The long-range economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are unclear at this time, but near-term hiring plans for most employers are already in a state of flux. The links below are intended to help students stay abreast of the shifting environment and develop strategies for navigating during the uncertainty, as well as prepare for a post-crisis job market. A few points to maintain perspective:
- As COVID-19 cases increase and response measures tighten, most employers will suspend hiring activity. The degree of uncertainty that is predicted to sustain into the fall is likely to cause many employers to put an indefinite pause on plans. This doesn’t mean they won’t hire again, just that right now they can’t make accurate predictions.
- The health crisis may loom for 1-6 more months or longer, but it will subside. How much upheaval it will leave in its wake is open to speculation. However, there is reason to believe that most things currently shuttered 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 will need to ramp 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 unexpected opportunities.
FOCUS ENERGY EFFECTIVELY
With so many aspects beyond individual control, students are advised for the present 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. These include:
Clarifying skills that can be offered to employers
Matching skills to fields and industries less impacted by COVID-19
Developing a brand and translating it to an online profile and application materials
Conducting informational interviews to increase knowledge and expand professional networks
Investigating contract positions, remote work and other flexible working arrangements
Acquiring technical and soft skills through tools like LinkedIn Learning
STRATEGIES FOR CONTINUED CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Staff of the University Career Center are actively gathering information pertinent to career development and job search issues in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We will continue to update this information weekly.
From Inside HigherEd
At Home Networking Strategies
Top 10 most In-Demand Jobs (#9 is Academic Advisor) and Companies with the most open jobs in the US last week
Not Everyone is Laying Off Workers because of Coronavirus
From Campus News
FAQs related to F1/J1 Visas during COVID19
From Government Executive
OPM Revises Hiring and Onboarding Policies Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Working from Home? Ten Tips for Staying Productive
Virtual Panel from the University Career Center
Recruitment During Quarantine Panel
WHO’S STILL HIRING
A number of employers are contacting the University Career Center to announce that they are still hiring and seeking candidates. We’re posting these immediately in Careers4Terps, but to help students identify these quickly we’ve created some quick links on this page.
Additional Job Boards
Many job boards are aggregating postings that are emerging in response to COVID-19.
A number of sites and platforms are welcoming reports from individuals on what’s happening with their employer’s hiring. NOTE: These are not vetted by any authority, so the information is by no means official.
National Association of Colleges and Employers Quick Poll https://www.naceweb.org/talent-acquisition/trends-and-predictions/coronavirus-quick-poll-preliminary-results/
PART-TIME & TEMPORARY WORK
There are options for working as a part-time virtual employee or intern. Some employers have project-based tasks that can be performed off-site from home, including virtual grading, market research, web content management, and language instruction. For people with technical and/or artistic skills there are also gig economy jobs that can be performed remotely.
Part-Time & Temp Postings in C4T
You can use Careers4Terps to search for these types of jobs. In the Job Postings sections, type “virtual” or “remote” into the keyword search feature, combined with your preferred Position Type selection.
There are also websites specifically for people seeking part-time, one-time, project-based or “side hustle” type opportunities. Keep in mind that many listings may have posted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis so may no longer be suited to completely remote arrangements.
SUPPORT FOR NEURODIVERSE STUDENTS & STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
To aid in the transition to online learning, interning, and working, the Accessibility Disability Office and the President’s Commission on Disability Issues have created a central email that students with disabilities can contact, in order to get the help and support that they need. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any disability related concerns, or need accessibility services or support, during this period of transition.
If you are a neurodiverse student or a student with a disability, our EmployABILITY program is ready to assist you with professional development, searching for internships and/or jobs, and transitioning to remote work.
A WORD OF CAUTION
Beware of scams. We’ve noted an uptick in illicit actors posing as employers offering remote work projects. While we vet all of the postings submitted to Careers4Terps, it’s still possible for some to get through, and other public posting sites may not vet as rigorously. Check our Avoiding Job Scams page to learn how you can protect yourself. If you discover a scam posting, please alert us immediately at email@example.com.