Desperate times call for desperate measures and Driftwood is here to help. Undoubtedly this economy has been hit hard, especially at the local level, so navigating the career world post-UNO graduation can be tricky. We spoke to several experts to give you advice on how to get yourself employed.
Look in unexpected places. 2020 may not be the year you land your dream job and that is ok. But if you need to pay bills, Craigslist.com is the place to look. They have tons of local jobs in construction, retail, and administrative work. Other sites that provide niche opportunities include staffmeup.com, entertainmentcareers.net, backstage.com, and journalismjobs.com. Facebook is also a helpful tool, believe it or not. Ask around to see if anyone is a member of private job groups that list opportunities that are not published for the public.
Keep your resume and LinkedIn profiles current and up to date. Recruiter Melanie Block, who has worked for several major international tech companies, states: “Recruiters search for candidates using key words- if they’re looking for a software engineer, they might use key words like java, ruby, c++, etc. If they’re looking for an administrative assistant, they could search for words like calendar management, Excel, Asana, Outlook, etc. It’s great to include what you have done in your previous positions in your LinkedIn profile, so the recruiter knows the skills you have.” She adds that you should include your extracurricular activities like volunteering and sports. “Including extracurriculars is always a good idea on your resume, it paints a picture of who you are as a person. While recruiters definitely do want to see the experience you have as an employee, they also want to see what drives you and interests you outside of work. Are you a leader, running your alma mater’s French Club, are you a philanthropist, volunteering at a food bank every week, are you a determined athlete, participating in an intramural soccer team? These all give the recruiter a better idea of how you would fit in the position you are applying for.”
Use a professional email address. This should go without saying, but your email should simply be your name at a domain like uno or gmail.
Check Indeed.com and LinkedIn daily. The early bird catches the worm, they say. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and includes all of your awards, academic honors, volunteer organizations, etc. Local companies to follow that are hiring include Intralox, Tulane, LSU, Oschner, TEGNA, and Dow Chemical.
Have a professional social media appearance – or create a professional Twitter account. While your sarcastic tone may seem funny and cool to your friends, it does not translate to a professional job that will make you good money, despite what influencers have shown us. If you need an alternative account with your real name, be sure to follow people in the field you are looking to work in and retweet their articles and professional appearances.
Get creative. When New York comedian Matthew Levy lost his full-time gig, he used his creative skills to start his own side hustle. Accustomed to comedic writing, Levy started penning profile pieces for people and his business took off — so much so that CNBC took notice. Turns out, individuals like having articles written about them that they can present to the world, even potential employers. Levy advises using your passions to start a side business. “Think about the thing you like the most, that you’d want to do for free, and then say ‘How can I not do this for free?’” he says. Jokingly he adds, “But make sure it’s not profile-writing.”
Intern when you can. Long gone are the days of the 40-hour per week internship. But many companies will let you gain experience remotely, especially after the COVID-19 crisis. This is a good time to loan your research, social media, and/or writing skills to a company. And hey, it never hurts to contribute an article or two to your student newspaper!
Keep an eye out for networking opportunities. Follow the companies you would like to work for on social media and on LinkedIn. Check and engage with their accounts daily. Volunteering is another great way to meet people you might not otherwise encounter. (Don’t forget Son of a Saint is always looking for volunteers!)