COVID-19 & Career Development

University students are dealing with a lot right now. We hope you are well and staying safe. Among the stressors you are facing may be the loss of a part-time job or internship or conducting a job search in an unstable economy. Career Services staff can help you with these and other career concerns during this time of uncertainty. Through MyPlan you can schedule virtual and/or phone appointments with Career Coaches/Advisors in your college. If you are not sure who that is, reach out to University Career Services at 402.472.3145 or careerservices@unl.edu. We will connect you to your career coaching staff.

Career Coaches/Advisors can help you:

  • Identify outside of the box opportunities and strategies to gain experience this summer
  • Develop job search strategies within the current framework
  • Network and leverage virtual platforms to make connections
  • Find relevant career resources available online

The virtual meeting platform Zoom is available to you through UNL. Learn how to access and use Zoom here.

Whatever your career concern, Career Services is still here for you.

Frequently Asked Questions During COVID-19

  • Questions Around Job Search

    I am graduating and was in the middle of a job search – what should I be doing when it seems many companies are not hiring?

    • Keep up your search! Organizations are still hiring and many are able to handle the application process remotely. While some will put their searches on hold, the situation may discourage other job seekers, reducing the competition for what is available. There will be some unique challenges, but others you have already been managing. The following ideas will help keep you on track.
    • Shift your mindset. It is ok and understandable to be frustrated and upset about the timing of the coronavirus with your job search. However, the sooner you can envision the possibilities, the sooner you can create and execute a new plan of action. There are opportunities out there – you have to act to connect with them.
    • Schedule time in your day to work on your search. Focus on other things during the rest of the day, don’t obsess and stay positive and proactive.
    • Maintain a reasonable consumption of the news about the coronavirus. Constant attention to it won’t help you stay upbeat or find opportunities.
    • Keep networking. In the current situation, actively using LinkedIn is even more valuable than ever. Recruiters seek candidates in LinkedIn and important connections, news, and organization information can be found there. If you have not yet created a LinkedIn account, consider adding it to your search strategy. LinkedIn offers student focused guides to help you maximize its options.
    • Connect specifically with alumni in your field using the official University of Nebraska-Lincoln LinkedIn group.
    • Focus on industries not as affected by COVID-19 and/or can conduct their work virtually such as finance, information technology, and marketing.
    • Practice your video and phone interview skills so you are prepared to make the best impression in such interviews which some employers may be using exclusively. Use BigInterview, an online practice interview platform, which is available to you in Handshake.
    • Participate in virtual career events such as those found at JobFairsIn.
    • Expand your search keywords. Consider using terms such as, “work at home,” “telecommute,” and “remote.”
    • Add targeted job listing sites to your search routine. Check-out sites such as FlexJobsRemote.CoSkipTheDriveJobspresso, and JustRemote.
    • Organize, target, and streamline your job search:
      • Record and track job postings and applications in a spreadsheet or other data management system.
      • Set up job alerts in Handshake and other search systems so you are notified when new job postings in your field are listed.
      • Expedite your search by using hashtags such as:

    #Jobs | #HireMe | #Hiring | #JobSearch | #JobOpening
    #JobSearching  |#HiringNow | #JobSearchTips | #NowHiring
    #Resume | #Recruiting | #Employment | #JoinOurTeam #Remote
    #JobOpening | #RemoteJob

    • Develop skills to enhance your qualifications through online learning such as LinkedIn LearningCoursera, and Edx
    • Stay informed on who is hiring and who is not on sites such as Candor and The Muse.
    • Reevaluate your plans and adjust as needed. Go outside your comfort zone, compromise, and focus on short term opportunities which can benefit your long term goals.
    • Consider freelance work in an area of expertise such as graphic design, social media, software development, and editing.
    • Find out the details on your student loans and create a budget. Visit UNL Student Money Management Center site for financial information, resources, and worksheets.

