The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the entire world into social, economic chaos. With many insecurities in the current job market scenario of the USA, the ones facing the most severe conditions for the same are the international students’ community. The economic freeze that happened in the wake of this pandemic has hit almost all sectors, thereby causing a plunge in every market activity including recruitment. We have covered here some job search tips during Covid pandemic to motivate students in finding their career job.
That being said, jobs for international students have not come to a dead end. It is better to update all your options as per the current scenario instead of working out how will be the job scenario post-COVID-19. Repurposing your searches can help you clear the obstacles and help you land a job.
7 Job Search Tips during Covid: The key points to remember while searching for a job are:
1. Change your Mindset
The pandemic has brought in a new reality in all of our lives. We need to adjust ourselves in this situation especially mentally. We need to prepare for the situation and ‘Work for the worst, hope for the best.’
With many layoffs and freezes happening in job space, your major lookout must be in providing a skill set that is needed by the recruiter. Assort your skillsets in order and reach out for jobs as per. This will lead to you recognizing the skillset you hold, and further, help you in learning the needed ones.
Become more flexible with your working options. Prepare yourself well even for working unpaid OPT employment. This thought will help you to extend your visa status thereby help you maintain a safe place during the ‘Hiring Winter’.
2. Keep Working on your Networking
In an era of social media, effective networking is the key to be net worth. This helps in increasing your visibility to all the potential employers out there. Keep posting updates. Keep commentating for better reach. Follow many people especially from your work line of interest. Keep an eye out for any updates.
Being visible on these media platforms will help you to reach the set of people who wishes to employ people of your skillset. Networking also means to keep in contact with all the people in the working space offline or online. Remember, ‘The crying baby gets the milk.’
3. Focus more on Suitable Jobs
With no assurance of what may happen, you are obviously prone to worrisome thoughts, especially in case you are searching for a sponsorship. This might lead to you going on to apply for all the available jobs which is not at all the best option under such circumstances.
It is better to manage your valuable time in applying for jobs fitting your profile. Widening your job search might hamper you rather than, benefit you. It is very much important in maintaining your rationale and following a designed way of job search.
4. Reach out to Small Businesses
The pandemic has affected all the firms out there, irrespective of them being big or small. Instead of going all out to get a job in a big firm, look for small businesses or firms which are currently swaying in this pandemic storm.
The skillset that you possess may help such businesses from capsizing and in return, can help you have a safe landing with regards to your visa status. With an all-time low market, they will need all hands to stir safely. Identify a business and prove your worth by presenting ideas that can change the handicapped situations they face into profitable paving.
Remember, all work is job worth.
5. Consider increasing your Study Term
Extending your graduation by taking on some courses is something that might be quite tough on the financial end but will surely help you sail through the pandemic. Even if the job scenario smoothens over the next few months, the priority of hiring will be in the order of benched employees, laid-off employees, domestic students, and finally international students.
Hence in the light of such possible hiring scenarios, this option is worthwhile. For example, taking up a graduate program or a PG program will help you stay afloat for the next 3- 4 years by which time the current job scenarios will finally be able to calm down and you will easily adjust to the working environment without any worries.
6. Look out for On-Campus Jobs
This calamity has hindered not just the working space but also the educational space. International students’ enrollment has become an all-time low. This brings in a scenario of unbalanced working at on-campus jobs.
The hiring scenario of the university would be much better as compared to the corporate hiring scenario. Try for vacancies in places such as labs, cafeterias, departments, and, such similar jobs on campus.
They may not be your dream jobs as compared to ones at the high-end firms but will surely help you waddle your way through these tough times.
7. Keep yourself updated about all Laws
Even without a pandemic, the USA’s laws for international students always keep changing. But with the current scenario, it has become all the more important to keep yourself updated about the laws revolving around OPT jobs and F1 visas.
Keep constant touch with your university office which provides international student services. Clear all your doubts regarding the current visa law and follow it properly. It would cause mayhem if you lose sight of the pertinent laws.
Currently, F1 visa regulations state that the students with post-graduation completion OPT clearance must depart from the U.S. before they accumulate more than 90 days of unemployment. Maintaining your F1 status or current visa status is very crucial.
Remember, these may be hard times but these are not the end times. Struggling in this situation will remain but staying focused and hammering out a workable plan is the most important aspect to remain afloat.
While reaching out to prospective employers, in equivalence to showcasing your abilities, your professional highlights, your skillset, show your willingness to working virtually. Sort your priorities and contemplate on all the available scenarios, inclusive of a situation of working for unpaid OPT jobs or extending your studies.
The coming 12-24 months will call upon some tough measures from your end. Right now, as an international student, maintaining your status pro quo as a non-immigrant student is of utmost importance.
See to it that during these emergency times, you are staying compliant with all the rules and regulations applicable to your visa status. Keep yourself updated on the changes being made to these laws.
No man has ever said, having a backup plan is not a good idea. Keep backup plans even for the worst-case scenarios such as what will be your plan if all your unemployment days get used up and you have to depart the U.S.? What will you do if your job gets revoked? In these times, as an international student, you need to keep all your options open and have proper job search plans. Hope these job search tips during Covid pandemic motivated you to work on for a good job.
That being said, ‘This will also pass.’ You are not alone in this. Reach out to people around you. Emotionally, it might be a tough time for you, share your thoughts with people. This will not only help you in keeping yourself sane but also help you in being reached out to by people, employers.
Max Troy is the Career Counsellor as well as a passionate Author. Well, he has years of experience in the Career and Jobs industry. As a part of his career at OPTnation, he helped various OPT and CPT candidates to shape their Career. Through his knowledge and writing skill, he is contributing to the students to find the best Career advice and immigration topics. Do share the information if you like it.