Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

3 Tips for Job Searching during COVID-19

Searching for jobs during a pandemic is incredibly difficult– and understandably so. Many companies laid off people and cut down on hiring. I also struggled a bit throughout my summer internship search process, but I learned 3 important things from my experience:

#1. Don’t take cancellations personally
During my second semester of college, I completed an application process for a summer data analyst internship at an insurance firm. I was so excited when I got offered the position in March, and I immediately started planning my housing, travels, etc.

A few weeks later, I got an email from the company saying that their summer internship program was on hold due to COVID-19. Even though I was offered to return as an intern at a later time, I still took this cancellation hard because I really liked the firm and had already planned my summer around it.

Eventually, I realized that my experience was pretty common after reading several LinkedIn posts about people who had their internships and jobs canceled.

Cancellations and unexpected rejections are normal because companies may be struggling financially and are taking extra safety precautions due to COVID-19. No matter how qualified or experienced you think you are, I’ve learned that you can not expect anything during your job search process in the middle of a pandemic.

#2. Look within your networks
I stopped applying for other internships after getting my first offer so I was caught off guard when that internship got canceled.

I was sharing this experience with my supervisor from my on-campus job at Babson, and she shared an opportunity with me to intern for a startup founded by an alum. I learned about the startup’s mission and founder and decided to send in an internship application. I was able to secure a remote internship that still focused on data analytics and operations through my network.

COVID-19 can make the job search process even more difficult so I highly suggest looking for opportunities and connections within your network.

#3. Be flexible when applying to jobs
Originally, I envisioned working at an office with co-workers and staying in an apartment over the summer, but with my new internship, I would be working remotely from home and sharing my “workspace” with my family.

While I understand why working from home is essential for the safety and health of our communities, I still had trouble being positive about my new work lifestyle. Eventually, I started to get more enthusiastic about working from home.

Work environments are frequently changing and evolving due to the pandemic. Many people are also experiencing changes related to getting laid off or having their jobs canceled.

You may have expectations for your job search or your existing job like I did, but it is important to be flexible and open-minded so you can deal with any pandemic-related changes in a positive way.