Job Search Success During Times of Uncertainty
We recognize that there are many unique challenges during this unprecedented time and we are here to support you.
The information below reflects our most updated services and resources and is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please visit the MU Alert website to stay informed and review FAQs.
- Need Immediate Work?
- Career Resources
- COVID-19 Search Strategies & Tools
- Staffing Firms
- Other Recommended Resources
- Avoid Coronavirus Scams
- Communicating with Employers
- Connect with Our Team
- Don’t Forget Self-Care
Current Updates & Resources
The MU Career Center is actively connecting with employers on and off campus to identify immediate, part-time and full-time employment needs. Positions will be posted on HireMizzouTigers.com. If you are seeking a part-time job or have been displaced from a part-time position and have relocated outside of Columbia, please see these articles about companies that are currently mass hiring workers:
If you are a campus employee, please reach out to your supervisor and consult the Show Me Renewal site.
If you are need of other assistance, such as guidance on paying bills, relocating, getting money or protecting your health, please consult these resources:
- Surviving COVID-19 infographic
- United Way 211 (for MO and IL residents)
- Help Resources (Boone County, MO residents)
- MU Extension COVID Resources
The Career Center is ready to assist you! Please visit the Connect with Our Staff web page for details on connecting with us via online drop-in hours, appointment, phone or email.
Online Career Resources & Tools
These tools are available to you anytime and may be particularly helpful in this moment:
- COVID Guidance for Part-Time Job Seekers – Considerations and questions to ask employers to assess your safety, risk factors, and job stability.
- Handshake and Virtual Career Coaching Support– Students and alumni can login to this employment site to apply to internships & jobs, connect with the Handshake community, and schedule remote career coaching appointments.
- Mizzou Career Tools – a searchable database of hundreds of career resources including links, handouts, videos and recommended sites for job searching, internships, relocation, interview prep, negotiation and more.
- Big Interview– a video mock interview program that combines training and practice to help improve students’ interview techniques and build their confidence. Students should register using their MU email account.
- LinkedIn – Now more than ever you should be connecting with new contacts. Complete your profile and start networking on this site. 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn and since our interactions are limited to online platform, this is a must for job seeking students.
- Career-On-Demand videos: Watch these recorded videos at your convenience for tips on stellar resumes, interviews, and cover letters.
- Mizzou Mentoring – This online platform allows MU students and alumni of all different backgrounds to form meaningful connections regardless of your geographic location. Lean on a fellow Tiger to help you get to where you want to go!
- Missouri Intern Connect – Find internship opportunities throughout the state of Missouri based on your region and interests.
- Exploration Resources– Want to explore your interests and understand the possibilities? Take the Focus2 assessment and explore What Can I Do With This Major?
ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS
This is a time for realistic optimism: there might be delays in your job search or a shift in your original path but don’t assume your targeted industry isn’t hiring.
- Stay in touch: If you’ve been in contact with employers through applications, interviews or networking, make sure to circle back with them via email or LinkedIn to let them know you are still interested. Employers are also facing great uncertainty, so convey that you would like to be considered when opportunity arises.
- Continue with Plan A, but create Plan B: Remember that back-up plans can still lead you to your goals, but on a different timeline. Consider short-term opportunities to network, gain transferable skills, and ultimately forge a new path that might lead you to the same destination.
- Look to booming industries: If you are able, find ways to align your skills to the companies, industries and jobs that are mass hiring. Healthcare, grocery, delivery, online learning, and remote communication companies need good employees right now. For places that offer primarily remote opportunities, check out these lists of top remote jobs and virtual companies.
- Pursue remote work options: There are a wide range of jobs available working from home or telecommuting. Check out these 25 helpful sites for finding remote employment in the current job market. Also, a number of job search sites include remote or work-from-home work as one of the key filters, including College Recruiter, Indeed, Career Builder, Idealist, Glassdoor and Handshake.
- Consider service corps and gap year experiences: Review our Guide to Gap Year and list of gap year programs if you are open to a career alternative doing service, academic prep, or research programs.
BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION
Use time wisely to build your online image, get your documents ready, and engage in available virtual opportunities.
- Create Your Job Search Toolkit:
Make sure you realign your resumes and cover letters for different industries that you may now consider, in addition to revamping your documents geared toward your original target industry.
- Make LinkedIn your go-to platform: Now is the time to ramp up your LinkedIn usage by researching connections and sending personalized invites to Mizzou alums and other professionals. You should also join professional groups, pay attention to your newsfeed, and request recommendations from contacts (and offer the same in return). Check out our quick tips and advice.
