How to Find a Job or Internship in the COVID Labor Market

In the rapidly changing COVID labor market, it is more important than ever to make your best first impression and have a comprehensive search strategy. You do not need to navigate the rapidly changing landscape alone. We are in this together.

  • Connect with your Career and Academic Planning Specialist for personal assistance. We can provide guidance throughout the job/internship search process. Resume and cover letter writing, mock interviews and job search strategies are all topics we can cover with you in a one-on-one setting.
  • Use campus resources such as Augie Opportunities. Browse the list of internships and project-based positions posted at augie.edu/opportunities
  • Scan commercial search engines to locate opportunities, such as your local Department of Labor, Chamber of Commerce (e.g., Sioux Falls), or any of the search engines found here.
  • Seek remote positions. Many employers have pivoted to remote job and internship opportunities during the pandemic. Consider vacancies advertised on remote job boards, such as Remote Jobs, Virtual Internships, and We Work Remotely. Examples of posted remote positions include data clean-up, social media content creation, tech support, online tutoring, loan processing, legal research, and more. 
  • Look for short-term solutions. Due to the COVID environment, internship opportunities may be harder to come by. Consider opportunities you might have previously overlooked. Browse Augie Opportunities for project-based opportunities to gain experience. If you are currently employed, offer to help however you can. Be flexible. Most jobs provide an opportunity to develop transferable attributes valued by all employers, such as communication, interpersonal, and collaboration skills. 
  • Lead with your best impression. Contact the Success Center for input on your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and interview responses. Your interview will likely occur virtually, and we can help you prepare for it. 
  • Introduce yourself. Some employers may need more employees but are too overwhelmed to advertise the opportunity. Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Contact the Student Success Center to write an inquiry cover letter.
  • Engage in ongoing networking. The Student Success Center, AU faculty, Volunteer Services Office, and the Alumni Association are all willing to network on your behalf. Couple this with your own activities. Attend virtual networking events and talk with everyone you know about potential opportunities.
  • Contact your internship coordinator of your respective academic department. Internship coordinators have valuable contacts for students seeking experience and serve as the supervisor for your credit bearing internship experience. For every hour of credit you elect to earn, you must complete 40 hours of work. A typical internship for credit is 3 credit hour (120 hours of work). If you are unable to complete 120 hours in one semester, you may need to take an IP (in progress) grade and finish the hours later with either the same employer or another approved employer. You have a year to complete the hours. Some faculty may choose alternative experiential assignments, such as common readings or reflective writing, for you to complete. 
  • Stay engaged vocationally. As you seek an internship, it is important to remember that valuable hands-on experience comes in many different forms. You could engage in scholarship such as case study analysis, literature reviews, policy analysis, and creative projects. Volunteering for a local non-profit may also provide a sense of meaning. Demonstrate initiative by learning something new, such as a foreign language, social media certification, computer code, theoretical approach, or technology program. Thoroughly examine a common debate in your field and formulate a response. Even if you elect not to earn credit or are not paid, stay engaged vocationally! These activities are a source of quality narrative you can share during future graduate school or employment interviews.
  • Protect your health and well-being during the pandemic. Follow state, local and CDC guidelines regarding mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene to keep yourself and those around you healthy. 
  • Communicate safely with employers. Sadly, scamming increases during crises. Avoid engaging with employers who use chat-only platforms. Do not share personal information or work with recruiters who request money up front. Report any concerns about employers to Student Success Center staff immediately.
  • Remember that your skills do not expire. You have an education of enduring worth that empowers you to learn independently, think critically, write effectively, and solve unscripted problems. This labor market is temporary. As it rebounds, you are positioned to excel and advance in whatever position you secure during this time.

    The pandemic creates a unique context that is also experiential problem-based learning in and of itself. Each day you engage in significant problem solving. While difficult, transitions transform us. You are learning ways to persist, adapt, support others, and thrive together in community. We are AU  — we are with you, here for you, and inspired by you. Connect with us today.