Q: I am a December grad. I am a finance major. I am afraid of my job hunt in this new “COVID-19 world.” What should I be doing to help my search? I had an offer for a very good job, but the company rescinded it because of the current economic turmoil.
A: I am sorry that you experienced an offer that was rescinded. These are unusual times and rescinded employment offers are a rarity, but are certainly becoming more common.
Since you received an offer, that tells me that you were likely a strong job hunter. Here is what you can do though during this crisis:
- Stay in touch with the company who rescinded your offer. Explain that you remain interested in the company and the role. Follow them on LinkedIn and connect with them on social media. It demonstrates interest and you will learn more about their business.
- Connect with your career services office, of your college or university. Many are connecting with recent grads in different ways, either through video conferencing or social media.
- Building your LinkedIn profile. This time is a gift. I hear frequently that job seekers never have time to build their LinkedIn profile. Now is the time! Add new connections. My weekly goal is to add 3 to 5 new connections per week. Join groups on LinkedIn. Make sure you have professional picture on LinkedIn. Add your resume to LinkedIn. You can also follow companies on LinkedIn.
- Think about who is hiring during this pandemic. Hospitality, travel and most retailers have slowed. Many IT companies are doing ok. CPA firms are doing ok. Some sectors of healthcare, biotech and life sciences are doing well. Education is scrambling to move content online. Think about how this crisis could be an opportunity for you.
- Learn Zoom and other video conferencing technologies. You will likely be invited to participate in a video conferencing interview as a job seeker. These video conference technologies can be helpful with networking too.
- Be open and flexible. This is an unusual job market. Consider contract roles. Consider roles that may not be ideal but add to your skill set and introduce you to a new industry or professional contacts.
Your full-time job should be looking for a new role. Don’t slide into complacency. Wake up early Monday – Friday. Be dressed, showered and ready to job hunt. Be presentable so you are able to respond positively to a “Are you available in 15 minutes for a preliminary Zoom call?”
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.