Professional Writing Club Provides Job Hunting Tips During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Abigail Raley
- Friday, April 24th, 2020
During the COVID-19 shutdown, classes are not the only meetings being moved to an online format. On April 7, the WKU Professional Writing Club met with KirkpatrickPrice via Zoom to discuss ways to be productive, stay busy, and market yourself through this difficult time. The meeting was initially scheduled to take place in person but was reconfigured to comply with social distancing requirements. “Originally, when we were first conceptualizing this, we wanted to provide information about networking in order to get employed,” editor Sarah Slatton said. “Obviously, we’ve had to tweak that a bit. A lot of positions that you might normally be going for may be closed.” The club was joined by Slatton, Jennifer Troth, Kristen Darby, and founder Joseph Kirkpatrick also joined the online meeting and discussed their own perspectives on working in quarantine.
Linkedin is a great opportunity to network and build professional connections while maintaining a social distance. Troth presented tips on how to cultivate a professional profile and portfolio on Linkedin. Troth gave tips on how to cultivate a social media presence, showcase skills, choose a professional photo, and make connections with colleagues and peers. “Consider increasing the privacy on your social media pages,” Troth said. “I would suggest going back through your older posts and consider deleting them.” While growing a social media presence is not something many have time for, this is the perfect time to slow down and focus on developing as a professional.
Slatton talked about how to best utilize the time under self-isolation. “During this time, obviously not everyone is going to have a ton of extra time,” Slatton said. “But if you do have extra time during this quarantine, take the time to work on improving and showcasing your skills.” Slatton encouraged writing a blog, creating an online portfolio, or submitting for publication to show development, during this crisis.
President and founder Joseph Kirkpatrick said that this quarantine period is a great time to reinvent yourself as a potential employee and applicant. “You have to reinvent who you are,” Kirkpatrick said. “When you’re graduating, you’re deciding who you are going to be and what type of job you want to do.” Kirkpatrick said that even in times like these, it is important to stay creative and adaptable in any situation. “When you start panicking, you don’t really see the opportunity to do something new,” Kirkpatrick said.
Ultimately, the Professional Writing Club’s meeting with KirkpatrickPrice demonstrated effective ways to stay busy and persevere, even in dark times. More importantly, though, it was an example of how WKU students, faculty, and the local community can come together to celebrate education and promote prospective careers through career-building seminars at a safe social distance.