Resources for the Job Search During COVID-19

Written by Cate O’Connor, UNC Asheville Student Engagement Coordinator

This morning, I saw a post on LinkedIn from a recent alumni expressing frustration that he had applied for an open position and almost immediately received an automatic reply from the company saying they were on a hiring freeze. And that frustration is totally understandable. The job search isn’t always easy to begin with, and then add in a global pandemic to the mix and things go a bit… sideways.

It’s really important to keep in mind that the job search – even when we’re not experiencing a global pandemic – takes work. Some people even equate the job search to a part-time or even full-time job. It takes time to update your resume and cover letter for each position you’re applying for, to go through the online application portals (sometimes filling in the information that’s right there on your resume), and keeping track of what you’ve applied for.

I’ve heard of people having turned in over a hundred applications before landing their first position – that’s normal. I’ve heard of people never hearing back from some organizations or hearing back months later – that’s normal. I’ve heard of people wanting to throw in the towel and thinking there’s something wrong with them as a candidate – that’s normal.

If you’re feeling frustrated with your job search, here are a few tips.

  • Take a break. Not necessarily a long break – but it’s okay to take some time to do something that’s NOT job-hunt-related. Read a book just for fun. Go for a run. Start a new series on Netflix. Do a face mask. (Is ‘do’ the right verb there? I’m not sure.) Take some time for yourself to refuel so you can jump back in.
  • Remind yourself that it’s a process. And then remind yourself of that again. Like I mentioned above, the job search takes time – which is incredibly frustrating, I know. But try to remind yourself that each application you submit gets you closer to your goal. And hey – you may even walk out of the job search a pro at being a cover letter writer (which may not be a life goal now, but just wait).
  • Keep in mind that you’re not alone. You’re not the only person applying to jobs. You’re not the only person frustrated. You’re not the only person questioning whether you’re going to get hired. And you’re not alone in the process itself – that’s what the Career Center is here for. Need a resume or cover letter review? Talk to us. Need to practice answering interviewing questions? Talk to us. Need to vent? Talk to us.
  • Make sure you’re looking at a lot of different places for opportunities and information.

You’ve got this. We can help.

5/26/20 David’s Insights

My thoughts for the week:

As the state has moved into a modified Phase 2 of economic reopening, I was reminded yesterday about what things were like a few months ago.  Cars were on the road, businesses had vehicles in their parking lots, and if the Weaverville Lowe’s was any indication, I should have bought stock in the company years ago.

We’ll be hearing more this week about how the University plans for the Fall, and there is some comfort in knowing that we will be able to see each other again in 3D, even if it’s behind masks, in a few months.  As tempting as it is to go back to “normal” though, I think we are in for a bit of an uneven terrain for a while.  North Carolina is seeing a pretty significant rise in cases over the last few days, and I fear that may continue. How our leaders choose to address that rise will have impacts on everyone. 

There are some areas of strength I see.  For example, our Handshake postings continue to be strong; we had about 270 new jobs posted this week, and that has remained fairly consistent for the last 10 weeks.  I think we’ll only see those go up as time goes on. We also learned that Amazon will be bringing a facility to Buncombe County in the next year, which is a further indication that our region will rebound.  I was also on a call recently that mentioned our area as remaining attractive for people and businesses looking to migrate from larger cities. While this might mean more traffic on 26, it will also mean a faster recovery than other areas, which is a silver lining.

Happy Tuesday,

David

5/25/20 Cool Opportunities

Cool Jobs

Environmental Scientist with the EPA
IRS pathways positions across the country
Remote customer service positions
Work with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (look at the types of majors they’ll accept!)
Work with the FDA to address vaping and tobacco use
Geologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Work to design cool weddings at The Knot Worldwide

Cool Local Jobs

Work with UNCA alum at IntelliSound (Hurry, applications close May 29!)
Avadim Technologies is hiring an event planner
Study Morphogenic fusion with 3-D stem cell structures (Research Triangle Park) 
Success Coach and Area Coordinator at Spartanburg Methodist College 

Cool Internships

Sports Journalism Internship (virtual OK)
Business Development Internship (virtual OK)
Summer Analyst position at Wells Fargo
Chemistry Summer Research opportunity with the FDA
Fall AV Tech intern in Charleston SC
Work in Data Analytics in Italy

Cool Local Internships

Work with AVL Today
Web Developer  and Web Designer with NEMAC

Cool Years of Service

Help kids see with this Americorps position 
Sustainability Advocate with Ohio Citizen Action
Work to provide healthcare to the homeless in Boston with this Americorps position

Cool Additional Links

Some companies hiring like crazy across the country
Here are 20 companies looking for part time workers
Here are 14 companies looking for interns
Job losses might have plateaued as hiring slowly begins
8 job types projected to grow post Coronavirus

UNC Asheville Career Center Wins NACE 2020 Members’ Choice Award

Flyers for the Spring 2019 NextFest event

Starting Spring 2019, we re-branded our Career Fairs as “NextFest” where students can embrace “what’s next” for them, no matter what their major, school year, interest, or desired location after graduation.  