- Use time at home to increase your skill set: Have some extra time to fill right now? Improve sought-after skills and continue to learn, all from home. Some examples of these resources might include Google Skillshop, Hootsuite, LinkedIn Learning, Skill Share, and more. Check out Ted talks about interesting topics and stay up-to-date with career advice sites that might give you an edge when putting yourself out there for competitive positions.
STAND OUT IN YOUR SEARCH
- Chat online like a pro: Make sure you are portraying a professional image of yourself using a quiet, well-lit space with an appropriate background. Review this staging tips video and ideas on how to tackle a one-way (recorded) interview.
- Join events and webinars: Everything is conducted virtually now, which does give you the benefit of being able to connect anywhere from your home. Take advantage of online career fairs, learning webinars, information sessions, and more. Check out all featured events on Handshake.
- Meet employers where they are: Focus on searching and applying for jobs on company websites, social media and job search engines like Glassdoor, Indeed, Idealist, and LinkedIn. Set job alerts and follow hashtags to stay up to date on opportunities, and don’t forget to follow up after you apply to a position.
- Request informational interviews: Now is the time to build your network, so once you have cultivated relationships with professionals request an informational interview to ask about their job, career path, and general professional advice.
Staffing firms, also known as third-party recruiters, are agencies that recruit candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities for other employers in need of hires. Staffing firms are ideal for those who’ve had little success in their job search thus far, are planning to relocate or are uncertain of their post-grad plans.
Staffing firms offer candidate evaluations and match you with positions that are well-suited for your skills and abilities. These firms assist with the onboarding process and are free of charge. Fees are extracted from the hiring company, usually as a percentage of your salary that the agency negotiates. Upfront candidate fees are a tell-tale mark of a staffing company scam.
FIND A STAFFING FIRM
To find a staffing agency, please review the American Staffing Association’s online directory of reputable staffing firms or simply Google “staffing agency (city name and state)” to get results for staffing firms in your region.
FEATURED STAFFING FIRMS
Avenica: a self-described “career matchmaker,” Avenica builds a bridge between qualified, recent college graduates and employers with open career track, entry-level positions. Avenica works with corporate clients in banking, business, communications, logistics, manufacturing, finance healthcare, IT, insurance, retail and non-profits. They have offices in St. Louis, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
KForce: an award-winning professional staffing agency, KForce provides strategic partnership in the areas of technology, finance and accounting staffing. They have nearly 60 offices located throughout the U.S. and services are free of charge to candidates.
Kelly Services: offering a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services, Kelly Services provides temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire options. Kelly has expertise in matching candidates in education, government, IT, finance, law, marketing and science careers. Services are free of charge to job candidates and they have offices in all 50 states.
- The Muse: (6 Quick Tips) What Does The Coronavirus Mean For Your Job Search?
- Want insider advice? Here are four tips from recruiters on how to find a job online.
- Having to change plans due to the state of the world? Here’s advice on how to get an internship on a short timeline.
- Have an internship that is now remote (or always was)? Here are six ways to make the most of it.
- More articles like these available at Handshake’s new “Get Hired Remotely” landing page.
A pandemic brings out the best and worst in people. Be aware that there are some taking advantage of the fear surrounding COVID-19. Ignore any texts, calls or emails surrounding government stimulus checks, vaccine or testing kits or requests for cash donations.
Additionally, there are criminals preying on students who are eagerly seeking employment opportunities. Be wary of promises of huge salaries or course credit (which must be approved by your academic department). If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Please carefully read our advice on Avoiding Job Scams.
Career Services continues to facilitate meaningful connections with employers to create career opportunities for Mizzou students. We are actively reaching out to recruiting contacts to assess hiring needs & plans. We are also encouraging employer involvement in virtual recruitment options:
- Post positions and message students through
- Host a virtual chat with students and post it as an “event” in Handshake.
- Offer remote projects and internships.
- Offer virtual interviews as an alternative to on campus interviews.
This can be a very stressful time, so while conducting your job search and managing social distancing, be sure to do things to monitor and boost your mental health and overall well-being.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Access the UM System’s webpage on mindfulness practices and Sanvello, a free app with tools to create a mental health roadmap and track the progress of your journey.
- Eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly. Try these free exercise apps.
- Make time to unwind and do hobbies and activities you enjoy. Lots of sites are making content available for free like Audible, virtual museum tours, live-stream theater productions.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- If you are feeling very overwhelmed or anxious, consider reaching out to mental health providers on campus or in your community.