Resources for Job Seeking in Difficult Times from The Muse was originally published on Idealist Careers.
A Note from the Editor of the Muse: Recently, many of us have shifted our attention from the fear, grief, anger, and uncertainty related to the current pandemic, to many of those same emotions as they relate to the state of our country.
I want to acknowledge that you may not be in a position to think about jobs right now. Recent acts of police brutality followed by protests and unrest have made life difficult for so many in our community and across the country. We at Idealist are in solidarity with those who are fighting for Black lives, and for freedom and dignity for all.
[The Muse] will always be here to support your job search and professional needs, so I encourage you to take the break that you need to fight for what’s most important to you and to process everything that is happening around us right now; we’ll be here whenever you’re ready to return to your search.
The Muse recently held our very first Idealist Live event, Job Seeking in a Difficult Time, where I had an opportunity to chat with two wonderful panelists, City Year’s Stephanie Chávez and Elyssa Feliciano from Ceres, as well as a Zoom room full of 600+ attendees.
In our hour together, we explored questions and challenges as they relate to job searching during the pandemic. And while we covered a lot on the webinar, when it comes to job searching advice, too much is never enough.
You’ll find plenty of useful information below, as well as responses to some of the questions that came up during the event that we didn’t have quite enough time to cover. I encourage you to continue to check in with us right here on our Career Advice blog over the coming weeks as we’ll be publishing new resources and expert advice on this topic.
Resources for those facing ageism
Unfortunately, we expect ageism to continue to be an issue in the job-seeking and hiring processes, and because it’s often concealed, it’s tough to combat. While we hope that these resources will be useful to you in your job search, we also have plans for new resources that will be published to our Career Advice blog in the coming weeks and months that speak to ageism in the application, hiring, and interview processes.
- Job Seeker Tips | Should Your Resume Include Employment Dates?
- Tips for Older Job Seekers
- Top Tips for Learning New Technology After 50
- What to Do If You’re “Overqualified” for a Job
- Senior Corps – In their own words, “Senior Corps is a network of national service programs for Americans 55 years and older, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improve lives and foster civic engagement. Senior Corps volunteers commit their time to address critical community needs including academic tutoring and mentoring, elderly care, disaster relief support, and more.”
Pro Tip: If you’re an older job seeker concerned that a hiring manager may pass on your application materials due to ageist misperceptions, you may want to consider what you can remove from your resume. For example, there’s no longer much need to include different tools in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.). And unless you’re actually programming or doing complex data modeling in Excel, you can leave that out as well (and if you are programming in Excel, be specific about that in your resume).
Resources for recent college grads
During the webinar, we spent quite a bit of time discussing AmeriCorps as an option for recent grads. There is an incredible variety of AmeriCorps positions available on idealist.org right now, and a year of service is a great way to get some concrete professional experience on your resume while making an impact.
Here are some other resources for our recent college grads out there.
- Making the Most of a Temp Job
- Adjusting to the 9-to-5
- The Idealist Guide to Searching for a Job Online and Offline
Pro Tip: Considering the uncertainty around the current job market, some recent grads may be considering heading back to school for a master’s degree. If you’re wondering whether that may be the right option for you, explore our Idealist Grad Schools resources and fairs to learn more.
Resources for sector switchers
In addition to the resources that you’ll find here, as a sector switcher, you’ll also want to put in the time when it comes to resume updates and cover letter writing. It’s important (especially as an aspiring sector switcher) to mirror the language used in the nonprofit sector at large, and more specifically, by the organization that you want to work for. For example, if they refer to themselves as an “organization” (and most nonprofits do) don’t use the word “company” in your cover letter. If they call themselves a “nonprofit” on their website, don’t refer to their “non-profit” in your application materials. You get the idea.
- Be Bold | How to Pitch Yourself for a Job That Doesn’t Exist (Yet!)
- Ask Alexis | How Can I Break into the Nonprofit Sector at 60?
- Returning to Work After a Career Break
- Ask Alexis | Can I Use My Fashion Design Skills in the Nonprofit Sector?
- Ask Alexis | Can I Work in the Nonprofit Sector Without a College Degree?
- From Private to Nonprofit | Inside the Culture Shift, Parts 1, 2, and 3
- One Thing I Wish I Knew Before Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector
Resources for interview prep
- Interview Q&A | “What Did You Do During Quarantine?”
- How to Prepare for a Video Interview
- Coronavirus Concerns? Here’s How to Ask for a Virtual Interview
- Check out our entire Interview Q&A series. In each post, we dive into the reasons why an interviewer may ask a particular question, and how to prepare the perfect response.
Resources for updating your resume and cover letter
- How to Embrace the Nonlinear on Your Resume
- 4 Old Resume Rules to Ignore
- The Best Font to Use on Your Resume
- 4 Common Resume Mistakes | Find them Fix Them
- The Only Resume Cheat Sheet You’ll Ever Need
- 3 Times When a Strong Cover Letter Can Make a Difference
- 3 Cover Letter Mistakes and Why They Matter
Resources for gaining volunteer experience
- How to Get Involved in Virtual Volunteering
- 9 Ways to Help Others During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- How Volunteering is Useful for Career Development
- If you’re looking to keep your skills sharp while you job search, we highly suggest pro bono volunteering, which offers opportunities to put concrete professional development on your resume via finite, skills-based projects with nonprofits in need. Check out Idealist, or organizations like Taproot and Catchafire, for pro-bono volunteer opportunities.
- Explore the volunteer opportunities listed on idealist.org!
Some other useful resources
- FUSE Corps – This came up during the webinar and so we wanted to be sure to share a link. In their own words, “FUSE is a national nonprofit that partners with local government to help urban communities thrive. We work with cities and counties on a range of issues, including economic and workforce development, healthcare, public safety, climate change, and education.”
- Job Hunting? How to Make the Most of Your Search During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- What an Organization’s COVID-19 Response Reveals About its Culture
- Professional Development Trainings for Every Stage of Your Career
- 3 Ways to Stand Out After Submitting Your Application
- Ask Alexis | How Can I Find Remote Opportunities in the Nonprofit Sector
- Laid Off? Here’s What to Do Next