Career Resources and Strategies to Consider During Covid-19

Understandably, career-related questions may be at the front of your mind now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to assure you that our staff will continue to offer our services and support while still providing the best and most practical advice possible. We are working very closely with the Notre Dame community, as well as our employer partners, to stay informed about the impact of COVID-19 on the economic climate, hiring trends, and opportunities.

Uncertainty with career plans may have now just become a new reality for you; however,  there are still several ways to strategically continue your career development and search for opportunities. Utilize the resources below to create your plan.

Leverage Alumni and Contacts

Building your career support team and connections has always been important. However, this has become even more vital to understand the nuances of hiring and the job search as employers navigate new challenges with budgetary restrictions and other factors. As you reach out to alumni and other contacts, do so with the understanding that they might be busier, or may have more time with less travel, depending on their role with their employer. Make sure to include that you understand this may be a challenging time in your outreach and be cognizant of the fact that response times may be affected. Consider the resources below to build connections:

  • Irish Compass - Notre Dame's official online community driving powerful professional connections within the Notre Dame Network.
  • LinkedIn - 500 million+ members | Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights, and opportunities. Make sure to connect with faculty, staff, fellow students, friends, family, alumni, past supervisors and co-workers, and the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Graduate Career Services team to build your network of connections (User Guide).
  • Handshake - Among its many features, this Notre Dame career management tool allows you to connect with fellow graduate students from across the country based on a wide range of criteria.
  • ND Alumni Clubs - Connect with groups of alumni in major cities across the globe.
  • ND Alumni Directory - Find alumni through a wide range of criteria including profession and geographic location.
  • Informational Interviews - Learn about career options directly from other professionals through intentional outreach.

Track Hiring/Freezing and EconomicTrends

New trends are starting to emerge and will continue to fluctuate during this unusual time. Consider how industries have been affected by work at home orders, in addition to other factors, to determine who may or may not be hiring. Building professional connections to learn the nuances of specific industry and employer hiring can be useful. Also, consider staying up to date with resources that track real-time hiring data:

  1. Critical Infrastructure and Essential Work - Review Federal Guidelines along with more targeted guidelines by region, state, and/or city (ex. Indiana) to better understand industries and occupations that may need increases in hiring.
  2. Hiring and Freezing TrendsCompanies Hiring Near Me: Recession-Proof Jobs Available Now (Management Consulted); Who's freezing hiring from coronavirus (Candor); Covid-19 Impacted Hiring (Career Shift); Impact Careers Job Matching Platform (Georgetown); Who's Hiring Right Now (LinkedIn); Employers Hiring Students (Handshake)
  3. Overall Economic Trends - US Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections
  4. The Muse and other Career Articles - Companies Are Still Hiring During COVID-19—Here Are 75 That Want Your Applications Now
  5. Economic Trends - Staying up-to-date on location-based resources, along with organizations that deal with hiring, can provide beneficial insight. Examples include city/regional (South Bend Regional Chamber), state (Indiana Chamber of Commerce), and national data (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  6. Professional Organizations Focused on Hiring Trends - Look into organizations focused on careers and hiring such as the Society for Human Resources Professionals (SHRM), the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), and the Graduate Career Consortium(GCC).
  7. Academic Hiring - Consider resources such as the Chronicle of Higher EducationInside Higher EducationTimes Higher Education, and discipline-specific professional organizations (ex. American Historical Association) to stay updated on academic hiring trends.

Expand Your Career Options

As career planning and goals change, consider how your values, interests, personality, skills, overall qualifications, and goals can be leveraged in different ways to find and secure opportunities in a variety of career fields and occupations. Also, consider reviewing career trends in hiring for your given discipline.

  • Imagine Ph.D. - Geared toward (but not exclusive to) Humanities and Social Science graduate students, this brand new tool offers interest, skill, and values assessments, as well as the ability to connect your results to information about 15 relevant "job families". Significant resources are also available for learning about each job family.
  • My IDP - Focused on science and other STEM careers, MyIDP provides exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values; a list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests; a tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track; and articles and resources to guide you through the process.
  • Top non-academic careers for graduate students
  • Hesburgh Library Career Exploration Pages 
  • Hiring Trends - Professional organizations (ex. Where Historians Work), Notre Dame employer hiring trends often referred to as "First Destination" data (ex. ND 2010-17 Top Hiring Employers), and data from other schools (ex. University of Toronto 10,000 Ph.D. Project)

Showcase Your Transferable Skills and Develop New Skills

Reflect on skills that would be valued by multiple employers, industries, and occupations:

  1. "Career Readiness" - Which skills/competencies do you want and need to gain to be competitive? Developed by NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers). Also, view industry/discipline specific competencies (Ex. Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators)
  2. T-Shaped Professional - Research has emphasized the need for today’s professionals to possess deep disciplinary knowledge along with a keen ability to communicate across social, cultural and economic boundaries.
  3. Employability Skills (US Department of Education)
  4. Ph.D. Transferable Skills (Academic to Workplace)
  5. If you only have a CV and academic-focused application materials, consider developing a non-academic portfolio and resume for different career paths and opportunities.

Develop new skills to make yourself more marketable in a variety of occupations:

  1. Free Online Skill Development - 25 Free Online Education Sites (Examples - EdXKhan AcademyUdacityCoursera)
  2. Grow with Google "OnAir" - Offers free virtual workshops, events and 1:1 coaching sessions to help you get the most out of digital tools. Whether you own a small business or you’re searching for your next job, Grow with Google experts and partners are available to teach you digital skills that can help you grow.
  3. ♣ Mango Languages - PhD-created, linguist-approved language-learning software teaches practical conversation with fun, flexible learning tools to keep users inspired and engaged. Offers 70+ foreign languages as well as English courses for non-native speakers. A full list of languages offered can be found here

Enhance Your Online Presence and Use of Technology

The importance of having a strong online presence and technology proficiencies are nothing new. However, this has been amplified with online learning, remote work, and virtual platforms (ex. Zoom) that help us engage with one another. Consider enhancing your online presence to stand out to employers:

  • Online Presence - Enhance your professional LinkedIn and profiles, along with your personal social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Consider developing a professional website that comprehensively represents your qualifications and career goals: Request a Notre Dame Site (students, staff, faculty), WeeblyWixGoogle SitesWordPress
    • Digital Brand - This is who you are perceived to be online. Ensure that you have fully completed profiles on both Handshake and LinkedIn. Make sure to express your skills and interests for potential employers to see.
    • Digital Shadow - Your shadow is what people find out about you when searching online. Clean up anything you don't want others to see, particularly social media accounts (even if private).
    • Digital Engagement - What are you commenting on? Who are you following? How are you engaging in your professional platforms?
    • Educate Others - Start a personal blog on an area you are passionate about. Learn about the topic and share your knowledge with the world.
    • Start an Online Business -  Submit an Idea to the Notre Dame Idea Center and connect with their team to inquire about resources.
  • Virtual Communication Platforms (ex. Interviewing) - Familiarize yourself with common platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex, and Blue Jeans. Practice your virtual presence in real-time on systems such as Big Interview (How to Ace the Virtual Interview).
  • Virtual Teaching Tools - Engage with an audience in new ways through tools such as Mentimeter, Poll EverywhereKahoot, and Google Classrooms.
  • Organization and Project Management Tools - How can you leverage technology to work more efficiently independently and in a team online? Consider looking into resources such as WrikeGoogle Drive, Trello, and
  • ND Remix - Create projects with images, audio, data, and video

Consider Virtual Events, Remote Work, and Internships/Gig Opportunities

Virtual events and job opportunities were gaining momentum long before the current situation expedited the need for them. Consider attending virtual events with employer and alumni partners at Notre Dame as well as virtual career fairs. Also, research employment opportunities that can allow you to work from home:

  1. Notre Dame Graduate Career Services Event Page - Stay up to date on employer and alumni events and workshops
  2. Virtual Career Fairs - Ex. Career Eco Platform - Ph.D. & Master's Virtual Career Expo and SEC & ACC Virtual Career Fair; VFairs - Hire Big Ten Plus
  3. Remote Work Job Boards
  4. Gig/Project-Based Jobs
  5. Internships - Since these experiences are meant for professional development and can lead to full-time employment opportunities, finding and securing internships can be a very similar process to the job search. Developing professional connections to discover opportunities, utilizing job posting sites, and looking into specific employers' internship programs is a great place to start. An internship can serve as a trial run for a full-time position, so consider the experience as an extended interview through which you can showcase why you would be a great addition to the team.
    • Micro-Internships: Employers testing talent through sites such as Parker Dewey