Georgetown’s professional certificate programs and digital bootcamps prepare students with the skills they need to grow successful careers in a variety of industries. Job searching in any economy will take time, dedication, and hard work. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the recruitment landscape, and it is more important than ever for candidates to prepare themselves with a job search strategy. Here are my tips for today’s job seeker:
Utilize Your Network
Networking is an incredibly important part of any career, and in times like these a crucial aspect of job searching. While most professionals have built up connections, utilizing them for a job search can be unchartered territory. An individual’s network consists of professional connections such as supervisors, co-workers, and members of professional associations, as well as personal connections such as friends, family, and members of alumni and community service groups. I believe networking produces the best outcomes when it is personalized. Start by looking at your network. Are there any individuals working in your industry or an employer of interest? Send them an individualized email asking for a virtual meeting. Do you have connections who may not work in your area of interest but know someone who does? Ask for an introduction! In times of crisis people are always looking for ways to be useful to others, so be specific about how they can help.
Find Out Who’s Hiring in Your Industry
In addition to keeping up with online job databases and lists being shared via LinkedIn, it’s important to have a firm grasp of companies in your industry and geographic region. When meeting with professionals just starting their job search, I ask them to identify at least 20 companies they would consider working at. The purpose of this exercise is to help them realize all of the players in their industry and area. Many regional companies will not appear on these LinkedIn lists or job databases because they are not looking to hire thousands of people across the country, or do not recruit in large enough numbers to justify paying for online job boards. These companies are still hiring and can be great places to work with unique office cultures. By doing a quick Google search for companies in your area you should be able to find a list of company and career websites. Many organizations have also started listing recruitment updates for COVID-19 directly on their career webpages.
Highlight Your Comfort with Technology and Ability to Take Initiative
Job seekers are not the only people adapting to changing work environments. Hiring managers are also getting used to new on-boarding and work from home procedures. Starting a position remotely requires the ability to take initiative and responsibility for your learning as well as comfort with technology for virtual meetings. During the interview process, be sure to talk up these skills to show that your on-boarding via telework will be an easy transition for them as well.
Prioritize and Be Flexible
As you adjust to changes in work and home life, have your priorities shifted? Now is an excellent time to reflect on what might have changed for you, and how this affects your job search. For example, are you taking on child care responsibilities that will require flexibility in working from home until schools re-open? Has your financial situation changed to where it is most important to find immediate work as opposed to working at your dream company in that dream location? Acknowledging these changes can be tough, but it’s important to remember that your first step is not final. Some added flexibility could land you a job you love that you never would have considered before!
Get Started Today
Enrollment is now open for the Data Analytics Bootcamp and Digital Marketing Strategy Bootcamp. As part of the bootcamp bundle, each student receives individualized career services to coach students through the resume, application, and interview process. In just 12 weeks, students will learn new skills and develop connections to help them land the job they want as a digital marketer or data analyst.
Lindsey Thomas is the Director of Integrated Career Development for the Georgetown Bootcamps. She has an M.Ed and most recently served in career services at Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy, where she provided career coaching and increased employer engagement by 134% utilizing a data driven outreach strategy.