COVID-19-Specific Job Searching Tips and Support

GSAS Compass understands that many students feel uncertain about their job search during this period of economic uncertainty. Below are tips to help you in your job search:

1. Continue to search for and apply to jobs. It is tempting to wait to start your job search until the pandemic is over, but some employers are still hiring, especially in industries such as health care and technology. In addition, submitting a job application is one form of networking. Applying for a job now, even if hiring has stalled, puts you on an organization’s radar for potential opportunities in the future. Do keep in mind that the typical hiring process has slowed and lengthened, meaning it may take five months or more to find a position. Try not to be discouraged, and continue applying.

2. Searching for a job during economic uncertainty is difficult. Be prepared to send out many applications. Also, it is more important than ever to be flexible and start thinking about what you will do if “Plan A” (e.g., getting a job in NYC) does not work out. Consider “Plan B” and “Plan C” (e.g., relocating for a job).

3. When sending applications or requests for informational interviews, make sure the tone of your email is appropriate to the time. For example:

Dear XX,

I hope that this email finds you and your team safe during this challenging time. I understand that hiring at the company may be on hold, but I wanted to express my interest in working with [name of company] as a summer intern. I am a master’s student in statistics at Columbia University…

Also refer to Vault’s Handy Guide to Email Etiquette.

4. Networking is always important, but marshaling your network during this time is crucial. Since each company has its own approach to hiring, try to find contacts at companies that interest you and request an informational interview. LinkedIn or the Online Alumni Community can aid you in your search. Also, networking is all about the long game. Connections you make and deepen now have the potential to lead to opportunities in the months and years ahead.

5. Focus on areas of career development you can accomplish now. This is a great opportunity to reflect and open your mind to a diverse range of career paths, research and explore industries and organizations, improve your LinkedIn profile, update your résumé/CV, expand your network and conduct informational interviews, and find ways to volunteer your time. Continuing to keep your career exploration active will pay off in the long-term and give you a sense of accomplishment.

6. Recognize that you are not alone, and consult these helpful COVID-19-specific resources: