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Take this time to audit your online presence to ensure your online brand is helping - and not hurting - your job search odds. And if you want to really come across as a polished professional, build out a CV website to ensure your digital footprint is one you can be proud of.

Wilding: What mistakes should women avoid while job searching during the COVID crisis?


Aries: In times of uncertainty, job-seekers can panic and start applying to everything and anything. Resist this urge. What you’re really grasping for is the sensation of progress - which is inherently motivating - but this way of going about it can be misleading. If you’re applying half-heartedly to a job a day just to cross it off your TO DO list, you may be falling victim to vanity metrics — basically, you’re keeping score of a number that doesn’t really matter.


Aim for quality instead of quantity

A better way to measure progress is in terms of relationship-building, since networking can have a much better ROI when it comes to finding the right opportunities (did you know that referred candidates are 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board?). Aim to have 3-5 informational interviews a week and give your all to the few applications you send out to job postings you really want. A targeted appeal will yield better results than the buckshot approach now made possible by all the emergence of “easy apply” buttons.


Wilding: What tips can you offer for sustaining motivation amid the uncertainty?


Aries: We can all be our harshest critics and most anxiety-riddled echo chambers. Get out of your own head and call a friend or loved one. When you’re feeling fearful, vulnerable, and worried, we need connection. It can be hard to seek out, of course, but it’s kind of like exercise in that way: it’s hard to get started, but you almost always feel better afterwards. Pick up the phone or hop on video chat and talk through your search with a trusted ally. Odds are, they’ll not only be ready and willing to cheer you on, but they might even share a helpful tip or offer to provide support in moving your search along.

Melody Wilding is the Workplace Success Coach for smart, sensitive high-achievers who are tired of getting in their own way. Her clients include CEOs, C-level executives, and managers at top Fortune 500 companies such as Google, HP, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, and others. Her work has been featured on The 

New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, NBC News, and dozens of other high-profile publications. Through her private one-on-one coaching program, talks, small-group workshops, and articles, she’s here to help you break free from self-doubt and overwhelm, master your emotions, and use your sensitivity as the superpower that it is. Melody is a licensed social worker and professor of Human Behavior. Learn more at


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Learn a new skill, and practice!

Depending on your industry, internship and job opportunities may be scarce. Therefore, this is the time to explore other opportunities. Blake Barnes, senior director of talent solutions and careers at LinkedIn, explains that industries such as healthcare, retail, and restaurants are hiring the most 

employees during this time. Industries such as travel and hospitality have faced the worst hits. If you do accept a position outside of your industry, consider how your new  

skills can transfer onto your resume. Your experiences are as valuable as you make them.   

If you do not have a position this summer, take some extra time to refine your skills. Continue practicing the skills you have been learning in school. Research current events in your industry and consider how your education could apply to these topics. Read new books or enroll in an online course (some are offered for free). This extra knowledge and the ability to apply it to real-world issues can certainly benefit your future career.


Work a part-time position, or volunteer

Restaurants and retail will likely be the first industries to hire part-time workers. This is a great way to make some extra money while helping out small businesses in your community. Specifically, you can reach out to these businesses to ask if you can do a “freelance” project for them. For example, a marketing major may offer a restaurant an advertising campaign on social media. In this way, you can still gain experience in your industry in a “nontraditional” way. These businesses will likely need the help the most during this time, and these projects can boost your resume!


If you have the means, volunteering is always a great way to give back to your community. Find a local food bank or shelter and spend some time helping out. The benefits are limitless: helping your community, making connections, building relationships, and gaining experiences all in one.


Prepare your resume

With the extra time, this summer is the perfect opportunity to focus on the necessary materials you will need when you search for a job. Take advantage of online resources that will review your resume, and make sure it is updated with all of your skills.


Similarly, seek out online interview practice. Especially with the changing workforce, online interviews may be the norm for a while. Begin practicing now so you are ready in the future.


Remember, relaxing is okay!

While being productive and advancing your career is great, remember that it is normal to feel especially anxious during these times. Make sure you relax and enjoy the summer. Read some books, watch some movies, and take the time to rejuvenate yourself. Your future self will thank you!


This socially distant summer does not have to be a complete pause on your career. Even though things look different, you can still advance your career to assure you are ready for future opportunities. It may take a little extra ambition, but your career is worth it.

Danielle Oliver is Assistant to the Executive Director for The Pennington HR Institute and Managing Editor of Employee's Life. She is currently  pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Arcadia University School of Global Business. where she demonstrates academic excellence and holds numerous leadership positions in the

University’s Student Government. Danielle is passionate about ensuring positive employee relations and bettering organizations through innovative human resource initiatives. 

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© 2019 by The Pennington HR Institute

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