We fundamentally changed the career fair to attract organizations that offer full and part time positions, internships, graduate schools, years of service, and seasonal positions, all within the same event!  Students have the option of learning about all their “next” options under the same roof, and it gives our recruiter partners the opportunity to see themselves beyond the traditional career roles. 

Our objectives?

To increase student attendance and satisfaction at our Career Fairs. 
To increase employer satisfaction with our Career Fairs. 
To de-stigmatize “career” as a barrier for students and alums.

And we met those objectives – we even increased our year over year student turnout by 110%, and employer turnout by 30%!

We’re still working to continue improving every single one of our events, but it feels really great to be recognized by the membership of the National Association for Colleges and Employers for our hard work. We’re looking forward to Fall 2020 and seeing what we do next!

Letter from the 2019-2020 NACE President Congratulating the UNC Asheville Career Center on our award.

From UNC Asheville to the Big Leagues

Written by Stefan Nolet, Assistant AD for External Relations in Athletics
Link to Original Post

December commencement had a bit of a different feel this year for UNC Asheville’s athletics department, as only one student-athlete walked across the stage to shake Chancellor Nancy J. Cable’s hand last Friday.

Generally speaking, a larger group of student-athletes will graduate in May, but there are still usually a handful who earn their diplomas before the holiday break. Normally, there are a few more names in this story listing all of the fall graduates, but we’ll just focus on our lone graduate, and what an outstanding representative of UNC Asheville she has turned out to be.

Carter Kennedy, a four-year setter on the Bulldog Volleyball team, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in New Media, graduating with distinction. Kennedy realized in middle school she had a knack for graphic design and began taking classes to hone her skills in high school.

Before coming to UNC Asheville, Kennedy hadn’t even considered using her talents in graphic design in athletics – she always imagined herself working for an advertising firm or marketing agency. But early in her playing career, she started operating a camera for the athletics department’s streaming broadcasts, which eventually opened a door to allow her to begin creating graphical content for the Bulldogs.

During her years working for the athletics department, Kennedy created a litany of social media graphics, schedule posters, cards and magnets, media guide covers and an array of other projects to highlight the Bulldogs and their accomplishments.

I love the reactions I get from the athletes that are featured in some of the graphics I do,” Kennedy said. “And I also just love bringing recognition to sports on campus that otherwise don’t always receive it. Nowadays people get their news from social media and they’re attracted to images that grab their attention, so the better I can make an image look, the more recognition and praise that an athlete or team will receive.”

A few of Kennedy’s favorite pieces she created for UNC Asheville Athletics

A few of Kennedy’s favorite pieces she created for UNC Asheville Athletics
A few of Kennedy’s favorite pieces she created for UNC Asheville Athletics

 

Kennedy came to UNC Asheville from the north Dallas suburb of Frisco – not exactly a hotbed of UNC Asheville recruiting. Head coach Frederico Santos received an email about Kennedy from her club coach, which began the process. Come to find out, Kennedy was coached by former Bulldog Lauren Ficker, and from there, Santos and the staff brought her on an official visit.

Though she’s Texas through-and-through, she knew she wanted to experience somewhere new when she went to college, and UNC Asheville offered her exactly what she was looking for.

“I didn’t know much about North Carolina but when Coach S asked me to come visit, I came here and committed on the spot,” Kennedy said.

“I remember that she came in January and the weather had been great the entire week before but it was bitter cold when she came on campus with her father, Jim,” Santos said. “I don’t want to say that I made this incredible pitch for her to come to school here, it was a collective effort. Carter met with someone in the New Media Department, which was her intended major, she met future teammates, she loved the campus, she liked the city of Asheville. There were so many factors but it was definitely not one single thing.”

