Searching for jobs and preparing for virtual interviews during pandemic

Advice from a Viterbo professor on applying for jobs even if its outside your degree

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – More than 22 million Americans lost their jobs during April and May.  This pandemic has affected people’s health and the economy. Some people have to find other jobs outside of their degree field.

Viterbo career services coordinator Alyssa Gostonczik said people can qualify for jobs outside their degree field. It starts with connecting with people online and over the phone.

“Seventy percent of available jobs are not posted on job boards like Indeed or in other areas,” Gostonczik said. “It really is who you know; using that social media and linked in to let people even know that you’re searching.”

She said job seekers should talk to everyone they know.

“Reaching out to relatives, past coworkers, teachers, professors; if you’re involved in clubs or religious organizations,” Gostonczik said.

Start researching a field that interests you and build a resume.

“Define your career goals and your objectives in terms of what types of jobs are you seeking,” she said. “What is your minimum earning requirement, and how do your job search goals fit with your interests and your qualifications?”

People should share their generic skills the employer is looking for such as communication skills, people skills, critical thinking ability; Gostonczik said it’s good to understand the job description.

“You want to mirror that language in the position description in your resume and cover letters,” Gostonczik said.

More than likely a job interview won’t happen in person. It’s best to prepare for a virtual call or a standard phone interview.

Have notes written down, research the organization, and run through a mock interview to test the technology.

It is also best to draft cover letters that are unique to a specific employer. Don’t send the same cover letter to 50 people.

“They want to know that you put in the effort to put those materials together for their job,” Gostonczik said.

There is a drive-through job fair at Logan High School on July 15 from noon to 4 p.m. People can visit their local university or college for career resources. Gostonczik also recommended for career education.

The La Crosse Public Library and the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce also have resources.