Looking for jobs during COVID-19?
Durham College’s (DC) career development coach, Alix Chasse, says the job market “started off a little bit slow,” at the beginning of the pandemic, but began to pick up once most businesses re-opened.
“If [employers] had opportunities that they had posted, we’re recruiting, that kind of put them on hold,” says Chasse.
“A lot of those opportunities did go from being in an office to being online… a lot of those traditional part-time summer jobs, came back.”
Chasse has been with DC for 15 years but has been supporting people with their careers for 20 years by looking at resumes, cover letters, and preparing students and alumni for interviews.
“We had about 160 employers respond to a survey that we sent out, and 85 per cent of them said they’re actively recruiting,” says Chasse.
The career development team continues to hold events, webinars, and information sessions.
There have been information sessions for students with employers such as health care; there are also some adjustments for students who are in field placements.
“Health care is probably number one, anything services-based… IT, security from the standpoint of now everybody’s working virtually,” says Chasse.
Chasse says a number of students have been hired.
“They’ve had their interviews, recently, interviews that might have been kind of put off for a couple of months,” says Chasse.
“They’re now getting into those and this is one where myself and my colleagues are getting the emails letting us know that they’ve got the job offer.”
There are a few employers who are bringing students on-site to different locations, Chasse says.
“Once businesses started to open up, you might have offices that might say, ‘you need to come in one day a week’ or whatever they’ve got,” says Chasse.
“When you have industries like hospitality… physical fitness and health, so gyms, they opened up, would have been bringing [students] for that.”
For students who feel like they don’t have enough experience, Chasse reminds them, “you’re training… so many of the programs, they’re practical applications, you have labs, this is why colleges exist, to get hands-on experience.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have that job title on your resume, it’s looking at what you did in your class, the project, you can put that on a resume.”
Chasse explains building connections during COVID-19 can help students get jobs in the future and advises students to go to the ‘DC Hired’ web page to look at part-time job opportunities.
“We’re here to support the students because we want them to be successful,” says Chasse.