Quarantine gives all of us unemployed graduates every opportunity to slack off and let ourselves go. While that sounds great after 4 years of hard work, this could be a time of productivity and self-enhancement rather than a 3-month (and counting!) nap. Here are 10 tips for productivity if you’re unemployed during quarantine.
1. Sleep Schedule
I know its hard, but try your hardest to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I know that TikTok is incredibly addicting and that before you know it, it is 3 AM, but this is going to be crucial to your success when quarantine is over.
Get a good night’s sleep and wake up early and you’ll already feel like you’re being productive. You’re going to need to be awake and functioning when you do get that job after quarantine, so you might as well correct the issue now!
2. Update Resume and Cover Letter
No one wants to do it, but it’s a necessary evil. Nothing is more daunting than opening up your resume and messing with the format or adding some work experience. What should it look like? What terms should I use? All of these are great questions that literally no one knows the answer to. The internet does, though!
One of my favorite websites for resume and cover letter writing is Workable. Type in any job and they will give you descriptions and a list of common skills you can paste right onto your resume.
3. Update LinkedIn
We all put it off, but we have all the time in the world now to make sure we brag about ourselves in the best way possible on LinkedIn. Take a new headshot, update your list of special skills, and make it look professional for all of the companies you’ve applied to.
Have a couple of your friends endorse your skills, too. This will make it look like you really know what you’re doing! Add as many connections in your field as you can. Reach out to old friends, teachers, professors, your parents’ friends, etc. Anyone you could think of. Connections boost your profile and let potential employers know you’re active on LinkedIn.
4. Apply to Jobs
Every single job that even remotely related to the job you’re dreaming of, apply to it. The job market was in enough trouble before COVID-19 hit. When this is over, it is going to be a war to try and find a job. All you need is a foot in the door and something else to add to your resume at this point.
LinkedIn and Indeed have a ton of jobs that you can apply to right on the spot with easy apply. This can be done with one click of a button and rarely requires a cover letter. Take advantage of these as much as possible!
There is no better time than now to apply to the jobs that take a few more steps. Take the time to write a bunch of cover letters that cater to the different types of jobs you’re applying for. Look up the ways to make them stand out from the crowd!
5. Reach Out to Old Professors
One of the greatest resources you have to take advantage of during this time as an unemployed graduate is your professors! They have so many connections that they are more than happy to connect you with. Send them an email, ask them how they’ve been if it has been a while since you last spoke to them, and ask them if they know anyone hiring in your field.
6. Order Interview Clothes
A great way to be productive and ready for your next interview is to make sure you can look the part when the time comes! Get yourself a blazer and a nice pair of black dress pants. Pair them with some comfortable heels or a loafer, and you’ll be set.
It is better to go with clothing options more on the conservative side when it comes to interviewing. Steer clear of anything too revealing or loud. Accessories should only be used if they are tasteful and subtle. Don’t go too over the top!
7. Take Skills Assessments
On LinkedIn and Indeed, there are tons of skills assessments that take no longer than 5 minutes to complete that will display on your profile to let employers know that you are well versed in your field. There are some basic ones for Microsoft Office that we all should have under our belt and some that are more focused to your area of expertise.
You just spent a ton of money on an education. Show it off!
8. Practice Interviewing
One of the best ways to stay on top of your game during quarantine is to practice your interviewing skills. My favorite way to do this is to look up common interview questions in your field and write out your answers to them. Read the answers out loud enough times to have the bulk of the information memorized, and this could take the edge off of surprise questions when it comes time to interview.
When the time finally comes, you could even bring along the paper that you used to write out your answers on your way to the interview and look over it like you would study notes before a test!
9. Take Phone Interviews
There is no harm in taking phone interviews with all of this time you have! Even if you’re not set on the job, take the interview anyway. You might find out that you do really want this job, or you could just use that time to brush up on your phone interview skills.
Phone interviews are more often than not the first step in any interview process, so it is great to be familiar with the setup!
10. Stay Fresh
Staying fresh during quarantine is crucial for all unemployed graduates. Staying fresh on interview skills is one thing, but keeping up with all you learned in college in your field is just as important too! Keep all of the skills for success that you learned current. Go over the notes you took in class. Look over the powerpoints you have saved from your professors. All of these steps will keep your mind moving and make you even more of an expert in your field!