IT

Each week set aside dedicated time to devote to your search and plan in the following activities:

  • Schedule an appointment with a BCS advisor to strategize your search
  • Update your Handshake account and follow the tips on our Handshake page to maximize your engagement with employers
  • Ensure your resume and application materials are customized to your job interests
  • Apply to jobs on Handshake and other job boards  (find open jobs on our homepage!)
  • Follow up on all jobs you apply for--reach out to the contact listed on Handshake (or on LinkedIn) and inquire about your application status
  • Find opportunities to engage with your desired companies (through info sessions or by simply reaching out to recruiters on LinkedIn)
  • Practice your interviewing skills

Tip 4: INTERNSHIP SEEKERS: CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE PLANS

Even if you don't land that dream internship, there are many other valuable activities that you can participate in this summer

Internship Alternatives

Covalent --Started by U of I alums to train students on digital marketing projects with small businesses.  Deadline extended to May 10th, 2021.

We CU--10 week summer scholars program

Forage--Virtual Work Experience Programs with simulated projects with Fortune 500 companies

Parker Dewey Micro-internships-- students can learn and hone the skills that employers look for, build meaningful connections with organizations across the country, and get paid

Covintern--remote internships at top start-ups and companies

DoSomthing.Org--Volunteering opportunities

Upskill- through LinkedIn Learning or other

Gig Job- Find a short-term paid project to work on.

Impact of Covid-19 on the Workforce

The health crisis may loom for a while longer, but it will subside. How much impact it will leave in its wake is open to speculation. However, there is reason to believe that many organizations will resume some semblance of operation. Students should focus on positioning themselves for fast re-entry into the job market when conditions begin to re-stabilize. That means spending time now deeply researching interest fields and employers, perfecting resumes and social media profiles, expanding their network of professionals, and honing interviewing skills.

  • Some industries are currently experiencing or will experience increased demand for goods and services because of the crisis, such as health care, pharmaceuticals, grocery chains, delivery services, virtual technology tools, remote instruction, and others. As the crisis lingers, many of these industries have ramped up hiring.
  • One lesson many employers learned after the 2008 recession was not to cut off talent pipelines. Those that were able to stay in touch with potential candidates rebounded quicker than others. For the current crisis, that means students who have already made significant inroads with employers should maintain contact and consider ways they can engage remotely, even temporarily. For example, are there projects that could be performed on a contract basis?
  • As people working remotely adjust to new virtual options, some newly adopted practices will be sustained. That means new businesses or services may emerge from the crisis, creating opportunities for students with a more entrepreneurial orientation. Researching where some of these trends are heading may lead to some new opportunities.

Resources for Your Job Search

Best Sites to Find Gig Jobs

We reviewed nearly two dozen gig and freelance job sites and chose the best based on reputation, career or job focus, ease of use, and cost.

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At-Home Networking Strategies

Stephanie K. Eberle suggests seven actions you can take to stay market ready while in the safety of your own home.

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How Will Coronavirus Affect Your Job Search?

Since the coronavirus arrived in the U.S., my clients have been asking, ”Will coronavirus slow down an already slow hiring process? Will there be layoffs and hiring freezes?”

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Your Virtual Job Search

Many elements of a virtual job search are similar to those of an on-campus job search. For more tips, please review our Virtual Job Search Guide.

Read the Guide

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Make Connections While Working Virtually

Making connections with new co-workers can be challenging in a virtual world.  Here are ideas for you to connect with your new team.

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Exploring Career Opportunities at the Research Park

Learn more about opportunities for Business students from Dr. Jennifer Kim, Assistant Director for Talent at Research Park

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How volunteering benefits your career (and links for virtual options)

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3 Easy Ways to Stand Out to Recruiters Online

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ADVICE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT DURING COVID-19

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WHAT TO DO WHEN THE COMPANY RENEGES ON YOU

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR NEW JOB ISN'T YOUR DREAM JOB

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Who's Hiring?

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs

In this short video, you'll learn how to prepare for and navigate a virtual career fair!

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Preparing for a Virtual Interview

Echo Global Logistics shares the ins and outs of virtual interviewing!

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Rock Your LinkedIn Profile!

The experts at LinkedIn share tips for maximizing your profile and getting standing out from your competitors!

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Navigating An Online Job Search

Learn from the experts at Vault.com about how to navigate tools for an online job search.

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Making the Most of an Internship-less Summer

No Internship, no problem!  We'll share tips and tricks for maximizing your summer.

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Thriving in Your New Workplace

We'll share tips and tricks for navigating your new workplace!  Watch live on April 21st, 2020.

Video coming soon

Visit us again for additional resources and content!