With COVID hitting everyone, everywhere, are US companies still recruiting for jobs or internships?
Yes, I am personally aware of 3 internship opportunities at the moment. No matter the economy or labor market numbers, somebody is always hiring. If you know the recruiter in charge of the opening, send a messaging asking “what can I do to show you I’m the right fit for the role?”. Reach out to other people in the organization and other recruiters to help identify the hiring manager if you feel you are an ideal candidate, move your way up the rungs until you get to the head honcho, but be prepared to sell yourself (but know your threshold and when to move onto another role to target)
Are there any opportunities for recent graduates to work or intern remotely?
Absolutely, in fact even more so with the early career new graduates who will hopefully find a ton of empathetic hiring managers who will even look at work gaps and say, “Oh that was because of COVID, they get a pass” – same will apply to 2020 graduates.
How should I prepare for an online interview during the pandemic?
Look at Youtube for tips put out by the employer’s branding team to see what else you can work on in terms of their brand and understanding how the culture may be ahead of time. Do some research on the industry and their place respectively as well as the company in a basic (and most recent) Google News article/s. Most candidates do not explain enough or get deep enough into what they specifically did for that specific project or achievement. Make sure those experiences you shared during the interview should be on your resume already so managers can identify that parallel.
Don’t come across as desperate or arrogant. Taking inventory of where your skills align with that role and focus on those as your answers to re-confirm your skills with the hiring managers. What will separate you from candidates is to explain what you’ve been doing to better yourself and career while out of work, especially during COVID. Behavioral-based questions are preferred and they’re trying to identify what type of character you possess and the soft skills you bring (and they use LinkedIn and your resume to identify both your hard and soft skills). They want to see your succession, how long you’ve been in your roles, and how you articulate your skills and accomplishments throughout your tenure. Make sure you meet the minimum requirements.
Practice interviewing with a friend or in the mirror by yourself, as well as technically simulating a Zoom (or whichever, find out ahead of time from the recruiter!) call to ensure you don’t mess up. And utilize the STAR interview format for each answer. Also, act like you’re there in person, except try to make sure you’re looking into the camera’s eye as much as you can, if not the entire time, which is preferred. You can even put a printed photo of someone, or yourself, whatever near the camera (keep it small and tape it so it’s doesn’t move) to stare at.
Is networking a good idea at the moment? If so, how should we approach employers?
Make your LinkedIn robust enough so they can identify you as a viable candidate (meaning fill it out entirely). Post twice on LinkedIn every day and interact with 2 already current individuals in your network and 2 new individuals. Offer value. Comment on 4 posts a day to interact. Build genuine relationships. Put time into your communication cadence if you’re networking on LinkedIn with a recruiter or hiring manager, or like-minded or similar industry professionals. Join job search groups.
Any other insights that you would like to share?
Sometimes postings will be open even if they filled the seat so they can collect resumes for their pipeline. Draw your line in the sand if the recruiter ghosts you (do you really want to work with that type of company that doesn’t provide a solid candidate experience?). Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) differs for all companies with different rules each, so there’s no one way to “beat” the ATS. Cover letters still matter (list 3 reasons why you’re a fit for the role as well as the best value you offer to the organization and how you can help impact change). Infographic resumes do not work.
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