How to Search for a Job During COVID-19: Ashford’s Job Search Guide
In the midst of a global pandemic that has seen a record number of Americans filing for unemployment, Ashford University’s Career Services team has been even more proactive in its efforts to connect job seekers with the tools they need to stand out and get hired in a crowded field.
The team’s latest effort, the “Job Search & Career Readiness Guide,” is a direct response to current events and serves as a quick-start resource for those suddenly out of work or seeking to regain momentum during the crisis.
“This guide targets those areas that are most asked about by students and alumni,” explains Grace Williamson, Ashford University Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations. “They can now access these resources at a time that is most convenient for them, given the competing priorities that so many face in this current climate.”
The guide is accessible via the “My Career” platform in the Student Portal, and connects you to six readiness resources:
1. Optimize with Jobscan
While resume-building is complicated at any stage of your career, today’s job-seekers face a greater challenge in the form of Applicant Tracking Systems — gatekeeping programs that determine whether your resume meets the keyword requirements to move forward in the selection process.
Jobscan can review your resume or LinkedIn profile, identify the keyword gaps, and provide you with optimization tips, increasing the chance that your submission will get past Applicant Tracking Systems and be seen by a human recruiter.
Career Services offers a complimentary Jobscan report to students and alumni. All you need to do is email [email protected] with the following:
- LinkedIn profile (PDF or link)
- Links to 1–3 current job postings targeted to your skills and experience
2. LinkedIn Best Practices
Since the coronavirus crisis escalated in early March, Williamson has seen a noticeable increase in student interactions on LinkedIn, as job-seekers put more emphasis on making career connections and following companies that they want to join.
To assist, Career Services has created LinkedIn Overview and Best Practices, a comprehensive and valuable 30-minute online guide to the platform. Once you’ve accessed the site (available via desktop or mobile) and reviewed the instructions, you will explore five modules that will help you professionally format your LinkedIn profile and start networking with peers and recruiters:
1. Why LinkedIn? An overview of the site and its capabilities.
2. Checklist and Tips. Must-haves for your LinkedIn profile.
3. Professional Tools and Development. Resources designed specifically for Ashford students and alumni.
4. Knowledge Check. A quiz and review of what you’ve learned.
5. Assistance with LinkedIn. Additional help offered by Career Services.
3. Military Career Track
The Military Career Track is designed for active duty or veteran students and alumni who are transitioning from military service into private industry or the federal workforce. There are multiple modules that you can review at your own pace — reviewing the entire site takes about two hours — and get answers to questions about interview techniques, negotiating salaries and benefits, and industry-specific cover letter-building and resume-building.
Among the most-used resources on the site, Williamson says, is the “Timeline to Transition” tool that offers a checklist for each stage of your journey from the service to employment. Another popular tool is the “Military Compensation Calculator,” which will help you determine how much civilian pay would be required to match your existing military compensation.
Dubbed “CliffsNotes for Careers” by Forbes Magazine, Vault is an expansive, constantly updated resource guide for job-seekers, encompassing everything from company and industry profiles to resume-building and interviewing guides.
Although Vault is a subscription-based platform, Ashford students and alumni have complimentary access to dozens of career and industry guides through the My Career website. Among them are the following:
- Vault Guide to Resumes and Job Hunting
- Vault Guide to International MBA Job Search
- Vault Guide to Networking
- Vault Career Guide to Education
- Vault Guide to Human Resources Jobs
- Vault Guide to Business Administration Jobs
“These are cutting-edge resources that will help users develop their job-hunting skills and drill down to the specific companies and industries in which they want to work,” Williamson says.
5. Versatile PhD
Designed to help doctoral students and graduates determine the best course for their careers, Versatile PhD is packed with resources for academic and non-academic pursuits.
Students and alumni can utilize career readiness modules, job search and networking programs, and tools to help them translate their research experience into a resume format that is relatable to recruiters in the private sector.
Like Vault, Versatile PhD is a subscription-based website, with access provided at no charge via Ashford’s My Career platform.
6. What Can I Do With This Major?
This tool, accessible via AshfordCareerResources.com, will help you correlate the lessons and experience of your degree program with specific jobs or companies.
“For example, if a student is completing a degree in Business Administration, ‘What Can I Do With This Major’ will show them different career paths using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Williamson says. “They’ll also be able to find information about salaries and projections for job titles and industries.”
Of all the benefits afforded to Ashford University’s online students and alumni, none may be more valuable than lifelong access to Career Services. Get started on your job search via My Career in your Student Portal.
Written by Ashford University Staff