Job Hunting

How to Navigate Your Job Search During the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 16, 2020
a woman works in her living room

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has had implications across the globe in regards to how schools, communities, companies and individuals are engaging or approaching their day-to-day operations and travel. Tech companies (including Bloom Institute of Technology, formerly known as Lambda School) around the globe have closed physical offices and instructed employees to work from home, if possible. Events and professional conferences have been cancelled; The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging the public practice “social distancing” to avoid spreading the virus.

If you’re job searching right now, you may be wondering what affect the pandemic will have on hiring and interviewing while hiring managers are out of the office. Fortunately, if you’re a BloomTech grad, you’re already an expert at remote work. Here are a few strategies you can use to keep up your job hunt over the next few months:

  • Ask about alternatives to face-to-face interviews if you’re asked to do one. Some companies have already called off in-person interviewing and are resorting exclusively to phone and video interviews to continue their hiring processes. Do not feel obligated to go in person for interviews if you are not comfortable doing so. If you’re interested in tips for video interviews during this time, follow this LinkedIn thread

Pro-tip: ALWAYS download and test the video conferencing software companies will be using for remote interviews ahead of time. DO NOT wait until five minutes before the interview to try to download or watch a tutorial for a platform you’ve never used before. 

  • Keep applying! During this uncertain economic moment, companies are re-evaluating their hiring processes and the roles they need to hire for. Many are also becoming more open-minded to hiring remote roles and questioning if there is a real need for certain types of positions to work in-person. Don’t stop applying and miss a chance to be considered for these roles. Though the hiring processes of some companies may be slow, apply formally so your name is in the hat for consideration. 
  • Highlight your remote and online learning and project experiences. As a BloomTech graduate, you are in a unique position of having lots of experience working effectively from a distance. This is worth highlighting on your resume by:
    -Listing “Remote” as your “Location” next to BloomTech in your education section.
    -If you’ve worked as a Team Lead or Section Lead, adding “Remote” as your location.
    -Highlighting in your project descriptions or related experiences that you worked remotely and engaged with team members or stakeholders from afar.
  • Be prepared to articulate in interviews how you can function independently and on a team as a remote employee. Describe your remote work setup and how you structure your day to maximize productivity to show how you can jump into a remote role with ease.
  • Be patient and follow-up. Not all companies have established a clear game plan for managing processes in light of COVID-19, so do not be surprised or concerned if you’re not hearing back quickly. It’s okay to follow up and inquire where you stand in their process if you haven’t heard back from the recruiter or hiring manager. Stop by office hours or open a /frontdesk ticket if you need help crafting a professional follow up email.
  • Consider incorporating remote job boards or roles into your strategy. There are many companies already set up to support remote employees. FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, and are three places to start to look for these types of opportunities. You can find more tips on applying for remote jobs here.
  • Take care of yourself! It can be hard to remember to take time for yourself during a job search, especially when you don’t have the option of leaving the house. Be sure to schedule time for exercise, cooking, meditating, reading, or anything else that helps you feel relaxed. This is also a great time to use your Modern health wellness resources.

We are here for you!
The careers team is available to support you throughout your job search, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Connect with Career Coaches by attending office hours, workshops or submitting a /frontdesk ticket.

Nilza Marie Santana-Castillo is BloomTech’s Careers Initiatives and Curriculum Specialist. She is passionate about career development and has 6+ years of experience in student support services. In 2017 she became a National Career Development Association-certified Career Services Provider. Connect with Nilza on LinkedIn.