And she began contributing on the spot as well, finishing second on the team with 516 assists during her freshman season. She again finished second in assists her sophomore year, recording 437. Kennedy is one of just 10 players in program history to eclipse 1,200 career assists, finishing with 1,228.

Additionally, she completed her career with nearly 400 digs, nearly 100 kills, 141 points and 46 service aces. For Kennedy, more than the playing time and the career stats, she’ll cherish the memories she made with her teammates. Maybe the most special of those memories coming during her junior season when the team won 10 straight matches and advanced to the semifinals of the Big South Conference tournament.

You just form so many memories by being around your teammates day in and day out, through the good and the bad,” Kennedy said. “I’m definitely going to miss being around the same group of girls every day – you become so close with everyone in such a short amount of time and then all of a sudden it’s been four years and you go your separate ways. I did my best to not take a single minute for granted.”

Always known as a great student, as evidenced by graduating with distinction, Kennedy twice earned recognition on the Big South Conference’s All-Academic Team for volleyball.

And volleyball and classwork would intersect in a most rewarding way earlier this year, as the athletics department teamed up with Dr. Sonya DiPalma’s “Social Media and Fundraising” class in the Mass Communication department, of which Kennedy, who also minored in Mass Communication, was a part. The students in the class were tasked to help create plea videos and generate awareness for the Bulldog Challenge, where each sport team raised money toward a specific project.

The volleyball team set out to raise money for a new playing surface to lay down on the floor of the Justice Center. The new floor technology is designed to help decrease injuries, and Kennedy took the reins of the project to help make it happen.

Her plea video featured Santos behind a news desk and interviews with her and her teammates explaining how much a generous donation would help the program. The plea video generated 28 gifts totaling just north of $8,000 that went toward the installation of the new playing surface, which the Bulldogs used for the first time in the 2019 season.

“The main thing I learned from the Bulldog Challenge is that the worst thing anyone can say to you is no,” Kennedy said. “That’s it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you can really do. Yes, I helped us raise money from social media, but I was able to do so much more than that by just reaching out to anyone and everyone I knew.”

Not only did she fully commit to her preparations in volleyball and as a student, Kennedy also kept an eye toward her future.

In addition to her work with Bulldog Athletics, Kennedy also had the thrilling opportunity to intern with Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres last summer. Through networking with a former student-athlete who worked for the club, she learned of the internship and felt prepared to apply.

Interning with the Padres was the experience of a lifetime,” Kennedy said. “Because of the networking I did, I was able to apply with a recommendation which helped tremendously. I was a marketing intern that helped out all of the different areas within that department, from pregame entertainment to graphic design to videoboard work to dropping off promotional items at local media stations around San Diego.

“I never had a boring day and the energy in the office on game days was what made me know for certain that I want to work in sports after graduation.”

And that is exactly what she’ll get to do, as she learned prior to the Bulldogs’ Senior Day celebration on the final weekend of the year that she had been offered a position with MLB’s Cincinnati Reds as the Social Media Design Coordinator. In her new role, she will design content for social media and will help run the team’s social media accounts during games.

“I am very excited about this opportunity for Carter to work with such a great organization,” Santos said. “She is tremendously talented, driven, hard-working and has all the elements to succeed. We will all be following Carter’s achievements and cheering for her continued success beyond the volleyball court. And as with all our alumni and now Carter too, we want them always to remember that UNC Asheville is your home, the door is always open and you will always be welcomed back!

She can’t wait to get started, and it would not have been possible without all of the doors opened to her at UNC Asheville and the opportunities she seized.

5/18/20 David’s Insights

My thoughts for this week:

Work from home has fundamentally changed our culture in ways I hadn’t thought of before.  For example, there’s now a term for not working from home called “work from work,” an almost foreign concept in the era of the Coronavirus.

Twitter and Morgan Stanley, for example, have amended their office policies to encourage more work from home, including permanent WFH availability in Twitter’s case. Office Depot is planning to reduce their store numbers, and office space companies like CBRE are bracing for the lack of office rentals as economic activity returns.

Additionally, we’ve also seen a decline in the sales for pants, and other professional clothing as more of the country have become accustomed to virtual meetings in our PJs.

I bring this up because it again highlights the relative market strength of the students and alumni from UNC Asheville.  Liberal Arts graduates are taught to be flexible, to adapt, and to use information to make good decisions.  All of those attributes are critical in the era of economic pivots.  Additionally, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving will be at the forefront of the country’s emergence from stay at home measures, all are attributes our students have in spades.

