There are a lot of questions out there right now due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We have done our best to address many of those questions below. Have a question that has not been addressed? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall 2020 Operations
Question: Is the career center open this fall?
Answer: Though some of the locations will be staffed to answer phones and in-person questions, all services are being offered virtually.
Question: Will you still be offering LinkedIn portraits?
Answer: We will not be able to offer LinkedIn portraits this upcoming fall semester. However, we have created a detailed document with information as to how to take your own professional portrait and crop it appropriately for LinkedIn. Click here.
Question: Will you still be offering live presentations?
Answer: We will offer live presentations; however, they will be virtual. To view upcoming webinars, click here.
Question: Can you accommodate virtual presentation requests?
Answer: Yes, we will offer live and prerecorded webinars. To request a webinar, click here.
Question: Is the Center still offering the Résumé Writing Assignment?
Answer: Yes, we are still offering the résumé writing assignment however, it will be virtual. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Question: Will you still be offering career coaching appointments?
Answer: Yes, we will be offering career coaching via phone and video call appointments. During these appointments, our career coaches are available to discuss major and career exploration, the job or internship search, graduate school, LinkedIn, interviewing, document reviews (résumés, CVs, cover letters, personal statements, teaching philosophy statements, etc.), and/or any other career development questions you may have. To see our career coaches’ availability and schedule your appointment, log into Handshake.
Question: I graduated this year/in May or August 2020. Can I still use the career center or meet with someone?
Answer: Yes, all recent alumni may continue to work with the career center for full services, for three years post-graduation date. This includes one on one career coaching, resume reviews, career fairs, etc. Log into Handshake to update your education section of your profile and make an appointment as needed.
Question: If I am a UConn student and currently outside of the U.S. can I request an appointment time that works better with my time zone?
Answer: Yes, if you know the staff member with whom you wish to meet you can always email the individual directly to share your situation and to request a time. You can also use the chat feature on the Center for Career Development’s web page to ask for assistance with this scheduling need.
Question: Can I still get my career-related documents reviewed if you are only taking remote appointments?
Answer: Absolutely! Many students will email their documents, before the scheduled appointment, to the Career Coach with whom they have an appointment. Using screen share/presentation during the online appointment is another option.
Question: Can I still complete a Practice Interview?
Answer: Yes, we will be offering virtual practice interview appointments via phone and video call. These appointments will still provide you with exposure to traditional and behavioral style interview questions in a simulated interview role-play as well as provide you with personalized feedback and best practices for real interviews in the future. Log into Handshake to schedule a practice interview with a Center for Career Development staff member.
Question: Can I still have someone look at my résumé?
Answer: Yes, we will be offering virtual résumé critique appointments via phone and video call. Undergraduate students can sign up for a résumé critique in Handshake by choosing the Undergraduate Resume Critique appointment option. Graduate students, postdocs, and alumni are able to have their résumés critiqued by choosing the 30-minute appointment option in Handshake. Log into Handshake to view availability.
Question: I will be taking all online classes this Fall and will not be on campus. How could I receive same day assistance with a career-related questions or general inquiry that may not require an appointment?
Answer: Many answers to your career-related questions could be found on our website. There is now a chat feature available where you could interact with a Career staff member for quick questions. You may also contact the center during business hours at (860) 486-3013 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a regional campus student, visit https://career.uconn.edu/regional-campuses for direct contact information and hours for each location.
Career Fairs, Events, & Presentations
Question: If all events and programs are held online, where is the best place to see everything that is being offered?
Answer: There are a few places where you can see events and programs: Career Events Calendar, Career Development Webinars, and Handshake.
Question: How does a virtual career fair work?
Answer: Start learning more about virtual career fairs by reading articles in the Handshake blog, such as, Attending a Virtual Career Fair? Here Are 10 Tips You Need To Know.
Questions about Career Development during COVID-19
Question: I will be graduating this year (Dec 2020 or May 2021). What should I do to best prepare for success after graduation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?
Answer: It is never too early to start planning what your post-graduate plans are. Whether you are looking to enter the workforce, attend graduate school, pursue a service opportunity, enter the military, or have something else in mind, a great place to start is scheduling a career coaching appointment via Handshake to speak with a career coach about your unique goals. The career coach you speak with can recommend some more specific action items, like attending our virtual career fairs this fall, our virtual graduate school fair, or one of the many virtual alumni panels we have planned.
Question: Is it true that the job market is more competitive due to all the jobs lost to COVID-19?
Answer: Every company and industry has been impacted differently by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are some industries that have been negatively impacted, like the entertainment industry and restaurants, there are others that have experienced tremendous growth, like virtual learning platforms and healthcare. If you are wondering about a specific company or industry, you should do some research to find out what the impact has been rather than making any assumptions. Regardless of what you find, however, you should still submit applications and/or letters of inquiry that are high quality and will make you stand out from other applicants. For help researching companies/industries or putting together high-quality applications, schedule an appointment with a career coach via Handshake.
Question: Can I list an experience that was cancelled due to COVID on my résumé or CV?
Answer: Absolutely list a cancelled job or internship on your résumé or CV. It is a signal to a future employer that you were viewed as a great fit for a role within a company and that you did well in the interview process leading up to obtaining the offer. You will want to list the cancelled job or internship in a format that is consistent with how you are noting your other experiences. Examples:
Marketing Intern, Name of Company, Rochester, NY May 2020 – August 2020
Cancelled due to COVID-19
Name of Company, Web Development Department, Boston, MA May 2020 – Cancelled due to Covid-19
Question: Are all the opportunities on Handshake and other third-party websites (e.g., Indeed, LinkedIn) still available?
Answer: We continue to work closely with our employer partners to encourage them to post only currently active jobs and internships. Was the position added to Handshake recently? If so, the employer is making a strong statement that they are hiring. However, if the position was added to Handshake prior to the emergence of the coronavirus, we cannot be 100% certain the role is still available. The same can be said for third party job search websites as well. Job posting aggregators like Indeed, Glassdoor, Dice and LinkedIn do their best to post available job opportunities but in this current environment things change rapidly.
As a result, just as you would research companies to prepare your résumé and cover letter, it might be a good idea to research the job on the company website. If you are unable to find the job posting in the company’s career site it has probably been closed.
Please remember, even during these uncertain times, employers will continue to hire. It may take a little longer and require more research but the opportunities are there. If you need help developing your job search strategy, please schedule an appointment with a Career Coach at the Center for Career Development.
Question: How can I remain connected with people in my industry during this time?
Answer: LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected. Now might be the time to go beyond simply creating your free profile. By joining groups and following companies, your news feed will be richer, and you will be able to expand your existing network. Joining groups is a great way to demonstrate your interest in an industry and following companies will help expose you to potential job openings. By engaging in conversation around industry topics and sharing posts and insights, you can increase your knowledge about industry trends and strengthen your personal brand at the same time.
Question: How can I find out if an employer has a hiring freeze?
Answer: You can find many web sites and “real time” listings of companies with hiring freezes. But in this environment things are changing so quickly many of these sites are relying on hearsay or an individual’s experience, so beware of any “data” you see. You can always search the web for NEWS on a company – many are required by law to publicly announce hiring freezes or lay-offs (which don’t always affect hiring, as hard as that is to believe). Search for a press release on a hiring freeze. It’s always best to apply for a position and if possible, reach out a week or so afterward to the contact in Handshake (if there’s one listed), or someone in the HR department. It shows initiative and interest in the company and in the career. Recruiters appreciate that and understand things are unsettling for all of us.