COVID-19 Job Search Resources
While some companies are putting hiring on-hold for now, others are actively hiring to meet business demands so continue to apply for any positions that you see advertised. Even companies that are on a hiring freeze may still be actively interviewing in order to have qualified candidates lined up so they can extend offers quickly once business resumes.
As employers are being innovative and thoughtful in their approach to recruiting, we strongly encourage job seekers to do the same in their approach to an internship or job search. The information below provides tools, specific resources, and strategies for maintaining an internship or job search during this difficult time.
Webinar: Searching for a Job During a Global Crisis
Resources & Strategies
Don't Wait to Apply to Open Positions
While it may seem reasonable to ‘wait out’ the current crisis until the job market is more stable , this approach will only put you a step behind other job seekers during this competitive time.. Be more proactive than ever in your applications and outreach to employers.
Be Practical & Flexible in Your Job Search
While staying focused on your long-term career goal you may have to adjust your path to get there. Be open minded in your career expectations in the short-term in order to gain employment and experience. What might you be willing to concede in the short-term? Think location, job title, or industry. The COVID-19 pandemic is a temporary situation, so also have a long-term plan about how you will work toward your ultimate goals.
Be Consistent in Your Efforts
In a competitive job market, consistency is key. Set actionable goals for your job search and hold yourself accountable. Take time to review your documents and strategy to make sure you are optimizing your approach.
Use & Build Your Network
Networking is not just a buzz word, it is essential. Continue to stay connected to professionals in your industry, faculty, and peers, and keep those connections fresh. Take advantage of opportunities to extend your network when they arise. Some timely resources include:
- "How to Effectively Network During a Pandemic" from Forbes
- LinkedIn Resources
- Virtual Job Fairs
- Additional Networking Tips & Resources (including Professional Associations listed by industry)
Industries which are likely to continue hiring, or even adding jobs, during the pandemic include healthcare (especially in direct patient service and research roles), government (unemployment assistance, public health), human services (residential programs, mental health counseling), e-commerce, supermarket chains, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, technology – especially online education providers, platforms which deliver digital work solutions (Zoom, Skype, LinkedIn), and gaming or entertainment (Netflix).
However, even within these industries there may be downsizing for certain roles (for example, administrative support in medical offices, tech support positions related to hotels, restaurants, travel). Some industries experiencing active hiring as well as lay-offs or freezes include financial services, banking, and higher education, to name a few so research particular companies you are interested in. Learn more in Forbes' article about industry trends.
Some sites have been providing live-updated information on employers who are hiring, laying off, or in a hiring freeze. Check back regularly for updates.
Other resources to see who is hiring include:
- 500 Employers Hiring on Handshake right now
- Follow state and federal governments’ hiring status
- Follow #GetHired on LinkedIn for notification of companies and industries hiring
In response to COVID-19, companies have had to pivot to employees working remotely and maintaining productivity in that way. Employers are hiring for fully remote positions more than ever, and many job descriptions posted also list whether the position is remote or not..
Additionally, Handshake has put together a page with resources to help you get hired remotely, and Forbes has provided information on ideal remote opportunities. Vault has also created a landing page for job search resources.
There are a number of resource where you can search for remote positions, specifically:
- www.powertofly.com (for women in tech)
And if you're looking for remote internships in particular, you can check out:
During this challenging time, many non-profit organizations and educational institutions need your help and are actively recruiting recent college graduates for full-time service positions. While serving, you will also gain valuable work experience and develop new skills. Compensation and benefits vary by site but most offer a stipend for living expenses, health insurance, and an education award. Note that some programs require applicants to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
Here are a few programs to consider:
AmeriCorps is your moment to take the path less traveled, to break the status quo, to stop talking about the problem, and be the solution. Join AmeriCorps and you can mentor and tutor kids, rebuild a community after a disaster, help veterans, and work with local communities to alleviate poverty. There are thousands of opportunities to choose including local and national programs.
College Advising Corps – Boston University
Boston University’s College Advising Corps (CAC-BU) supports first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students across the city of Boston, helping them achieve their dreams for college. 36 near-peer advisers are serving in 33 high schools in Boston, Lynn, Malden, and Somerville–including the entire Boston Public Schools district at scale. Advisers support students to navigate the complex processes of college admissions and matriculation and securing financial aid; foster a college-going culture within the schools they serve; serve for 1-2 years in a paid AmeriCorps service position and receive a living allowance as well as a benefits package including health and dental, educational award and tuition remission.
The mission of the Commonwealth Corps service internship program is to engage Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in direct service to strengthen communities, address critical needs, and increase volunteerism. There are 40 full- and half-time positions with 16 nonprofit agencies spread throughout the state related to Economic Opportunity/Workforce Development, Education, Health/Nutrition, and Youth Development.