Speaking of adaptation, if you know of a student who might be interested in a paid internship this summer with local governmental agencies, please let me know.  We were informed last week that the state is putting some internships together across the state for local governments to have interns, and to support interns who might have lost their summer internships.   There will be more details coming soon, so if anyone knows of a student, please forward them along to me.

Here’s to an excellent summer, even if we are distant from each other.

David

5/18/20 Cool Opportunities

Happy first week of “summer”!  Here’s the Cool Opportunities for this week.

Cool Jobs

Air Resources Engineer at the California Air Resources Board
Food Safety and Nutrition Postgrad Research with the FDA
Project Associate for the Association of Public Land Grant Universities
Research Assistant, Pathology, Uniformed Scientists University

Cool Local Jobs
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is hiring an events coordinator
Account services manager at IntelliSound

Cool Local Internships
Internships at the Asheville Art Museum
Intern with the Charlotte Hornets

Cool Internships
Student Trainee at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Administration
Summer Fellow for the Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends
Fall Fellowship in International Visitor Leadership Program at the Meridian International Center
GIS Intern withTennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Cool Years of Service:
Research Opportunity in Global Forest Modeling Protocols (Hawaii)

5/14/20 Land of Sky Regional Council COVID-19 Updates

Governor’s Office:

  • North Carolina is in week 1 of phase one of the Governor’s plan for economic activity
  • Currently processing 5-7 thousand tests each day, from testing centers including: Walgreens, Harris Teeter, NC Department of Human Services has a link for local testing centers
  • Recommended the 3 W’s Wear a face covering, Wash your hands, Wait 6 feet apart
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits, currently 878,000 people have filed claims, 523,000 have had claims paid for a total of $1.8 billion in payments made thus far
  • Governor has established a Task Force for emergency repurposing of manufacturing for PPE in NC to produce face shields, gowns, masks, sanitize.  More than 300 NC companies have already replied. Any governmental agencies wanting to do business go to NCDHS website for procurement form, private businesses can go to supplyconnector.org for private sector supplies
Question from the Gallery:

Cases of Covid 19 are increasing across the state.  What benchmarks will the Governor be looking at for phase 2, is there additional clarification?
  • Stay tuned for an announcement from the Governor’s office.  Phase 1 may end as early as May 22, but is a “temporary marker”. Governor will monitor data and see the trajectory of viral load first. For example, are the %positive cases relative to the total number of tests decreasing? Are the numbers of hospitalizations decreasing across the state? May 22 is a temporary date, but data will make decisions
Presentations

There were 2 presentations from local business leaders who pivoted their operations and created new programs as a result of the pandemic.

Sara Woods created supplyconnector.org to easily connect suppliers and buyers of PPE, has created a national platform, 25 states nationwide on the platform, more states coming on board every day

Emily Breedlove created Covid Mobilize wrap around support for recovery that is more than PPE. (Ventilators, Food, Technology etc.)

Buncombe County Schools

Focus: Student Mental Health

Presenter called the pandemic “a collective trauma” that all students, teachers, parents, and everyone else in the school system would be experiencing for years to come.

On the third day of the pandemic instruction moved online, including counselors to see students virtually.  Telehealth wasn’t allowed for children, but that’s been adapted for Covid19.

  • Limited countywide broadband access continues to be a limiting factor for the availability of counseling services for students, prediction that 20% of kids will be behind in instruction as a result
  • 25% of students aren’t engaging with supports (tutoring, counseling services etc.)
  • Calls to social services are down for domestic abuse, child abuse etc. This is strange because the anticipation was that they would go up.  Suspected reason is that because students aren’t being seen in classrooms, trained professionals aren’t seeing changes in student behavior to prompt investigation
Question from the gallery:
What does a good reentry model look like focused on resiliency?
  • Speaker encouraged everyone not to treat this as a “bounce back” but instead a balance scale between positive and negative.  When people encounter trauma they enter fight, flight or freeze mode.  When negatives happen without positives to balance them out, our bodies cannot react in the same way, so prolonged exposure to stressful stimuli means more time in fight/flight/freeze, and the balance falls to that side.  Additionally biology/genetics, history of traumas etc., can affect how we react, and how we move the balance back
  • There will not be a 1 time intervention, to give students the support they need. A long term recovery will be in order.  The school system must provide safety, calm, and stability for students to help people come back from this. The system has lost a provider because of the impacts of the virus and their ability to adapt/cope for themselves.  Lastly, inequities will also resurface as a result, (not all students have money or access for broadband, they’ll be ahead/behind as a result etc.) which will further challenge students as they reenter.
Question from the Gallery:
What can the community do to help?
  1. Provide consistent messaging.  For example, business owners should reinforce positive mental health practices once they are allowed to re-open.
  2. Bring Mental Health professionals into work environments to help assess concerns and offer suggestions. Provide Mental Health coverage in insurance plans
  3. Continue advocating for increased broadband access in rural areas
  4. Donate to the Family Resource Center

