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6 ways to work on your career while social distancing

Get started on your career in an online world
It may seem counterintuitive but now is a valuable opportunity to work on your career goals. Our Careers Centre has compiled some tips on how to get started and what you should be looking out for as more employers move their recruitment online.

Research how to kickstart your career

Take the time to start researching what steps you need to take to get started in your career of choice and to think about what employability skills or graduate attributes you need to have an advantage in your field.

If you need some help, you can try myfuture, a career exploration website that contains useful information on industries, occupations and career paths. You can sign up for free by using your University email address.  

You can also research your industry by following potential employers on social media, reading industry news sites or checking in with professional associations in your field.

And don’t forget you can book a phone or zoom appointment with the Careers Centre to learn more about what you can do with your degree.

Build your (virtual) networks

As we start to spend more of our lives online, now is the time to start building up your networks and connections online.

Update your LinkedIn profile and connect with peers, industry professionals and University alumni. Always remember to include a personal message when you ask to connect. Check out our guide on how to make an attractive LinkedIn profile and how to network effectively.

You can also request an information interview with a professional working in a career or organisation that interests you – talking directly to people is a great way to learn more about their industry and add new contacts to your network. The best way to find contacts is through LinkedIn, company websites or your own connections.

Gain experience online

Look for different ways to develop your employability skills, boost your resume and demonstrate your initiative to future employers. Interning and volunteering are useful options to assist with this and they can be done online.

Some not-for-profit organisations are currently accepting volunteers to do administrative or outreach work from home. You can check out volunteer vacancies at the Centre for Volunteering, or don’t be afraid to reach out directly an organisation if you have a particular one in mind.

For virtual work experience programs, have a look at InsideSherpa for opportunities.

Look for active industries

Not every industry is currently shutdown or on hold and there are still opportunities available. Visit the new Jobs Hub, created recently by the Australian Government to highlight areas of the economy that are experiencing an increased demand for workers, or check out our Sydney CareerHub database for more options.

Or, you could consider applying for casual job with supermarkets, telecommunications providers, call centres and logistics companies, all of which will need as much help as they can get over the coming weeks.

Prepare for online recruitment

Expect recruitment processes to look a little different this year, with most firms moving to digital interviews, virtual assessment centres, or individual online tasks. While this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for most, it will mean there are a few difference skills that you might need to brush up on.

You can practice your video interviewing skills using Sydney Career Toolkit’s interview simulator or watch our webinar with FDM for more tips for preparing for online recruitment.

Get your remote work set-up right

It’s important to include information about your capacity for working remotely when applying for a role, as employers will be on the lookout for particular capabilities.

To make sure you have the appropriate work set-up make sure you have a reliable computer and phone, that you have topped up your internet and phone plan with plenty of data and credit, and (if possible) you have a quiet place to take calls and conduct virtual meetings uninterrupted.

For more career and job search support, please contact the University of Sydney’s Careers Centre, or join us for our workshop on managing your career development during COVID-19

22 April 2020

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