Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding jobs has become more difficult due to the uncertainty of the virus and its effect on businesses.
Half of the adults who said they lost their jobs due to the pandemic say they’re still unemployed, according to Pew Research Center. The Loyola Career Center offers students resources and counseling to make it easier to find summer jobs during these uncertain times.
Jon Rosenfield, associate director of advising and career education, said it’s a little harder now to find jobs and results are unpredictable — however, he said there are steps students can take to make the process easier.
It’s important even in normal times that students don’t get overly focused on the professional relevance of the job, according to Rosenfield. Instead, he said it’s important to just secure a job that can provide an adequate income for their current lifestyle.
“The first step is to not back yourself into a corner,” Rosenfield said. “Don’t look for a job that is hyper-related to your profession and take a wide-angle with finding them. Sometimes just walk in the area and take a look around to see who has a sign out.”
Loyola offers a job board website called Handshake which lists opportunities for regular and part-time summer work. Students can sign up for Handshake using their university ID and by answering a few questions in order to connect them to relevant job opportunities, according to Loyola’s website.
Another source students can use for finding local jobs is on the 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden’s website. Her weekly newsletters have job listings at the bottom which include businesses in the area that are currently hiring. Local newspapers such as The Chicago Tribune also have a section that can help students find job opportunities for the summer in the city.
The Career Center also offers students guides to help with writing resumes and cover letters on its website. Rosenfield said appointments to go over resumes and cover letters are available through Handshake.
“I think it’s best if students want to make a draft of their cover letter and resumes and then send it to us over the summer,” Rosenfield said. “We are here and we can work with students on revisions and just get it started.”
The Career Center has produced webinars through the Loyola Launchpad Series that can help students develop skills and strategies to be confident in their abilities as a job-seeker. There are various webinars scheduled through June about job searches, networking, resume tips and interviews. Students can register for them through Handshake, according to Loyola’s website.
When searching online for a job this summer, Rosenfield said students will find a wider array of jobs by varying their searches.
Another key for job searching is networking, Rosenfield said. Having conversations with people that are relevant to the job that you want can help in locating summer work that you’re interested in.
“It’s an intimidating process for not just students for most people,” Rosenfield said.“Very few people want to engage in networking. A statistic that everyone likes to throw around is 80% of professional jobs landed involved networking and we can help students get more comfortable with that process.”