Writing the ‘Dreaded’ Cover Letter

Written by Cate O’Connor, UNCA Career Center Student Engagement Coordinator

We meet with students about a lot of topics, but nothing seems to stump people more than the dreaded cover letter. What is it? Why do I need to write one? How do I write one? It’s pretty low on people’s ‘favorites’ list.

But cover letters don’t have to be scary! Once you understand the purpose and general outline, it can be a lot easier to write. So that’s what I’ll be covering in this blog post.

Your resume is an overview of the most related positions to what you’re applying for and conveys your skills in succinct bullet points. Your cover letter is where you can really SHOW an employer how you used a skill or details about a specific experience that illustrate why you’re a unique, great candidate for the position you’re applying for. It’s really about providing 2-3 stories for an employer to help them visualize what you specifically did and accomplished. A quick note: bullet points are for resumes, but complete sentences are for cover letters!

So what’s the layout of a cover letter?

First thing you’ll need is your contact information (name, location, phone number, email). I recommend using the same heading that’s on your resume. That way, the two documents clearly go together. However, you can just list that information out like this:

Name
City, State
Phone Number
Address

Then you’ll need the date you’re submitting your application, followed by the contact information for who/where you’re applying.

Date

Name of Hiring Manager
Company/Organization
Address

Now it’s time for the real meat of your cover letter (which should be an exciting opportunity and not one you’re dreading, but we’ll get there!).

The first paragraph is – unsurprisingly – your intro paragraph. A great way to start this paragraph is something like “I’m excited to apply for the X position with Y (company) that was posted on Z (site/platform).” Then you’ll take a sentence or two to talk about what you’re excited about this specific position or opportunity. Then you’ll tell them why you’re a great candidate by highlighting two experiences or skills. No wishy washy language like “I think” or “I believe” – you ARE a great candidate, so own it! Look at the job description to figure out what skills they’re looking for and what skills you have – choose ones that overlap. The job description is really your cheat sheet, so use it!

Example of what this might look like: “I am excited to submit my application for the Career Peer position with the UNC Asheville Career Center that was posted on Handshake. The work the Career Center does in supporting students throughout their time in school and beyond is inspiring and I would love to be a part of this kind of work. I’m a great candidate for this position due to my experience with event planning and working one-on-one with people.” 

Now we’re on to the body paragraphs. These should really be stories about your experience. Your resume lists things in short, concise bullet points – so your cover letter is really where you’re able to give additional detail and paint a full picture for an employer about your skills and experience as a candidate. You’ll spend one paragraph on each of the skills/experiences you mentioned in your intro paragraph. A great way to set up these paragraphs is the STAR method (which can also be used during interviews!). 

S- Situation (What was the situation you were in? Set the stage. Were you an intern at a company? Were you a student in a class? That sort of thing.)

T- Task (What were you tasked with completing?)

A- Actions (What actions did you take to complete your task? This is a great place for those action verbs you used on your resume!)

R- Results (What was the outcome of the work you did?)

What this could look like: “As the president of the ‘Asheville Campus Entertainment’ student organization, I planned and implemented eight events over the academic year. For each event, I developed a program proposal that included a specific date/time/location, budget needs with links for purchasing, and program goals for what students would get out of the event. One program that was extremely successful was Lawn Party, an annual event to celebrate the end of the semester. For this event, I connected with multiple vendors to determine options for activities that would fit within the budget; coordinated with the marketing team to create a cohesive message for the event that would be shared with students and included on swag items; and implemented a rotating volunteer schedule that allowed organization members to work the event and attend the event in equal measure. The event was a huge success, with over 300 students attending (compared to 150 the previous year). My event planning experience would greatly benefit your team and the Career Peer role of supporting all office events.” 

You’ll typically have two of these body paragraphs that focus on different skills/experiences. The experiences or skills you talk about don’t HAVE to be listed on your resume, but should be related to the position description and what the employer is looking for in a candidate.

