During the coronavirus pandemic, just about every industry has taken a hit. Many companies have laid off employees leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans wondering what the next step will be. With no set expiration date on this pandemic, it’s important to be as productive as you can during this time. If you’ve been laid off, are between jobs, or are just about to graduate with an engineering degree, these tips are for you.
Most companies are moving to remote work to comply with federal and state guidelines and it’s undoubtedly a big switch. This can take some time for a company to adjust and they might not be hiring right away, but don’t assume that you shouldn’t continue to send out resumes. If companies aren’t hiring now, they will be eventually. If you keep applying, your resume will be on file for the next time they need someone new. Be aware that available positions might disappear from the web for the time being. During a transition period like this, companies may be putting job openings on hold for a few weeks but they are likely to return!
If you’ve had your eye set on a certain company or position but they’re not hiring right now, you have two options. You can put your job search on hold if you’re in a position to do that or you can find a job elsewhere so you can start generating some income. During an uncertain time like this, you don’t need to be looking for your dream engineering job. There are a handful of industries that still need help during coronavirus. Anything in the medical or medical supply industry is likely going to need help. It’s worth a quick Google search of different industries to see who’s hiring.
You shouldn’t give up on networking and building relationships just because you can’t meet someone in person! Get creative and take to the internet. Linkedin continues to be one of the best online resources for connecting people and building professional relationships. With all this free time on your hands, try to get on Linkedin and interact with people or companies for at least ten minutes a day.
If you had a networking event or conference in your calendar, it’s likely been canceled. However, it could’ve been moved to a virtual platform! Check and see if your event has been moved online and afterward reach out to the organizers/speakers to continue the professional relationship.
We don’t mean to bug the hiring manager by repeatedly asking about the status of your application. After applying for a job, check in with the hiring manager by email to see where the company is at with future hiring in light of the pandemic. That being said, it’s important to acknowledge that the company may be scrambling during the transition from office to remote work. In your email, acknowledge that you know this isn’t an easy time for companies but you’re here to help whenever the company is ready to hire again. This thoughtful approach can connect with someone on a human level and could keep your name at the front of the application pile.
The free time you have can be used in smart ways! You can perfect your resume or grow your skills to add even more to your resume. There are tons of online resources for learning new skills, earning certificates, or, if you’re already a professional engineer, earning continuing education credits! See what skills you can perfect with an online course. NJSPE offers continuing education courses here.
It’s also a great time to think about what you really want to do next. Think about where you want to work and the type of role and title you’re looking for. You can think beyond the pandemic by determining where you want to be in the next five or ten years. If you create a goal now, you’ll be able to map out the path to achieving it!
Finding a New Jersey engineering job during a global pandemic may not be the easiest thing, but it’s not impossible. Keep up your search and don’t give up! If you use this time in a productive way, you’ll be able to get your hands on more opportunities later.