Networking in the Age of COVID-19

I think we can all agree that it’s not a good time to be looking for a job. Openings have disappeared from job boards, and many companies are laying off employees, not looking for new ones. However, if you’re looking for work there are still options out there for you. Though I have struggled to find interviews, I have been working to widen my network and adapt my skills during this time.

I used my university’s online job board to find people with similar career backgrounds to my own interests. You can also search for fellow alums using keywords on Linkedin. After finding connections, I reached out to these people, expressing interest in their careers and asking if they had any advice to offer.

One connection was particularly helpful, helping me to get in contact with important people in a field I am interested in–higher education development. Through her, I set up a call with a professional who had a plethora of advice to offer on the skills I would need to learn to be successful in this field. Many universities currently have hiring freezes, but this contact promised to stay in touch once future roles opened up. She also suggested that I become certified in Grant Writing through online courses, using my extra time to gain an important skill.

Websites like Handshake and job boards from your alma mater are great resources for this type of networking. You can also try to reach out to connections at the career services office at your college, or try larger networking sites like Linkedin, or, if you’re looking to network with other women, sites like Girlboss. Use this time to gain new academic and professional skills, as well as to grow your portfolio or online presence. Eventually, the work you do now will lead to a job.

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