    Links:

    To make a virtual appointment with a Career Coach/Advisor, go to MyPlan: https://its.unl.edu/myunl/

    To search for current internship listings, go to Handshake: https://unl.joinhandshake.com/

    To practice your interviewing skills, go to UNL’s Big Interview: https://unl.biginterview.com/

    To learn about managing your money, visit: UNL Student Money Management Center

    To explore additional job search strategies during the coronavirus, read:
    Job Search Strategies and The Coronavirus
    5 Ways To Stand Out In Your Job Search During The Coronavirus
    Practical Tips On Continuing Your Job Search During A Pandemic
    10 Job Search Strategies During The Coronavirus
    Job Searching During A Pandemic
    Job Searching and Industries Hiring During A Pandemic
    Coronavirus Career Advice: 27 Best Work From Home and Remote Jobs
    How to Succeed in Virtual Job Fairs: Tips for Job Seekers
    Coronavirus and Your Career: How to Effectively Network During a Quarantine
    Virtual Interviewing: Strategies and Tips

  • Questions Around Internships

    The NU System and UNL have updated the Student COVID-19 site with new information about internships/experiential education.  Due to the continued outbreak of Covid-19, the University encourages students to work directly with any non-University organizations through which the student will be completing in-person experiential learning activities to explore alternative ways of completing these activities remotely or other non-in person means.

    The University encourages all students to know, understand and follow the guidance from local governments and local health departments in the area where students may be participating in their in-person activities, particularly since the guidance can change rapidly.

    Following CDC’s guidelines and recommendations on returning to an in-person office/business environment, we recommend that UNL students do the following:

    • Bring their own face covering (mask or face shield) that covers the mouth and nose when around others in an office environment
    • Practice social distancing (within 6 feet) between themselves and others in the office environment
    • Regularly and routinely wash their hands after in person contact to slow the spread
    • Regularly and routinely clean and disinfect their office spaces

    For more recommendations and information, please review the following: https://covid19.unl.edu/students#internships-experiential-learning

    Internships & Experiential Learning:

    The university encourages students to work directly with any non-university organizations, through which they will be completing in-person experiential learning activities, to explore methods of completing those activities through remote or other non-in-person means.

    The university also encourages all students to know, understand, and follow the guidance from local governments and local health departments in the area where students may be participating in in-person activities, particularly since that guidance can change rapidly.

    Following CDC guidelines and recommendations on returning to an in-person office/business environment, we recommend UNL students do the following:

    • Bring their own face covering (mask or face shield) that covers the mouth and nose when around others in an office environment.
    • Practice social distancing (within 6 feet) between themselves and others in the office environment.
    • Regularly and routinely wash their hands after in-person contact to slow the spread.
    • Regularly and routinely clean and disinfect their office spaces.

    Other key considerations:

    • UNL is encouraging students to connect with their internship/experiential learning provider to explore virtual options for completing summer and fall 2020 experiences.
    • If students in credit bearing internship/experiential learning courses choose to engage with an in-person experience the student is assuming the risk associated with that choice.
    • UNL is continuing to offer internship and experiential learning courses for summer and fall 2020 so students can continue to meet degree requirements and make degree progress.
    • Students choosing to engage in face-to-face experiences should work with their internship/experiential learning provider to follow local, state and CDC health official guidelines – which change rapidly.

    What should I do if my internship gets cancelled?

    • Reach out to your internship supervisor or coordinator to see if they have interest in and could support an online or virtual internship or micro-internship you could work on remotely this summer.
    • Keep searching! There are still opportunities available, but you need to be out there to find them. Meet online with a Career Coach/Advisor who can help you navigate the search challenges. In addition to helping you develop search strategies and stay on track, their guidance and support can alleviate feelings of isolation.
    • What happens if my internship gets cancelled and I needed it to graduate?

