Relax and breathe! We understand the stress international students are facing during this pandemic. With unemployment at an all time high, it has become harder to stand out from others. Our advice is to be patient and wait for the right opportunities to come your way. In the meantime, we at ISO Student Health Insurance wants to give you useful tips to take advantage of to increase you chances of getting noticed.
NETWORKING DURING THE PANDEMIC
Networking is never an easy task but the coronavirus pandemic has added new challenges people have never had to deal with before. If we learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that we often take the ability to easily interact with one another for granted.
We are all learning how to adapt to the new set of social behaviors that allow us to maintain and create new relationships online. With this, ISO wanted to share a few tips for continuing to maintain professional relationships during these unprecedented times.
Here are some tips to successfully network during these unusual times:
Take Advantage of Social Media
With companies currently not being able to take advantage of in-person interviews/meetings, they will mainly be looking to your online presence if they want to get more information about you. With this, it’s important to stay visible and consistent on all of your social media platforms. This helps anyone looking at your profiles to get to know you better, especially for recruiters considering you for a job opportunity. When it comes to your online presence, LinkedIn is the best tool to help you build your professional brand, network, and keep up with industry trends and reports. If you are new on LinkedIn, start building connections by adding your professors and people from your school. For more information click here.
In addition, this is a good time to review your other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to make sure you’re putting the best version of yourself on these sites. Everyone has their own opinions, and sometimes social media can be used to vent about your frustrations. However, even if everyone was talking about something, an employer or recruiter will only see your name and make judgements based off that.
Attend Virtual Networking Events
Being present is key to building your network and strengthening your connections online. Attending events provides you with the opportunity of being in the right place at the right time. Schools always promote events like this so be sure to check your email or the school website to see if there’re any opportunities available.
You can also check companies’ social media platforms for any upcoming events they are having. Find the right event that interests and inspires you, giving you the chance to meet people who have skills and information to share. Make an account on video communications platforms like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype to take advantage of these opportunities and don’t be afraid to reach out to people you see at these events!
Always Ask Questions
When given the opportunity to interact with an employer or recruiter, always ask questions that shows you are a good listener. Not only will you stand out, but the person speaking will feel valued. According to the Harvard Business Report, many people tend to hold back on asking questions in professional settings because they are more focused on sharing their ideas and making a good impression. However, the best impression is made by being a good listener and connecting with the person you’re interacting with. Ask as many questions as you can and always have things you want to discuss before any sort of formal meeting!
Connect with people in your network to see how the pandemic has affected them. Everyone has a story and people are feeling isolated, they will see that you care! In addition, you can get insight on how the job market in your desired industry is fairing and see if there’s any opportunities you can take advantage of.
COMPANIES AND RESOURCES TO LOOK OUT FOR
With the current global pandemic forcing many businesses to close, the job market has dwindled. For recent graduates and full-time students, this has added an extra layer of difficulty and stress when hunting for jobs. Fortunately, there are many businesses still actively hiring amidst the pandemic.
Here are a few companies currently seeking new employees across the U.S.:
- Around 30,000 new full-time and part-time positions available in a variety of departments such as software development, human resources, and sales and advertising
- Ranked number 13 among all visa sponsors*
- Around 3,000 current job openings in roles such as technical specialist and technical customer service representative
- Ranked number 18 among all visa sponsors*
- Over 3,000 jobs available on their website of varying specialties such as engineering, technical sales, marketing, and finance
- Ranked number 9 among all visa sponsors*
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Technology consulting firm with over 2,000 job openings in roles such as data scientist and software engineer
*Data source: http://www.myvisajobs.com/
While the pandemic has rendered many jobs as nonessential for the time being, it has also created a hiring surge in certain job markets. With this, companies in health care, delivery services, and retail industries are still looking for workers. For full-time students searching for a part-time job, take a look at companies like McDonald’s, Walmart, Fedex, and Instacart. Collectively, these companies are looking to hire almost 650,000 new employees across the U.S. You can easily apply to these jobs on their respective websites.
Now that many states have started their reopening processes, more and more jobs will continue to become available as restaurants and stores begin to open to the public again. Be sure to stay up to date on your state’s current phase of reopening and which local businesses are looking for new workers, as they may have jobs available. You can check your state’s reopening phase here.
Don’t forget to continue searching for job postings on websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, as new jobs are posted every day. These websites serve as great resources for finding an internship. They have many features that allow you to personalize the job-hunting process and make it more effective. For example, you can search for the type of department you want to work in, a specific role you are looking for, or a particular company.
In addition, these sites allow you to turn on job alerts, where the website will notify you when a new job or internship has been posted that meets your criteria. They also have many helpful resources available, such as tips on how to build a stand-out resume and cover letter, advice on how to prepare for an interview, and an analysis of different companies, including salary comparisons and reviews from past and current employees.