Then you’ll have your conclusion paragraph. This is a chance to mention other skills or experiences (maybe 2-3) that you didn’t cover in your body paragraph but want to highlight for the employer. These could be skills listed on the job description or even experiences that may set you apart as a candidate. Then you let them know how to reach you if they have any questions (even though it’s in your heading) and thank them for their time and consideration. 

What this could look like: “In addition to these experiences, I would also bring a working knowledge of the Adobe Suite and marketing experience to your team. If you have any questions, I can be reached at (PHONE #) or (EMAIL). I’m very excited about this position and I look forward to speaking with you further about my experiences and the opportunity to join your team. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Then, you’ll include a closing (i.e. ‘Sincerely’) and sign your name. 

And just like that – you wrote a cover letter!! 

If you have questions about cover letters or want to have a cover letter reviewed, that’s what the Career Center is here for! Set up an appointment on Handshake or take advantage of our drop in hours (Monday-Friday from 12PM-1PM at meet.google.com/jzb-gbcf-srk). We’re here to help. 🙂

Pumping Up Your Virtual Presence

Written by Chelsey Augustyniak, UNCA Career Center Associate Director for Career Education

It’s officially summer! Congratulations on getting through the challenge of moving to online courses halfway through the spring semester. What a doozy! I hope you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we are all getting through this together, and you aren’t alone. Now that it’s summer, the Career Center wants to make sure you are engaging in activities that will allow you to continue your career development and not stall your progress towards your next steps.

Because of all the changes happening in our world, it may feel as though lots of things are on hold. Don’t let networking be one of those things! Although in-person events will be cancelled for a while, you can still connect with people and professionals who can help you with your career development and aid in your decision making process. One of the best things you can be doing right now is pump up your virtual presence.

During this time when most of us are still at home, it’s super important to create and maintain a professional online presence and clean up your social media accounts. As part of the hiring process, many employers check candidates’ online presence to learn more about them. This may be even more prevalent in the COVID-19 era with employers having limited access to candidates in person. Take this time to establish a professional online brand that you would be proud for prospective employers to see. Google yourself and clean up any inappropriate content. You can do this by making your accounts private, deactivating old accounts, deleting inappropriate posts, adding a professional bio, and posting industry-related news, quotes, or articles. Don’t forget to add the right photos and delete those that may be iffy! 

Create a LinkedIn profile, if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, then spend some time editing and updating it. Because of COVID-19, it’s likely that your first impression will be delivered online. This means that your profile has to impress! There’s no time for the mediocre here. Have you described your experiences in a way that highlights your accomplishments? Have you made sure to include skills that you have developed throughout your experiences? Think about writing a personal summary to showcase your strengths, interests, and career goals. When a new connection looks at your page, this will be one of the first things they read, and this brief intro can go a long way.

Look for professional groups to join on Facebook and LinkedIn. Both platforms offer a wide range of options with groups from many professions. For example, if you are looking for a job in marketing, or perhaps just to make some new connections, you could join LinkedIn’s Media & Marketing Professionals Worldwide group. You can then join in conversations, post relevant articles, and meet new people who could become wonderful professional connections. Depending on your industry, you might also want to take this time to develop a digital portfolio or a website to showcase your work. When asked to provide samples of your work, you definitely don’t want to be caught empty handed.

Social distancing doesn’t mean that you have to put networking on pause. You can use email or LinkedIn to reach out to professionals in the industries, organizations, and roles of your interest. Consider reaching out to some alumni! The Career Center can help you find people who could be great connections, whether they attended UNCA or are professionals in the Asheville area. Once you have found some people to connect with, send them an invite to chat via Google Hangouts or FaceTime. Ask them about their experiences, get advice, and share your interests with them. You never know where this could lead! Since we’re all in this together, this is also a great time to reach out to old connections. Chatting with previous supervisors or professors is a great way to reestablish some professional relationships. Your connections will come in handy when looking for opportunities, needing recommendations, or seeking advice from someone in the field who may have TONS of connections they can recommend you reach out to.

Remember: the Career Center is here to help with ALL of this! You don’t have to do this on your own. If you don’t know where to start with a LinkedIn profile, make a virtual appointment with us on Handshake and one of our career coaches will gladly help you with some fun and effective tips and tricks for professional branding, networking, job searching, and so much more.

Although this has been a stressful time, try to remain hopeful and continue working towards whatever is next for you. We’re here to help!