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UCLA Career Center

“How should I navigate career development during COVID-19?”

If you’ve asked yourself that question over the past few weeks, you’re not alone. Below UCLA’s Career Educators offer insight and actionable steps students can take to position themselves for success during a challenging season. Here’s a glimpse at some of their advice:

How should graduating seniors be searching for jobs right now?

The job search process itself hasn’t changed much during the pandemic. You’ll still be looking for jobs on various online platforms. Networking is still one of the most effective ways to land a job. Try focusing on direct contact with employers whether they’re advertising for positions or not.

Update your resume, LinkedIn, and Handshake profiles. Look on Candor for hiring trends. Also, take advantage of career development via remote learning. Make appointments for counseling sessions or drop-ins with the Career Center as you prepare to search for employment.

How can students best present themselves in online interviews?

Treat an online interview the same way you would treat an in-person interview. Research the company and job position thoroughly. Dress professionally and be sure to arrive early.

Here’s the biggest difference: Be familiar with the software you’ll be using for the interview. Whether the interview is happening via Zoom or Skype, make sure you know how to log-on and adjust your settings accordingly. Make sure you have a good Wi-Fi connection. Choose a location with solid audio and video quality.

Outside of the job search, what can students do now to make progress in career development?

In times of change and transition, it’s important to focus on the things that are within our control, and be able to identify potential opportunities for growth. Now more than ever, it is critical to lean on the network you have and build upon it. Utilize this time to actively expand your presence on networking platforms such as LinkedIn and UCLAOne. Keep a pulse on relevant changes in your industry of interest, and follow the leaders in your field. Explore and connect with alumni who can provide you with invaluable insight into their career trajectories and current trends.

How would you advise students dealing with anxiety at this time?

Self-care should be a high priority for all students during this pandemic. It’s normal to feel anxious or stressed right now. However, there are many ways to help ease your anxiety:

  • Write it out: Write about what’s making you anxious. Evaluate what you have control over and what you don’t have control over. Journal about your feelings, goals, and aspirations. Also, consider writing affirmations for yourself. Read them aloud anytime anxious feelings resurface.
  • Exercise: Be sure to pay attention to your physical well-being. Practice yoga, go for a walk (with a face mask) or do indoor exercises to take your mind off of current events.
  • Connect with loved ones: Make time for your family and friends. Connect with them via a phone call or a Zoom chat. This will help you avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Entertainment: Watch a movie or read a funny book. Play a board game. Listen to music or podcasts.