We are keenly aware of the challenges facing everyone during this difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic. University students and recent graduates face uncertainty in almost ever aspect of their lives, including health, housing, finances, educational goals, and of course their searches for employment opportunities. It is our hope that supports provided by schools and government can soften the blow of some of these challenges and help everyone prepare for the opportunities presented in the post-pandemic world.

With all these challenges in mind, here are some suggestions for ways you can approach searching for work right now:

Get to know the resources available:

There is a wide array of resources available to students and job seekers. We are proud to work with King’s University College on the creation and administration of kingsjobboard.ca, a tool that helps connect King’s students and alumni with opportunities. The jobs listings have been specifically added by organizations that recognize the unique and valuable experiences shared by the King’s family. The job posting numbers are down due to the pandemic, but we are continually working to increase the posting quantity while always maintaining a high degree of quality.

Other job search tools that can be valuable include local resources like Knighthunter.com, and job boards operated by the London Economic Development Corp.: londontechjobs.ca and londonmfgjobs.com. Knighthunter maintains a directory of local employers and additional resources here.

Use care in your job search to focus on career sites you trust. Beware of sites that require applicants to create an account and submit applications through their website as opposed to linking directly to the employer’s online career site, or an email address. The personal information you share during a job search should be reserved for sites and organizations you trust.

CTV London has compiled a series of video job search tips, some of which have been provided by Knighthunter.com. You can view these here:

Think long-term:

The impulse is to try to address the immediate concern of finding a job for the summer or upon graduation. This is completely understandable, but until the business environment improves you may need to balance your immediate job search efforts with actions that can pay dividends in the longer term. Use this time to focus on researching your target industry(s) and build on your understanding of what can make you as attractive as possible as a future employee. During this process you can:

  • Improve your resume but ensuring it is the best possible reflection of your unique value proposition to employers
  • Build your network by connecting with others in your industry through professional associations and/ or LinkedIn.com, and following target employers on social media
  • Think ‘outside the box’ regarding job postings. A Google search for jobs in your industry (and desired location) can help you compile information about past job postings and their requirements. You can use this information to build your network, and compile a list of organizations to watch as the job market returns to normal
  • Keep learning – utilize school resources and other online skills development tools to keep building your skills in areas that will benefit you both personally and professionally

Lastly, focus on staying healthy:

Staying positive and positioning yourself for the inevitable rebound in employment opportunities is essential. Taking care of your mental and physical health is something that can make the efforts listed above more effective. This is a unique time with huge challenges, but also opportunities for personal and professional improvement.