Managing Your Career During The Coronavirus Crisis

by Martina Beermann | May 06, 2020
Students need to adapt their job search to the changing market. HHL's Career Development team has identified these seven steps to prepare students for their future.

How Career Development adapts Career Counseling due to crisis

Preparing students for the job market changes

Even during challenging times, we want to make sure you turn your talents into outstanding competencies by training them in a systematic way. We are proud to offer our students such outstanding career guidance and congratulate the Career Service team on being ranked #6 worldwide by the Financial Times Masters in Management Ranking (2019).

In one of our recent articles Psychologist and Director of Career Development and Employer Relations, Martin Beermann talked about why you should invest in higher education. The economic crisis has changed how companies are recruiting. Read about these seven steps HHL’s Career Development team is using to prepare students for their future.

“The expressiveness of a digital profile and digital access to potential door openers are gaining more and more importance in times like these.”

Feedback on the latest developments in the job market

It obviously does not make any sense to apply for positions in industries affected by reduced hours or hiring freezes. For this reason, we conducted an instant survey with cooperating companies and also asked students about their application experiences. We provide the findings to our students to compare them to their personal career goals as a part of our individual coaching.

According to a survey by the career platform indeed, there has been a 16.6% reduction of job offers on indeed for the German market. Despite the slight decrease, we receive new job offers almost on a daily basis, of which many come from our alumni.

Searching for virtual internships or remote work

We encourage our students to keep applying for jobs and internships; the current key word being “remote”. It is very likely that those who stick with it now will have a distinct advantage with companies that postponed their job interviews once the hiring freeze is over.

After all, recruiters now have plenty of time to assess applications and prepare shortlists. First come, first served.

The majority of the companies still hiring now conduct their interviews virtually.

Preparing for video interviews

The majority of the companies still hiring now conduct their interviews virtually. Candidates should be prepared for such a setting. Will the recruiter see them in the kitchen in front of an array of unsorted food or in front of a well-sorted bookshelf?

Just this small difference in first impression can have a major influence on the rest of the interview. Studies have shown that a negative primacy effect may lead recruiters to ask more pedantic questions over the course of the conversation.

“Studies have shown that a negative primacy effect may lead recruiters to ask more pedantic questions over the course of the conversation.”

Taking part in virtual recruiting events

Virtual recruitment is the latest trend for companies hiring.

At HHL, we are currently transforming any recruiting events we planned on campus into virtual ones. McKinsey kicked off this procedure with the Virtual Start-up Consulting Days in March.

Optimizing the LinkedIn profile and digital networking

The expressiveness of a digital profile and digital access to potential door openers are gaining more and more importance in times like these. We’ve incorporated this topic into our module “Leading yourself & Self-reflection” to help our students connect with professionals.

Professional network platforms can be extremely valuable as you look to connect to employees working in your preferred industry. You have the chance to reach out to Alumni from your university, while giving them a chance to get to know you through your profile.

Connecting with someone in your target industry

Additionally, if you don’t know anyone in your preferred industry or don’t have any connections to a certain company, you could always comment on post or articles published by someone in your target industry. Be sure to make the comments meaningful and really think about how you might create an engaging and valuable conversation online.

At HHL we launched a new community feature in our digital career-center to help our students connect with alumni and learn about job offers. We added a new community feature that lets students connect and communicate with alumni who are looking to fill certain job positions.

Why not volunteer at the city council, in hospital management or for a vaccine manufacturer?

Preparing by taking part in career webinars

Fortunately, our students can benefit from our alumni network and our connections to top-level international career experts. During one of our exclusive career events our guest and alumnus Daniel Kanaan, deal strategist at LinkedIn, will be introducing our students to the topic “Rock your profile” and share his personal experience on how to upgrade your profile and generate successful interactions. If you would like to update your profile, we encourage you to check out the free resources on LinkedIn.

Another hot topic — “Finding a job in a time of crisis” — was presented by Daniel Porot, a career expert of international renown who works at INSEAD and also teaches at Stanford.

Voluntary work as a long-term strategy

Right now, our future management strategists need to show their knowledge and skills in the social and public sector. Why not volunteer at the city council, in hospital management or for a vaccine manufacturer? Activities likes these will definitely enhance your résumé and attract more attention from recruiters.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails” – Unknown

Create the circumstances you need to succeed

There are many ways to stay active in your job or internship search. I personally believe in the following motto: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails” (Unknown). It teaches us that the people who really move ahead in this world are the ones you get up and look for the circumstances they want. And if they can’t find what they are looking for, they create the circumstances necessary to succeed.

I hope this inspires you to continue your journey and to find creative ways to reach out to your preferred company and industry. Stay safe and don’t hesitate to share your talents with the world!

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