It’s no secret that job-searching during quarantine can be a challenge. Now’s a great time to brush up on your virtual job skills! Most employers and job seekers are online anyway, so these skills will be useful later on too.
Tip #1: Use LinkedIn to make the most of your virtual network
Because so many employers are working from home or online, they are relying on virtual platforms like LinkedIn to find potential employees. Update your profile, make connections, and post updates. The more active you are on your profile, the more likely it will pop up on potential employers’ feeds.
Make sure your information is accurate, up-to-date, and, most importantly, professional. LinkedIn is not Facebook, so you don’t need to update your friends on what episode of Tiger King you’re on. LinkedIn provides an opportunity to research employers that have similar interests and goals as you do, and make connections with them.
Don’t forget to attend one of UBCO’s Career Advising LinkedIn workshops to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.
Tip #2: Schedule informational interviews
The term “informational interview” may sound scary, but it can be as casual as a cup of coffee with a professional in a field you’re interested in. That said, you should still plan on dressing business-casual. You may not need your best blazer, but keep the sweatpants out of sight.
To get you started on your informational interview journey, UBC can introduce you to a UBC alumnus through a service called ten thousand coffees. By making the introduction for you, we can help match you with someone based on your role, interests, and goals while removing the awkwardness and pressure of sending a cold email. Chatting with alumni can tell you a lot about the career field you’re trying to enter, and it’s also a great opportunity to build your network and learn about upcoming job opportunities.
Need some help with online interviews? Check out our 5 tips for mastering online interviews.
Tip #3: Take your time
Searching for jobs online can feel like navigating through an endless stream of information, so it’s a good idea to break it up into smaller pieces so you don’t get overwhelmed. Try to limit your search time to 45 minutes, then take a break to stretch, have a snack, or go for a walk. This will allow the information to sink in without causing burnout.
Spend time thinking about what you want from your next job and set goals to help you take steps towards the career you want. Make notes of specific companies you’re interested in working for, even if you aren’t qualified for the jobs they have posted. You can connect with companies on your list through LinkedIn, or you can visit their websites at a later date to keep up with new job opportunities. If a lot of job opportunities look for a specific skill or qualification you don’t have, take note of them. Try to find ways to help you gain the skills and qualifications, such as volunteer positions or educational courses.
Remember that this is a process. You can’t expect your job search to be over in one day. Instead, try to do a smaller search over a number of days. This will allow you time to focus on what you want, and it will stop you from getting lost in the infinite source of information that is the internet.
Tip #4: Beware job scams
Sometimes a job posting really is too good to be true! If a potential employer contacts you about a job offer without you sending in an application, going to an interview, or having a discussion with you at all, they may not be a legitimate source of work.
Be wary if the company asks you to provide sensitive information like credit card information, your social insurance number, driver’s licence number, or a credit report during the application process. Usually once you’re hired, you have to provide your social insurance number and bank information, but these documents are confidential and are required in order to pay you. Only give them this information once you have secured a position.
Look out for postings that promise unusually high pay for a low amount of work. The amount of pay should be balanced with the amount of work it takes to do that job. If you’re worried about what appropriate pay looks like for a specific job, research other jobs in the field and compare the salary or hourly rates.
Make sure you research the company before you apply for a position. It’s not only a good application practice, but it also helps you determine whether the company is legitimate or not.
Tip #5: Stay positive
Even in a challenging job market, remember there are still plenty of jobs out there that would be a great fit for someone with your skill set and experience.
If your online job search feels overwhelming, try to keep a positive mindset and an open mind. You might be surprised by the connections you can make.
And remember to check the UBCO Job Board frequently to browse student-friendly positions (including many positions offered at UBC) posted year-round.
Get out there and get working!