I can’t believe I’m writing these words right now, but as of this Job Hunters column, the Capital Region has already been open again for about a week. Of course, phase one only includes construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain businesses; curbside pickup for retail shops; and agriculture, forestry and fishing, but it’s a start. And hopefully, the ramping up of construction, manufacturing and retail will grease the economy’s wheels a bit. We’ll have to wait until phase three and four for the “good stuff” to reopen—the restaurants, bars and entertainment venues—but the waiting will make it that much more sweet.
I wish I had better news about the unemployment numbers. While they appear to be stabilizing at this point, they’re still horrendous, and it appears that we’re likely not out of the weeds just yet, even as employers begin thinking about refilling positions that may have been vacated during the first wave of layoffs. But that doesn’t mean there’s any need to despair: There’s still quite a lot of jobs to apply to out there, both locally and nationally (remote).
In the meantime, you must be that much more shrewd of a job hunter, keeping your eyes on the prize and being even more aggressive in your hunt. Make sure there are no stones left unturned and that you’re not wasting time applying for jobs you’re unqualified for. Also, be sure that some of the time you’re spending is on “table-setting,” in other words, polishing your résumé, writing down possible interview questions you could be asked by (or ask of) a potential employer and updating your LinkedIn page. And, if you’re a rising senior in high school or a graduating senior in college, be careful about what is on your Facebook or other social media pages: If one of the photos there is you upside down, doing a keg stand at the last (frat) house party you attended before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, that’s not a good look for a future employer. Assume that an employer will be checking out your public social media pages before offering you a job. It’s almost a given these days.
Local Job Opportunities
Cool Job Opportunity (Local) – Social Media Specialist
So, maybe you spend a little too much time on social media. And maybe your parents give you hell about it. Well, the best form of revenge is to get a paying job actually doing it for a living. The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH), located in Menands (just outside of Albany), is looking for a full-time Social Media Specialist, who will be working on Project Hope, a Crisis Counseling Program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), administered by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) through its Substance Abuse and Mental Hygiene Services Administration (SAMHSA), and operated by the New York State Office of Mental Health in conjunction with RFMH. Be aware that the position has only been funded through June 19, 2020, but it’s expected to be extended through April 2021. Expected salary: $70,000/year. Also good? It only requires two years of experience. So, if you had a pre-COVID internship in college and did any social media marketing, you could easily qualify for the position. Look for it on Indeed or find it on the foundation’s jobs page.
Cool Job Opportunity (Local) – Contact Tracer
Yes, the Capital Region reached the threshold for the amount of contact tracers it needed to reopen, but that shouldn’t keep you from joining the army of tracers that are helping make New York State safe for months (and years) to come. No, you don’t need to come into contact with somebody who has COVID-19 to do the job right. Apply for the position here.
Cool Job Opportunity (Local) – Management Level
Industrial giant Siemens is looking for a seasoned Consulting Manager for its Energy Management Division, “who will be responsible for leading and motivating a team of consulting engineers in the implementation and delivering cutting-edge power systems analytics and engineering,” per the job posting. In other words, you need to be able to eat, drink and sleep “engineer.” It shouldn’t be at all surprising that the job is located in the Electric City (a.k.a. Schenectady)—but it does sound as though it requires a fair amount of traveling, so if that’s not your cup of tea (especially now), you should put good thought into that aspect of the role. Either way, this is no position for Boy/Girl Scouts: You’ll need at least 10-plus years of experience successfully working in the power engineering and/or consulting business. Search for the position on LinkedIn Jobs or find it on Siemens careers page.
National/Remote Work Opportunities
Cool Job Opportunity (National/Remote) – Digital Editor
If you’re out of your mind, you’re a psychopath. If all you do is bike around everywhere, then you’re a cyclepath. (Wow, that was a bad pun.) The UK-headquartered, US-based cycling-centric website, cyclingnews.com, is looking for an Editor to work closely with its Editor in Chief, Daniel Benson, writing news stories, conducting interviews and producing content for the website, which is looking to grow. You’d be an extra special candidate if you (a) spoke a second language, (b) had knowledge of women’s cycling and (c) could write about technical biking knowledge in a way that didn’t make you sound like a squeaky wheel. Plus, if you’re not a cycler, your résumé will quickly be cycled out of the running. (I can’t help myself.) Seek out the position on LinkedIn Jobs.
Cool Job Opportunity (National/Remote) – Director Level
Are you a digital native who has a BA in social work, planning, public policy or government, with at least five years experience leading a team? You could be perfect for Bitfocus’ Director of Community Administration position. The company, which brings ideas, technology and services together to help communities build more collaborative, effective and efficient systems of care, is looking for someone to work directly with clients and help strengthen Bitfocus’ internal community through mentoring and training employees. You’ll be managing four or five direct reports, too, so you better be a people person. Search for the position on Glassdoor, or find it on the company’s careers page.
Cool Job Opportunity (Local) – Blog Editor
Remember the jerk down the hallway from you in college who always used to joke that you were going to be flipping burgers for a living with your English degree? Now’s the chance to tell him off. Toptal, a fully remote, global company that provides a freelancing platform connecting businesses with software engineers, designers and business consultants, is looking for a Design Blog Editor, who will be tasked with editing, curating and writing articles about design. You’ll need, at minimum, three years experience, and be willing to work on deadline-driven projects. Find the position on LinkedIn Jobs or apply the company’s website.
Job, Business and Volunteering Resources
A Seat at the Vege-table
Trying to grow green beans in your apartment and getting stuck with the lack of natural light? Try grabbing a plot in one of the Capital Roots‘ 55 community gardens throughout the Capital Region (it has some 900 plots available). Capital Roots isn’t just about getting people out there gardening, though: The nonprofit serves the ultimate purpose of providing every person in the region access to fresh, affordable, healthy food—especially those in underserved communities. Soon enough you’ll be saying, “Bean there, done that.” Learn more about how you can garden, help out or donate here.
Cool Resources for Kids
Old School, Best School
We put out the call for new kid-related educational tools (call this “Summer Vacation 2.0”), and one of our mom friends in the Saratoga community answered, offering up two old-school gems, which have long since been transferred from floppy disk to digital download/website—and might just give you the window of opportunity you need to get that résumé updated or a first draft of that cover letter written. Get your child set up with modern classics Lemonade Stand (1979) or Oregon Trail (1971), and it could lead to hours of silence, followed by a wonderfully awkward conversation about how mommy or daddy once played this for school credit in between Home Economics and History classes. (This might also be a cool diversion for you after hours, too!)
Three year ago, I interviewed military veteran Matt Butler, who’d done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, about the backyard game he invented while deployed in the sandbox called Rollors, which combines the fun of horseshoes, bocce ball and bowling. It’s a perfect warm-weather game, especially right now, given that you have to be completely socially distanced—15-20 feet away, to be exact—from the other team you’re playing against. Plus, you can play it on the beach, on your own lawn or the driveway. Anywhere, really. It’s just $50. Buy a set here.
Listen to This
We’re fast approaching the official kickoff to summer (the solstice, yo!), which I’m going to be making the most of, whether I’m stuck inside still or not. “Summer in the City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful is a summertime jam for the ages—complete with the honking horns and the line about it being “hotter than a match head.” Crank it up while you’re working on your next application: It could be a source of inspiration—or just give you the wanderlust to roam around the yard a bit and come up with your next killer cover letter opening line.