Resources for Job Seeking in Difficult Times

Resources for Job Seeking in Difficult Times was originally published on Idealist Careers.

A Note from the Editor: Recently, many of us have shifted our attention from the fear, grief, anger, and uncertainty related to the current pandemic, to many of those same emotions as they relate to the state of our country. 

I want to acknowledge that you may not be in a position to think about jobs right now. Recent acts of police brutality followed by protests and unrest have made life difficult for so many in our community and across the country. We at Idealist are in solidarity with those who are fighting for Black lives, and for freedom and dignity for all. 

We will always be here to support your job search and professional needs, so I encourage you to take the break that you need to fight for what’s most important to you, and to process everything that is happening around us right now; we’ll be here whenever you’re ready to return to your search. 


We recently held our very first Idealist Live event, Job Seeking in a Difficult Time, where I had an opportunity to chat with two wonderful panelists, City Year’s Stephanie Chávez and Elyssa Feliciano from Ceres, as well as a Zoom room full of 600+ attendees.

In our hour together, we explored questions and challenges as they relate to job searching during the pandemic. And while we covered a lot on the webinar, when it comes to job searching advice, too much is never enough.

You’ll find plenty of useful information below, as well responses to some of the questions that came up during the event that we didn’t have quite enough time to cover. I encourage you to continue to check in with us right here on our Career Advice blog over the coming weeks as we’ll be publishing new resources and expert advice on this topic.

Resources for those facing ageism

Unfortunately, we expect ageism to continue to be an issue in the job seeking and hiring processes, and because it’s often concealed, it’s tough to combat. While we hope that these resources will be useful to you in your job search, we also have plans for new resources that will be published to our Career Advice blog in the coming weeks and months that speak to ageism in the application, hiring, and interview processes.

Pro Tip: If you’re an older job seeker concerned that a hiring manager may pass on your application materials due to ageist misperceptions, you may want to consider what you can remove from your resume. For example, there’s no longer much need to include different tools in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.). And unless you’re actually programming or doing complex data modeling in Excel, you can leave that out as well (and if you are programming in Excel, be specific about that in your resume).

Resources for recent college grads

During the webinar, we spent quite a bit of time discussing AmeriCorps as an option for recent grads. There is an incredible variety of AmeriCorps positions available on right now, and a year of service is a great way to get some concrete professional experience on your resume while making an impact.

Here are some other resources for our recent college grads out there.

Pro Tip: Considering the uncertainty around the current job market, some recent grads may be considering heading back to school for a master’s degree. If you’re wondering whether that may be the right option for you, explore our Idealist Grad Schools resources and fairs to learn more.

Resources for sector switchers

In addition to the resources that you’ll find here, as a sector switcher, you’ll also want to put in the time when it comes to resume updates and cover letter writing. It’s important (especially as an aspiring sector switcher) to mirror the language used in the nonprofit sector at large, and more specifically, by the organization that you want to work for. For example, if they refer to themselves as an “organization” (and most nonprofits do) don’t use the word “company” in your cover letter. If they call themselves a “nonprofit” on their website, don’t refer to their “non-profit” in your application materials. You get the idea.

Resources for interview prep

Resources for updating your resume and cover letter

Resources for gaining volunteer experience

Some other useful resources

By Alexis Perrotta - Idealist Careers
Idealist Careers
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