Job Search Tips for 2021 Graduates

Be Distinctive

Right now, the job market is the hottest it’s been in recent years as companies are hiring following the COVID-19 pandemic, but that also means the competition is fierce right now.

Because many 2020 graduates had to put off their job hunt while companies went through closures and lay-offs, there are even more of your peers applying for the same jobs you are right now. That means your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile need to be polished and stand out. 

However, for the same reason, the competition is stiff in the current job market; the popularity of remote jobs and internships also opens up the ability for you to apply to opportunities across the country—and the world!

Be Open-minded

While job postings on Handshake are at a high, not all sectors are hiring equally. The top industries looking to hire new graduates were the pandemic’s big winners: tech, financial services, education, and professional services, according to Handshake data. It’s essential to be flexible in your job search at a time like this and think about what skills you could bring to a role as well as what skills you could gain, even if the job isn’t exactly your dream role. 

Settling for what is available doesn’t have to be a bad thing either! While working in your not-dream-job, you can spend that time also taking classes and getting additional certifications, attending webinars and events, and upskilling.

Be Prepared

Having classes, meetings, and hangouts over video chat platforms like Zoom has become commonplace in the past year, but it’s still important to treat virtual interviews the same way you would an in-person one. Make sure to dress professionally, prepare for any questions they may ask, know how to work the features of the platform being used for the interview, and that your setup is well-lit without any distractions in the background.

Some workplaces have also started requesting pre-recorded video interviews in which you answer a list of questions they have provided. Though this type of interview is not live, there is still not much time between receiving the questions and the deadline for sending the video, so it’s still important to prepare in advance.

If you’re nervous, ask a friend or family member to take you through a mock interview, or schedule an advising appointment, or drop in with a peer coach!

Be Creative

You should also be ready to explain how you spent 2020, especially if your summer internship disappeared because of the pandemic and a gap in your resume. Did you do any freelance work? What about personal projects? Did you take any new classes in your free time? Did you volunteer anywhere? You can also highlight any new hobbies you picked up to show you’re willing to and capable of learning new things.

You may have skills you never even thought about that you can highlight, including soft skills!

And if you are still looking for ways to add to your resume, there are plenty of ways to gain experience outside of a traditional internship.

Be Authentic

While your network is a valuable resource in job hunting, it’s also a great space for building relationships with peers in your industry. Not every contact in your network will be in the position to give you a job when you need one, but it’s still essential to maintain and build relationships without expecting a transaction. Professionals in your industry — especially DePaul alumni — can give you helpful advice and share their experiences.

Consider setting up an informational interview with someone in your field or bringing up the possibility of job shadowing at a company you’re interested in or with someone whose role is appealing to you. Check out the ASK Network to connect with alumni.

And don’t forget to give back when you can and open yourself up to meeting with students as a professional in your field, or pass on opportunities you come across to your peers if it’s not something right for you!

More information:

Who’s Hiring: Recruiting Trends in Media, Communication, Arts & Entertainment

COVID-19 has hit many industries with layoffs, furloughs, and a lot of uncertainty. Nearly all areas of the MCAE community decreased hiring due to COVID. Many of these industries rely heavily on live events and freelance professionals. This document gives an overview of industry trends & updates on what’s happening in the media, arts, communication, and entertainment industries in the age of COVID. 

Film & Entertainment

  • Major entertainment festival cancellations and postponements 


  • Some studios have transitioned to remote work and are conducting business as usual (i.e. Disney Television) 
  • Industry has not shut down like most others, but things are moving as a slower rate
  • Nickelodeon Animation Studio & Warner Brothers working remotely 
  • Fox-owned Bento Box Entertainment (creator of Bob’s Burgers) is hiring 500 artists and production staff across Los Angeles, Atlanta and London. It has openings for about 20 freelance production personnel. 
  • Animated music videos anticipated (Atlantic Records)
  • Magic Leap startup, laid off 1,000 employees—around half its workforce. 
  • Types of roles posted?
  • Lead 2D Animator at Minnow Mountain
  • Animator at Peloton
  • Gameplay Animator (Contract) at Playstation 

Marketing, PR, & Social Media

    • Walker Sands

Publishing, Copyediting, & Journalism

  • Online book sales have increased
    • After Powell’s Books in Portland, OR, reportedly laid off about 85 percent of its staff on March 15 when it closed five stores, the bookseller re-hired 100 of those employees due to online sales demand. 
  • New marketing campaigns pushed up
  • Comics industry has been hit hard
  • Online proofreading and editing services still operating 
  • News media job market in crisis 
    • Smaller city-wide or state-wide news outlets particularly vulnerable
    • Local newspapers are currently losing 30-60% of advertising due to the coronavirus.
    • Newsrooms furlough employees rather than lay them off
    • However, there is a surge in readers
  • Freelancers are limited not only by newsroom budgets but also by their lack of company-sponsored health insurance.
  • Types of Roles

5 Transferable Skills to Highlight in Your Education, Nonprofit, & Government Job Search During COVID-19

Careers within Education, Nonprofit, and Government are evolving and changing due to COVID-19. Many of you are now being asked to adapt, change your perspective, or even consider pivoting your career goals. While this may seem daunting, as a member of the ENPG community you have a unique set of transferable skills that you’ve acquired through your various experiences–skills that make you marketable applicants for the jobs that are currently hiring. To stand out in your job search, here are five transferable (hard and soft) skills to highlight in your career toolkit documents:

1. Technology

With most activities shifted to virtual platforms, technology is at the forefront during COVID-19. You now use technology every day to communicate (Slack, Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams), complete coursework (Microsoft Office, Google Suite, VoiceThread, Panopto), and manage projects (Asana, Trello). Since most businesses and organizations are operating remotely, highlight your proficiency in different technology platforms in your resume, cover letter, or an interview to show a hiring manager that you are able to effectively work remotely.