    • Consult with Academic Advisors or faculty within your program. Some are developing alternative projects, experiences, and/or programs that can meet the minimum standards of a required internship. This may be at-home or offsite research projects overseen by faculty and/or Academic Advisors and/or learning experiences that are closely tied to the academic program.
    • Links:

      To make a virtual appointment with a Career Coach/Advisor, go to MyPlan: https://its.unl.edu/myunl/

      To search for current internship listings, go to Handshake: https://unl.joinhandshake.com/

      What is a virtual internship?

      A virtual internship is completed remotely, online, anytime of the year. The employer may be local or national, or operate globally, but the intern works locally. An assigned supervisor maintains regular contact with the intern and their team via video calls, phone calls, email and instant messages.

      Links:

      To learn more, go to: https://virtualinternships.com/faqs/

      What is a micro-internship?

    • Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional projects or assignments like those often given to new hires or traditional interns. These opportunities enable students to demonstrate gain relevant skills and experience in their field, explore career paths, and build networks, as in a traditional internship, but in a shorter amount of time. Micro-Internships can take place year-round, range from 5 to 40 hours of work in total, and are typically due between one week and one month.
    •  Links:
      To learn more, go to: https://www.parkerdewey.com/faq

  • Questions Around Gaining Experience

    What are ways other than an internship I can gain experience in my field this summer?

     Volunteer! The coronavirus has had an impact on organizations of all kinds. Many nonprofits need assistance in reaching and serving their populations, some of whom are the most vulnerable to the virus and/or the hard hit economy.  Connect with UNL’s Center for Civic Engagement and/or login to GivePulse to find volunteer opportunities.

    Develop your skills through online learning such as LinkedIn LearningCoursera, and Edx or through a self/independent project or study.

  • Links:

    To find volunteer opportunities, connect with UNL’s Center for Civic Engagement and/or GivePulse:

    https://engage.unl.edu/

    https://www.givepulse.com/

    To learn about paid service and award opportunities in the States, visit:

    https://fellowships.unl.edu/Domestic%20opportunities.pdf

    To get information on a gap year opportunity, City Year, go to:

    https://www.cityyear.org/apply-now/

    To make a virtual appointment with a Career Coach/Advisor, go to MyPlan:

    https://its.unl.edu/myunl/

  • Questions Around Part-time/Seasonal Jobs

    I still want a job this summer – how should I be searching?

    • Search Handshake for current part-time and summer jobs.
    • Open yourself up to the type of work you are willing to do. Consider jobs and organizations less affected by the coronavirus such as:
    • Hands-on jobs such as landscaping, construction, and cleaning.
    • In demand jobs such as stockers and shoppers with grocery and other essential retail stores and pharmacies.

    Links:

    To find current part-time and summer job listings, go to Handshake:

    https://unl.joinhandshake.com/

    To find weekly updates of a variety of jobs in Lincoln go to:

    Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

    To search for home-based opportunities, go to:

    FlexJobs

    WeWorkRemotely

    To make a virtual appointment with a Career Coach/Advisor, go to MyPlan: https://its.unl.edu/myunl/

    To learn more about industries still hiring and search strategies for jobs in them, read:

    Job Searching and Industries Hiring During A Pandemic

  • Questions Around Career Exploration

    I had planned to shadow different professionals this summer to help me make decisions on which fields I am interested in to pursue. How can I learn more about those fields now?Shift your shadowing experiences to online informational interviews.

    • Be considerate of those you had already scheduled with. Reach out with empathy towards whatever their specific situation is and an understanding they may need to cancel and are not up for an informational interview at this time.
    • Hear from professionals across varied fields about their job responsibilities, educational background, likes/dislikes, and more through video interviews in Candid Career which offers 8000+ such videos.
    • Conduct online research and discuss what you find and what it means to you with a Career Coach/Advisor.
    • Utilize the Career Pathways resource to serve as a guide for career ideas and keywords for further career exploration and research.

    Links:

    To view interviews with professionals across varied fields, go to:

    https://go.unl.edu/candidcareer

    To make a virtual appointment with a Career Coach/Advisor, go to MyPlan:

    https://its.unl.edu/myunl/