City Year Americorps members serve in schools all day, every day, preparing students with social, emotional, and academic skills and mindsets to succeed in school and life. Members serve in 29 different cities. As you earn a stipend, you help support students' social, emotional, and academic development while providing schools with additional capacity to enhance learning and belonging. We are continuing to recruit for the next service year, with start dates in summer 2020. When schools reopen, City Year AmeriCorps members will have a critical role in helping students reconnect with their school community, re-engage in their learning and recover from learning loss as a result of COVID-19.
Faith-Based Service Program
Catholic Volunteer Network fosters and promotes full-time domestic and international faith-based volunteer service opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills. Many programs do not require affiliation with any particular faith and are open to anyone interested in serving. Visit the Catholic Volunteer Network to learn about 185+ different programs.
The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. Corps members serve around the globe in areas related to Agriculture, Community Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health, and Youth in Development.
An increasing number of employers are using project-based work or similar initiatives, such as micro-internships like the ones offered by Parker Dewey. For project-based experience opportunities, or even gig work, consider these options:
You should also consider using this time to think about how you can add creatively to your resume in ways such as participating in volunteer work, developing an independent project, or becoming certified in a new skill.
All Suffolk students have full access to LinkedIn Learning, where you can learn new skills and competencies, and earn badges to highlight those skills on your LinkedIn profile.
There are also many free courses that are available online now that you can take advantage of through:
There will be delays, at first
As employers are trying to pivot their ability and approach to hire and onboard new employees, there are a lot of changes they need to make on their end that take time. Do not assume a lack of communication necessarily means a rejection or negative response, be patient to start.
Don't forget to follow up!
If employer communication is delayed, be persistent in following up on all your applications. A good rule of thumb is to contact the employer two weeks after submitting the application, or after the deadline. Be polite and brief in doing so, but make sure employers know you are still interested in the position and flexible in the process given the current situation. Many companies listed on Handshake include a contact email address, or an email address may be posted on the career page of the company website. You can also call the main company phone number and ask for the Human Resources Department.
Virtual Interviews will become a new normal
Almost all employers are interviewing virtually right now, and the expectation is that many will continue to do so even as social distancing guidelines are lifted. Master the art of virtual interviews, and even be prepared for more recorded interviews via interview platforms such as HireVue. Some resources for successful virtual interviewing:
This is a challenging time for all job seekers, including international candidates, but we continue to hear success stories from students who have been searching proactively and achieving positive results. We encourage you to use our office and staff regularly in your search, in addition the Center for International Programs & Services. A few different resources you should use consistently are:
- The UCIS Website for the most accurate information about the response to COVID-19
- The International Advantage website, and be sure to follow founder Marcelos Barros on LinkedIn
- Staffing Agencies [PDF] – many staffing agencies are currently hiring for temporary or contract positions to help employers meet immediate needs. These short-term roles can be good options for international students with OPT in order to gain work experience after graduation at a time when permanent hiring may be uncertain. Use this resource for utilizing staffing agencies most efficiently in your job search.
- GoinGlobal can be accessed through your Handshake account with Suffolk credentials to review resources for job searching in the US or other countries, and also to access an H1B Visa Directory to help you target more CPT/OPT-friendly employers
- Tips for international students from Vault
State vocational rehabilitation agencies are great resources for job seekers with disabilities. Massachusetts agencies are fully up and running remotely and other states likely are as well. To learn more visit:
Each employer has different policies so check with your company about the status of health insurance and benefits. Typically, employees who are furloughed do retain their insurance while those who are laid-off do not. Employees who have been laid-off and are uninsured can apply for coverage through the Mass Health Connector.
Finding Other Employment
Unless there is a contract or written agreement preventing job changes, employees generally are allowed to look for another job while furloughed (just as employees who are working full-time are). However, be aware that unemployment benefits and health insurance may be affected. Furlough policies can vary by company so be sure there are no conflicts of interest by pursuing or starting a new job while still employed (for example, working for a competitor or disclosing confidential information while being an employee of another company).
Unemployment Benefit Eligibility
Policies vary by state so check with your local area for the most current and accurate information. For the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, read answers to frequently asked questions.
In most cases, if your hours or your wages have been reduced, you are eligible to apply for partial or full unemployment benefits, depending on your specific situation.
Our Job & Internship Search page hosts a number of other more general resources and strategies to utilize in your job search, and can walk you through steps of job searching. Some specific ones that might be most helpful to utilize right now:
- The Balance Careers
An article that lists other top job search sites, including Indeed, Google for Jobs, Idealist, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and more
- Boston Business Journal
Electronic access to this and other publications is available through the Sawyer Library, and you can chat online with a Librarian to get more details about how to access these resources. Some materials may be restricted to current students, so alumni can also check with their local library
- American City Business Journals
For job seekers relocating to other cities, or those who live outside of Massachusetts, the parent company of the BBJ issues 43 publications across the country that you should also check out