Job Searching Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

For some people, the idea of a job search can be an intimidating or daunting task.  When that is magnified by our current public health crisis, it can be easy to understand why some students can be overwhelmed.  The University Career Center and the other UofL career centers in the Business, Engineering, and Law programs are there to help you navigate the situation.  In the meantime, here’s some thoughts on how you can help yourself as you move toward the job market.

First, don’t assume that hiring has stopped.  In fact, the President/CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, Johnny Taylor, says it would be a mistake to stop job hunting now.  Employers in some sectors are actually ramping up hiring in response to the situation.  And, other employers are moving forward with longer term hiring strategies.  Be sure to check out the listings on Handshake.

When you apply, you’ll need to submit a resume and cover letter. And, there’s never a bad time to improve those important elements of the job search so this could be a good opportunity to do just that.  Check out the University Career Center resources on improving your resume and cover letters.

You should also ramp up your use of the LinkedIn platform since networking is always a crucial job search strategy to utilize.  You can find some helpful tips on improving your presence on LinkedIn.

Do realize that it might take longer than normal to get an interview.  It doesn’t mean that you should not apply - if there are openings listed and you are interested, go for it since there’s no telling when an organization might move forward.

Expect that an increasing number of employers will screen candidates on a virtual/remote basis during the coronavirus outbreak. There are fundamental differences between virtual communication and face-to-face communication.  This would be a good time to practice virtual communication with friends using platforms like Skype and Facetime, paying special attention to your remote presence.  You can also practice interviewing online using the Interview Stream.

Remember, there are also highly trained career coaches who are available to work with you at the University Career Center as well as the career centers in the Business, Engineering, and Law programs.  We are all working throughout the crisis to provide virtual/remote assistance to UofL students.  Connect with your career center

It may be scary at this point and it make take some time.  But now more than ever, it’s incumbent upon you to be proactive in your job search. As Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”