With the world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it may feel as though our lives have been put on hold, especially for students or recent graduates.
As we practice physical distancing, we may also find that we have more time on our hands. Of course, some students will be occupied with online courses and studying, or by finding other ways to keep busy at home. However, this sudden excess of spare time also presents an interesting opportunity for students and recent graduates to invest even further into their future.
Here are some tips on career development for students during COVID-19:
Work on Your Resume
Now is the perfect time to polish up your resume! Although you may not be necessarily job searching, having a well-written resume on hand when it comes time to apply for jobs makes the process easier and less stressful.
Your resume is the first impression most employers will get of you so it is important to make sure that it includes all relevant information, including educational achievements and skills. It is also crucial that it is properly edited — ask a friend (who also probably has some spare time) to read it over for you.
There are many great websites with tips on resume writing including a great resource from the University of Arizona.
Learn Something New
Believe it or not, the internet is more than just cute animal videos and funny memes! With the help of online apps, video platforms and more, people all over the world have the ability to master almost anything from the comfort of their homes.
Take this time to learn a new skill that will be beneficial to your career development. Depending on your intended career path, this could include learning a new language, how to use a particular software or perhaps completing a certification.
Most libraries offer online access to their collections with a valid library card. Another great resource is Lynda.com which offers online courses on a variety of topics.
Build a Network
Although social gatherings are being discouraged at this time, it doesn’t mean that everything social must end. Use this time to research different organizations, clubs, social media groups and more that could help you with landing your dream job. Most groups have turned to apps such as Zoom and Google Hangouts to host virtual meetings and discussions which are a great way to ease into meeting new people.
Master the Video/Phone Interview
If you are in fact close to the point of job hunting, it may be a good strategy to dial down the concept of a phone or video interview, as most employers have made the transition from the traditional in-person interview. Ensure you have the proper equipment such as a web camera and microphone and understand how to use it.
Practice doing mock interviews with friends and family or simply by recording yourself for review. Taking the time to do these rehearsal interviews while help you be comfortable and build confidence for the real deal when the time comes.
While we wait for the things to return to ‘normal’ make use of your newfound spare time and put these strategies for career development for students into practice — your future self will thank you.