Wherever you are in your career journey, use these ideas to guide your process. And remember: Career Advisors are available to help you objectively weigh choices and plan for your next steps.
If you’re searching for and/or evaluating opportunities OR you’re not sure where to begin …
It’s perfectly normal to be searching for, evaluating, or feeling uncertain about next steps (or any combination of the three!). Wherever you are in the process, we are here to help you objectively assess your options. We also suggest that you review the tasks below for more ways to move forward.
Keep to a scheduleHow are you organizing your day? Are you making time for self-care? As much as possible, try to incorporate variety — job search tasks, other projects, intellectual stimulation, and things you enjoy.
Reflect on what you want and where you’re headed, with help from your personal board of advisors
How would you like to use your time in the year ahead? Which short and long-term goals are you moving toward? Look at our Destination Outcomes to see where other Tufts grads have landed for employment and graduate school.
Test your ideas with your personal board of advisors. Who is capable of giving you objective and constructive feedback? Who sees the ‘real’ you and will give you a heads up when you’re straying from your true self? Make a list of these individuals – it might be two people, perhaps it’s six – and gather feedback as you brainstorm. What do they think of your ideas? Are you missing something? Often, the people who know you best and care about your well-being will be able to raise good questions and add depth and clarity to your processing. Here are a few more things to ask:
- What do you think are my greatest strengths? Do you think I’m actively using them?
- If you could pick any job/activity/hobby for me, what would it be?
- What are three words you would use to describe me?
For another view on this subject, visit: How to Assemble Your Personal Board of Directors and 5 People You Need on Your Personal Board of Directors.
Consider your transferable skills
Related to the last point, which skills and competencies do you already possess? Which do you want to strengthen? Use our Transferable Skills Checklist and list of Career Competencies to brainstorm. You can also create a free ImaginePhD account (not just for PhDs!) to gain access to assessment and career exploration tools for the humanities and social sciences.
Next, think about the common themes in your skills and competencies and use that information to guide future resumes, letters, and stories you tell in interviews.
Network, network, networkYou already have a large network of people who want to help you. They range from those you know (e.g., friends, classmates, professors, family) to those you may not know but who are eager to lend a hand (e.g., Tufts alumni from The Herd and LinkedIn). Schedule short career conversations to ask for advice and leads.
Review our Job Search ChecklistVisit this page for step-by-step checklist to complete if you’re looking for a job, fellowship, gap year, or year of service. You’ll find resources for researching career paths, networking, refining application materials, following up on applications, and more. Note: Some of the tasks in the checklist will need modification due to current challenges (see below for more on adapting strategies).
Continue to engage with Handshake & other resourcesFrom virtual events to new job listings every day, it’s well worth your time to log into Handshake, set up saved job alerts, and complete your profile to allow potential employers to find you. In addition, you can use the Resources menu (see the Career Center section in the top nav) to access tools like Interstride (great for international students/alumni!), Big Interview (with a new AI feature that scores practice answers on eye contact, length, pauses and “filler” speech, and more important interview criteria).
Adapt your strategies
Many tried-and-true search tactics will remain the same during a crisis, while other strategies will need modification. Check out these articles for ways to adapt your methods and additional employers to consider.
Consider short-term/remote options as well as lists of organizations still hiring
While, understandably, some organizations have restricted their hiring, many others are still hiring. Consult these sites for ideas:
- Jobscan Ultimate List of Companies Still Hiring (bonus: try the Jobscan tool for resume optimization — simply paste the text of your resume and the text of a job description into a box and receive a report on how well your document matches the job)
- Getro.org — Create a profile to be searchable to hiring managers looking for candidates across a variety of job functions (5,000+ jobs on the site)
In addition, future employers will understand that this summer (and 2020 in general) is an aberration. Be willing to gain experience through a short-term project or micro-internship. You can also use filters for remote work as you search various sites. Here are some to check out:
- Pangea.app — Lists remote paid/unpaid one-time projects, internships and jobs for college students
- Parker Dewey — Offers micro-internships with various organizations
- GigNow — Search for gigs by location, duration, and more
- Simply Hired Remote Job Search
- Idealist.org Nonprofit Job Search
- FlexJobs Remote and Flexible Work Job Search
Consult this PDF for links to 35+ organizations that advertise freelance/contract/short-term/seasonal work, as well as a list of placement and temporary staffing agencies.
Visit past issues of Career eNews for more resources, organized by theme
Recent newsletters include:
- Next Steps (includes resume-building summer project ideas)
- Interviewing (also includes conversation follow-up ideas)
- Resumes & Cover Letters (with 6 sample resumes and 2 sample cover letters)
- Networking (with quick video guides for career conversations)
- Job Search (includes several job search-related answers to FAQs)
- Scheduling Appointments & Strengthening Your Resiliency
If you’ve landed a job, will attend grad school this fall, or have a plan for the summer and beyond …
In addition to taking a well-deserved brain break, here are some ideas for ways to stay productive and advance your goals.
Keep to a scheduleHow are you organizing your day? Are you making time for self-care? As much as possible, try to incorporate variety — projects, intellectual stimulation, and things you enjoy.
Take advantage of online learning resourcesUse the Tufts subscription to Real World Ready (instructions available in our 5/11 senior eNews) to take courses in practical topics like managing your finances and understanding employer benefits. You can also investigate options for self-directed learning through Skillshare, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning. Visit the Tufts Alumni Career Services site for many more professional development and upskilling opportunities. Many organizations are offering free and/or discounted resources during this time.
Begin to make connections with your future colleagues
If you know who you’ll be working with or who your future professors will be, connect with them via introductory emails. To take it a step further, would they be willing to schedule a brief chat with you? If so, you have the opportunity to ask for their tips on hitting the ground running in your new job, grad program, etc. Check out these networking message samples for ideas on what to say in your initial outreach.
You can also volunteer to help current Tufts students by becoming a mentor in The Herd. As your schedule allows, you’ll connect with students for brief flash-mentoring conversations. As you can imagine, current students love to seek advice from people who have recently been in their shoes!
Engage in a resume-building projectThis could mean creating an online portfolio to showcase your work (great for artists, engineers, designers, and computer scientists); brushing up on language skills with Duolingo; writing an article and submitting it to a professional publication; or choosing your own creative project.
Think of ways to get involved outside of your job or graduate program
Join a kickball team, civic engagement effort, book club, running group – whatever sparks your interest! In addition to making friends at work or in grad school, there are tons of groups on Meetup.com. Volunteering is also a great way to get to know your community; you can research opportunities on sites like VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist.org, Catchafire.org, and the Taproot Foundation. In addition to the satisfaction of giving your time, many opportunities offer great skill-building experience.
But remember: Don’t overcommit, especially when you’re busy adjusting to a job or preparing for a grad program. Choose a degree of involvement that matches your comfort level and availability.
More questions about careers and the current health crisis, networking, self-marketing materials, or finding and applying to jobs? Visit our FAQs page for answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.