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Student Job Search Tips through the Pandemic

Balancing work and school is a difficult task, even under the best conditions. And the last year or so has been far from the best of conditions. 

The COVID outbreak has severely altered the job market. Now it’s almost time to find that summer job you’ve been counting on. How can you land the perfect position despite the pandemic? 

It’s just the latest in a long list of COVID-related changes you’ve had to endure. You’ve had to struggle through online courses, and you’ve been forced to give up most of your social life. 

Now, the summer-job season is on the way. You somehow need to find work despite persistent lockdowns and other restrictions. With restaurants and stores closed, you just don’t have the same foodservice and retail options that you once did. 

What will you do? Luckily, there are still excellent job choices out there. You just have to change your approach in light of the COVID situation. 

Here are a few student job search tips as you try to find work during the pandemic: 

Stay Informed

The pandemic keeps changing shape. Sometimes, it feels like things are poised to start getting back to normal. Then, another spike in infections will hit the news, and harsher restrictions will come into play. 

This makes it hard to plan. Not only does it impact everyday life. It keeps altering the structure of the job market. 

For you, this means that you need to stay informed. Follow the news and understand what updates to COVID policies mean for your job prospects. Research industries and positions that have remained stable throughout the pandemic. Focus on landing one of these more reliable roles. 

Widen Your Job-Search Net

With the changing face of the pandemic, your usual job options might be off the table. Say you’ve gained a lot of experience as a server. Well, that doesn’t do much good when restaurants are closed. You’ll need to explore other possibilities. 

Keep an open mind about the kind of jobs you are willing to pursue. You might need to leave your comfort zone. Be ready to take entry-level assignments and learn new tasks on the job. 

Ultimately, this should help you long term. A variety of experiences will only allow you to land better jobs down the line.  

Get Creative  

With the pandemic closing some businesses, there are fewer jobs to go around. To compete, you need to step up your game. That means getting creative to get yourself noticed. 

This starts at the resume stage. Look for interesting and compelling items to include. As a student, you might not have a long work history. However, you can find other experiences to showcase your talent.  

Have you been on a sports team? Started a food drive? Been elected president of the Spanish club? These are all potential ways to highlight skills like leadership or organization. Add extracurricular or charity experience to help set yourself apart from the competition. 

Improve Your Online Interview Skills

COVID has changed the basic structure of recruiting. For you, that means mastering a new set of skills. First among these: the online interview. 

Making a first impression gets more challenging when it takes place over the internet. It’s more difficult to make a person-to-person connection.  

As such, you might benefit from some practice. Simulate interviews with a few friends or with your parents. This will help you feel confident when it is time for the real thing. 

Look to the Future

When you’re a student, you aren’t necessarily looking for your dream job. You just need something right now. You need to pay some bills and hopefully save a little for the future. 

Still, don’t just take any job. Look for something that can build your skills. Try to find something in your chosen industry. If you locate a position that expands on the subjects you’re taking in school, you’ll be better off in the long run.  

That’s not always possible. Summer jobs can’t always match your course of study. However, you can still pad your resume with impressive skills. Find gigs that let you demonstrate so-called “soft skills.” These include abilities like leadership, teamwork, organization, and reliability. 

Hopefully, the COVID outbreak will finally come to an end soon. However, the pandemic won’t be gone in time for the summer hiring season. As such, you’ll have to prepare for a different kind of job search this year. But, by taking the right steps, you can find an interesting, and profitable, way to spend your time away from school. 

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