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Job searching tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local expert offers advice

DETROIT – As Oakland Community College prepares to have their virtual commencement next month, the staff is helping these soon-to-be graduates learn how to interview for a job in a pandemic.

While these tips are helpful for people just entering the workforce, they could be helpful for everyone else who might be shifting jobs right now.

Customize each resume

While you're likely applying to many different jobs, you still want to personalize each resume to fit each job

“Look at the job description, what are the key words? What are the key skills qualifications that the employer is looking for? Include those on the resume that you are sending to that employer,” said Donna DuHame-Schmidt, director of Career Services at OCC. “They’re looking for those keywords, so they’ll pull out those resumes and best match the job description itself.”

Prepare for pre-screening

Before you even get to the interview process you may be asked to do some automated tests, like a sound bite interview.

“There’s a question that is asked, and you are then putting together an answer, you have like 10-15 seconds to put your thoughts together and then answer the question,” DuHame-Schmidt said.

If you make it through that phase, then you will likely get a person-to-person interview, but it’s likely to be through a video call.

“Some of the things that you can do just to make things better is check out your bathroom,” DuHame-Schmidt said. “What are people seeing behind you? Are there noises, you know, do you have small children in the house? Do you have pets?”

Dress for the job you want

While you may be in the comfort of your own home, sweatpants likely won’t land you the role.

“Make sure that you are dressed for the interview,” DuHame-Schmidt said. “It better prepares you mentally for the actual interview.”

DuHame-Schmidt said a lot of companies stopped hiring around March and April, but things have picked up up again. While companies are hiring, be prepared to start your job working from home.


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