2. Leadership

Whether you’ve taken the lead on a group project in one of your classes or had a leadership role in a student organization, being a leader can show an employer your ability to take charge. Highlight your leadership skills to demonstrate your effective communication, organization, and time-management skills so that an employer has the impression that you can be a leader in their organization. 

3. Adaptability 

During this pandemic, we are adapting to change. COVID-19 has impacted school, work, and daily life. Highlight your ability to adapt to different situations to show your flexibility and willingness to modify projects and tasks within the workplace. Implement a statement in your resume to showcase this skill.

4. Facilitation

Have you presented in a class, at work, or at a conference? Emphasize your ability to successfully present in front of a quantifiable number of members. Facilitation can also look like leading a group in an activity, implementing a lesson plan in a class, guiding a meeting, and more. Highlight this skill in your documents and interviews to show an employer that you have strong public speaking and presentation skills. 

5. Management 

Management doesn’t have to mean being a “manager” in a job or an internship. Management skills can come from working on a group project in class, leading a sports team, guiding a group of people through an activity, and more. These management skills speak to one’s ability to work and collaborate with others. Feature this skill in your documents and speak on your management abilities in interviews with employers. 


With the added pressure that COVID-19 brings, your current job or internship search can be challenging and intimidating. You may be seeking adjacent careers or considering changing career paths altogether. Have a solid toolkit of transferable skills in your back pocket to help you explore different careers and to be competitive candidates within the Education, Nonprofit, and Government community. 

Looking to discuss transferable skills or your career plans further? Make an appointment on Handshake!       

Job Searching in Film During COVID

The pandemic has left the film & entertainment industry in a pretty challenging spot. As social distancing measures have left much of the industry at a standstill, layoffs and furloughs have hit with high numbers. While this may seem challenging, there are still things you can do to build your skills and grow your network. Here are suggestions if you’re searching for jobs in film & entertainment: 


Review your skillset

As someone interested in film, you probably have a lot of unique skills and abilities. Identifying your skills will help you see how they can connect to different types of opportunities and career options. 

Explore new skills

The pandemic has presented a lot of opportunities to develop new skills with free online courses. Remote tools like Asana, Slack, and Zoom will become more connected to work culture, so consider learning these tools to expand your skill set. 

Join an online community 

Connecting with people who share similar career goals will help you in your job search. In response to COVID, many online communities have begun sharing information about recruiting opportunities and jobs. Check out the slack filmmakers communityfreelancers, and the writers hangout

Connect with industry professionals 

Connecting with industry professionals is a way to build your network. Through LinkedIn and DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge network, you have access to alumni in a variety of industries. Attend online networking events to connect with professionals in the industry. Use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to stay connected to the industries. 

Consider using freelance apps 

Freelance apps are a way to get experience on projects for payment. Apps like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and Toptal offer ways to get project-based work, which will give you practical skills and make you competitive for future opportunities. 


Need help identifying your skills or career options? Come visit us virtually!
We’re here to help. 

My Job/Internship Offer Has Been Rescinded. What Do I Do?

We know this is disappointing and stressful. Acknowledge your emotions and also recognize that this is not about you, it’s about the situation we’re all in.

  1. Don’t panic. Stay focused. We’re here to help.
  2. Keep searching. Organizations are still hiring.
  3. Look for other ways to gain experience.
  4. Build your online presence. Think about how you can use social media to make yourself stand out. Post content that is relevant to your job search & interests.
  5. Build your network. Connections matter now more than ever. Connect with alumni through the DePaul ASK Network and use LinkedIn to connect with professionals and conduct informational interviews
  6. Invest in yourself. Continue to learn and build your skills through platforms like LinkedIn Learning (you have free access through DePaul), Coursera, Skillshare and FutureLearn.

Email template for requesting other work opportunities:

Dear XXX: (Address it to the person you have been communicating with about the offer. It might be the recruiting professional, the hiring manager or both.)

I was very excited about the opportunity to work for {name of organization} and am hoping that we can identify some alternatives. Given the current situation with COVID-19, I understand the difficult decision you had to make about my offer; however, I am writing to inquire about other options for remote project work. I would welcome the opportunity to gain experience with {name of organization} in a way that makes sense for the company. Please let me know if you would be open to discussing alternative work possibilities on a short-term or project basis. 

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


{your name}

How to Make a Good Impression in a Virtual Job Interview