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Job Search and Career Exploration During COVID-19

Ron Rapatalo, Principal at Edgility Consulting recently hosted a live virtual career coaching and exploration session with more than 60 attendees. During this virtual training session, participants were provided with tips, tools, and best practices for career exploration and job search during COVID-19. 

If you were unable to attend the live session, click below to view the recorded version. 

Key Takeaways 


Your Questions Answered

During the live session, participants asked questions to further explore their options in the industry and learn best practices. If you attended the session and we did not get to respond live, below are the responses. 

How do you suggest we tell our story such that it is consistent across the different social media platforms?

A couple of technical points here first:

  • All of the social media platforms I use (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) use hashtags for others to find your content (and in fact, others can follow hashtags on these platforms).  So make sure the hashtags you use (e.g., #careercoaching, #careerexploration) are consistent.
  • LinkedIn has a 1,300 character limit for status updates.  So if you are using status updates to share your story, keep that in mind so you can have the same length across platforms.  
  • There are Instagram apps that allow you to context text to photos here.
  • If you are linking to a blog or video you have made on Instagram, you should update that link in your bio, and in your status update on Instagram, mention “link in bio.”

As for how you can ensure your story is consistent across platforms, I think about how I want my personality/professional experience/personal life to be known.  That starts first with things like your LinkedIn headline and summary, your Facebook About Me section, and your Instagram bio.  The right words and descriptions to describe are the beginning of that story.  

Then think about who you are targeting in each of these platforms.  For example, on LinkedIn, I may be targeting job seekers in K-12 education so I will use the relevant hashtags and create content with them in mind.  On Instagram, I may post a video tutorial about doing a movement properly for the 30-50+ age crowd (group fitness training is one of my side hustles!).

Last, think about these things in sharing your story: your values and how you have taken action on those in your carer, solving challenges in your professional life,  making your connections think, showcasing what you know about your sector, talking about a day-in-the-life of your work in the sector.  

In the non-profit sector, how important is it that your position is attached to a funding source (federal, state grants vs. foundations)?

I think it is very important during COVID-19 dependent on the source.  I understand that foundations have in the short-term been flexible and understanding of the grants they had given out for this fiscal year.  A job funded by a foundation grant feels more stable right now.  I speculate that federal and state-funded roles may be less stable.  There is a  harsh reality of budget cuts because of federal and state COVID-19 costs. 

Curious about how to handle the “stink” of switching roles during a pandemic? Seems to be a tough time to leave an institution when we’re in a crisis.

I think many institutions can argue they are in some kind of crisis right now.  The reality is that anyone working in schools or direct service roles are feeling intense anxiety and stress. Yet on the flip side, potential job seekers may more be staying put because of an uncertain job market.  So I think employers are likely to be more understanding of a candidate’s reasons for leaving a role.  Dependent on your current length of tenure, your current role, and the reasons why you are leaving, you will need to share an authentic, compelling story around why you are looking for your next role.

On the flip side, do you have any advice for those who have been looking for a full-time role for several months prior to the pandemic? Will that make things that much harder now or is there a way to spin that in this current situation?

The advice I shared during the webinar especially stands for job seekers who have been looking for months: network beyond your friends and 1st-degree connections (ask for referrals, send connection requests with specific, flattering messages), and creating/sharing social media content to show your professional brand and have others more easily find you.  

It will be harder now to find a full-time role during this crisis.  More job seekers and fewer jobs in a number of sectors (specifically non-profits and K-12 education).

When you say to create and put content out there, do you specifically mean to put content out on LinkedIn? or different social media platforms overall?

Linkedin and Facebook and Instagram and YouTube!  And I am sure there are other platforms too.  It just depends on what you’re comfortable with and which audiences you are looking to reach.   

We hope to see you at the next session, stay up to date by subscribing to our Egility Digest Newsletter.