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The COVID-19 outbreak has brought many changes to the way we all live our lives. You may be feeling more unsure than ever about some of your career choices and options. Whether it’s looking for part-time work during the pandemic, exploring virtual internships and other ways of boosting your employability, or making big career decisions in uncertain times – the Careers Service is open and here to support you. At present we are offering our full range of services online – from online ‘Ask a Question’ support to bespoke sessions and activities for your subject area.

As the pandemic continues to affect our lives, we are all realising how hard it is to plan ahead and that flexibility and adaptability have to be part of our way of living, studying and working. At the Careers Service, we recognise how hard that can be and we’ve put together an extensive range of online resources below can help you as you think about your career over the next few weeks and months.   

Building your employability – online

In an increasingly digital world, using online resources to manage our career and employability is something that most of us will be familiar with. But in our present situation, with university, work and life increasingly virtual, perhaps an opportunity exists to build our online employability. 

This could be a great time to Explore careers, Develop online employability skills and Connect with potential employers and job opportunities.  

Sounds simple, but what makes effective digital career literacy and how can you improve it 

To answer this we can think of the ‘7 Cs of digital career literacy’ (Hooley, 2012) as a way to focus our actions….. 

7Cs

Reference: Hooley, T. (2012) How the internet changed career: framing the relationship between career development and online technologies. Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (NICEC) 29.

So, even during COVID times you can effectively develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to build your career and enhance your employability. 

Here are some ideas for ways you can Explore, Develop and Connect while at home.

Explore

Whether you have a clear idea of what you want to do, or you have no idea, taking time to research career options and build your career knowledge can really help you make decisions, and may even throw up some interesting ideas. Here’s a few ways you can do this effectively.

Careers Research Infographic with suggestions for how to research career options and build your career knowledge.

Boost Your Careers Knowledge

Develop

As online learning becomes the ‘new norm’, there are plenty of free online resources available to develop your transferable skills and boost your employability. Have a look at our Boost your Employability Waklet for ideas of where to get started.  

Resilience is a quality that many employers say they are looking for when they recruit, but it can be hard to define. In general, it’s the ability to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to change, and it is definitely developed through unexpected and unusual experiences.  

Living through COVID times, we are all having to develop our resilience. Here are a few things onresilience we have come across, which you might want to explore or get involved with. 

Volunteering is a fantastic way to develop skills and gain experience – here are our Tips on Volunteeringduring COVID times. 

As you continue to develop your employability during COVID times, reflecting on your new skills and communicating these to prospective future employers is really important. Our range Dundee Plus awards are a fantastic way to celebrate your achievements and get recognition for your development.   

For all our fantastic students looking for careers in the creative industries the current period might feel particularly challenging. But did you know there are some effective ways you can develop your creative career online – here is a quick cheat sheet to get you started. 

CreativeCareers

Connect

Despite social distancing measures, there are still a number of ways you can start or continue to make careers connections, if you want to. Next Step Support is a great new resource from University Careers Services and student and graduate employers. It has been built especially for students and graduates who are trying to navigate the current careers situation. There’s advice on job hunting during a pandemic, information about virtual internships and advice on coping with virtual interviews and selection methods.

Job Hunting During Covid - FAQs

The Careers Service are very aware that navigating these uncertain times is challenging and wish to reassure you that we are here to offer support and guidance.

We have been contacted by students sharing their challenges with us over the past year and have collated some frequently asked questions which may help you.

Your graduate job plans may have changed and you might have questions about the effect of COVID on the graduate job market. To find out more have a look at our Job Hunting in COVID FAQs:

At this stage employers are still assessing the impact that COVID-19 will have on their business and in turn their recruitment needs and activities.  

Some employers will be experiencing a recruitment freeze where other are maintaining their plans in regard to their early talent pipeline and moving recruitment activities online such as video interviews and virtual assessment centres. Some are moving back start dates and some employers are even offering virtual internships.  

The anticipation is that there will be a reduction in the number of roles in large organisations and SME’s, but the long-term implications are still very unclear at this stage.  

You may find the following links useful:  

We have also collated some useful links on our Wakelet board.

This will very much depend on the sector, location and timing of your placement. And is very much a decision that the organisation you are undertaking your internship will have to take. We recommend you stay in contact with them and bear in mind that many organisations have transitioned to remote working and therefore response times may be a little longer than normal.  

In a virtual internship you will work remotely for the employer. You may be given individual tasks to complete or work collaboratively with other team members via virtual communication technology. You will be given clear guidelines and deliverable expectations from the employer as well as support to ensure you can make the most out of the experience.  

Undertaking study for a master’s degree is a very big decision and a huge commitment in regard to both your time and finances. It is important to ensure that any course of study is right for you and that it will help you achieve both your personal and professional goals. There are many ways you can continue to develop your skills such as volunteering, work experience, virtual internships, short courses. If you wish to talk through your options please feel free to book an appointment with your careers adviser through CareersPortal.

Have a look at our vacancies posted on the ‘Find an Opportunity’ section of the CareersPortal whilst also continuing to use job searching sites such as GOV.UK Find a Job which is great source for local vacancies. There have been increased vacancies in areas such as supermarkets, local farms, care sector due to requirement in these unprecedented times. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the type of role you are looking for. What skills do you have?  Do you have coding, data science or web design skills? What about online tutoring, translation or language training? Market research, data entry these types of positions can be done from home and widening your search to cover remote positions may open up vacancies you had not previously considered before. Use the word remote or home-based in your search and this will help you access these positions.  

Example

You can also register with sites such as peopleperhour.com to advertise for freelance work.  

By law, employers are responsible for the health and safety of all employees, including those working from home.  Therefore, please ensure that any potential employer has Employer liability Insurance. You must also ensure that you and your employer follow government guidelines in regard to the payment of Income Tax and National Insurance.

We suggest that you work no more than 20 hours a week during semester time, otherwise this may have an adverse effect on your studies/home life. 

Here’s a selection of great resources out there helping to connect students with jobs and opportunities during these challenging times.

It can be challenging to feel to connect to people we know right now, never mind trying to network and create new contacts. Have a look at our guide to virtual networking for ideas on how to get started.

Your careers adviser is here to support all your questions and concerns. Please get in touch and book an appointment through CareersPortal.

Virtual Networking Tips

Virtual Networking