6 Tips for Navigating the Job Search During COVID-19

Author name
Jennifer Levy, Assistant Director Graduate Student Career Services
Screenshot of Indeed Job Search for remote jobs.

Conducting a job search can be difficult even during normal circumstances. Now, given the current situation with COVID-19, navigating a search may be even more challenging. However, there are resources and people that can help you. A recent webinar from indeed.com, a global search engine for job postings, provided tips and strategies for job seekers on how to conduct a search during this time.

One message they had was to remember that there are steps you can take even in uncertain times such as these. The first step is to be sure you’re taking care of yourself by getting enough sleep, exercise, water and tending to your personal wellness needs so that you’re in a good position to begin, or resume, your search.

Here were some other helpful tips they shared:

  • Who is hiring now? While some sectors may be slowing down or temporarily frozen like travel and hospitality, others are actually hiring more. Healthcare and health-related industries, delivery services, online education, remote work, some food services, online entertainment and fitness, some financial services, communications, IT, some manufacturing, public works and other essential services organizations have increased their hiring needs right now. CareerConnections, Indeed, LinkedIn, The Muse are keeping up-to-date lists of which organizations are currently hiring.
  • What if I have little work experience? That’s ok. Ideally, you want to think about the transferable skills you have already acquired through things like conducting research, class projects, leadership roles, paid jobs, volunteer work and even things you enjoy doing in your spare time. Consider remote positions like content writer, data entry, project management, virtual assistant, audio transcription and customer service, which may be a good fit for your skills and experience level.
    Pro Tip: When updating your resume, be sure to include any experiences that relate to the job that you may have previously taken off–such as server, customer service role, administrative assistant, babysitter, etc.
  • How can I find remote internship or jobs more easily? Indeed has made some changes to help with search functionality. For example, they are adding new labels like temporary remote (due to COVID) vs. permanent remote. They also recommend using different keywords in the Where box to generate more results. It might help to use terms like:
    • remote
    • work from home
    • home base
    • telework
    • freelance
    • gig

They also recommended that you set up or increase the frequency of job alerts in their subscriptions section. 

Duke CareerConnections also has a remote filter you can use while searching.

  • How should I check in with an employer if I already have an offer or interview? If you already have an offer, or were in the process of interviewing, you can certainly check in to inquire about the status, especially if you haven’t received any communication form them. Feel free to refer to some of our templates for communicating with employers during this time if you need help wording that message.

Lastly, Indeed reminded seekers to be aware of employment scams as there may be people trying to take advantage of the current situation. Some red flags include if they use chat-only platforms to communicate with you, have a surprising email address like indeed@gmail.com instead of EmployerName@indeed.com, or ask you to share any personal information like address or bank account numbers.

For more information and advice read the Career Center’s Internship and Job Search Strategies Amid COVID-19 and/or book an appointment with a career adviser to assist you during this time.