Starting in March, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought our economy to a startling halt. Many people experienced rapid mobilization to virtual and remote working, while others were left jobless. The unemployment rate has risen, and the job market is now as competitive as ever. Among those impacted, many college students have found themselves without an internship. But to the college student who wants to gain work experience for their resume, is it possible to do it now?
Of course, it is! Many companies actively seek people who can find new resources when faced with considerable limitations. This shows adaptability, and as college students, that is a very important skill to catch the attention of employers. I have found several opportunities to help place relevant information on your resume that you can do from the safe confines of your home.
First and foremost: LinkedIn Learning. This looks so good to employers who are seeking someone ready to take initiative. You can put completed courses on your LinkedIn profile and your resume to show that you’ve actively been trying to better yourself. It reveals to employers that you are motivated and driven to pursue all resources given to you in order to get the results you want.
Webinars are another good resource. A lot of colleges host professional development webinars with guest speakers from various companies. With the help of technology, we can still have meetings without being in person. It may feel strange to sign up for these webinars, but they help build developmental skills. You can also publish that you attended such meetings on your resume or social media and include the details of what you learned. Stick to highlighting yourself more than the main speaker though- you want to show that you were interactive in the webinar and took away important learning lessons.
The final way to gain insight about your career path is to apply for positions on both school and outside job boards. If you apply, you might get an interview, which you can then go into and ask questions. Personally, I apply to jobs I may not be qualified for yet. If I get the chance, during the interview process I acknowledge my shortcomings with the recruiter, but I also look for opportunities to pick their brain. What would make me a better candidate? Should I look to getting specific certifications before I apply again? Does your company have an internship program open? These are the questions that build connections and often get you opportunities. You need to be able to open doors for yourself and let people remember you as someone who didn’t wait for the opportunities to come to you, rather, you made them yourself.
It’s always important to be able to talk to people and sell yourself. It may seem like now is a very dark period where nothing is going right, and it’s daunting. But this will determine what type of people will rise from this hardship, and those who will remain on the ground. Pursuing your passion should be something that everyone fights for and everyone has an equal chance to make it happen. Don’t let this valuable time slip away; start fighting for your career path, it may be closer than you think!