NACE Logo NACE Center Logo
National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition®
mobile menu
  • NACE Members Respond: Resources and Ideas From the NACE Community

    Best Practices
    <b>A NACE member offers his perspective on how his institution is handling the coronavirus.</b>

    TAGS: best practices, coronavirus

    Culled from posts in the NACE Community, the following provide ideas/resources on a variety of topics for managing the effects of the coronavirus on operations and events.

    Updated April 13, 2020

    Career Fairs - Virtual

    • Tool – Zoom
      • Staff use Zoom, giving each employer representative approximately five minutes for a short presentation and 10 minutes for Q&A. Students receive a contacts list after the fair. Employers are only online for their time slot.
      • A Zoom call is set up for each employer/organization taking part. Staff members serve as “owners” of the “break room” and “waiting room” areas and send invitations to recruiters once the meetings start.
    • Tool – Institution’s CMS
      • Each employer is set up as an "event" and that allows students to RSVP to the "event.” The employer can see the student's resume information and connect with them.
    • Discounts and refunds for employers moving from  in-person to virtual fairs
      • Many employers have opted to convert to the virtual career fair option. If they decide not to convert, we refund the full booth registration amount. A few employers that were not originally planning to attend have now signed up.
      • Employers were asked to select one of two options: take part in an online version of the fair or no longer take part. Employers who participate in the virtual career fair get a 50 percent refund/discount on the registration booth price they've selected. Those who opt not to take part get a 100 percent discount.

    Career Week - Virtual

    • Tool – Zoom: An annual visit to Washington D.C. Career Week has become a series of Zoom webinars, including eight panel discussions with 40+ alumni speakers, site visits, and so forth.

    Communicating With Students

    • Graduating in the Age of COVID-19: Student Guidebook (The Washington Center)
    • I publish a weekly (bi-weekly in the spring) email newsletter called the "Opportunity Alert." I co-brand this with a Twitter hashtag (#OpportunityAlert). I've got a pretty small population (undergrads and grad students in journalism, advertising, public relations). Very low-tech, but the students do read and reply.
    • I am planning to reach out to students sometime after April 6. We have been asked to limit our emails to the students so that the most urgent information is easy to get to. We sent an admin approved email (mid-March) that covers the student supports we have available including career advising. It lists upcoming Zoom workshops to put on their calendars.
    • We added RSS feeds from Handshake which are set up to filter so that what is seen by students is related to career community of interest. You can see these by visiting any of our career community webpages and scrolling to the bottom. Each community has two RSS feeds, one for internships and student employment jobs and the other pulls full-time and fellowships. See, click on any career community, scroll to bottom of the page to view both RSS feeds for that community.
    • We do the emails once per month (we are on the block system so it's after every block). I just call them job blasts. We try to target the emails to our 10 career clusters, so I send out 10 internship blasts and 10 job blasts targeted only to those students whose majors match the opportunities. I really think targeting them makes a huge difference. I am still fine tuning the process and have had one of our student employees curate the opportunities so it doesn't take so much of my time.
    • We're about to start a new series of posts on our Instagram in spring term (we're on the quarter system) called "Hot Jobs, Cool Internships, and Sweet Opportunities." Each week, we'll post 10 jobs/internships that we think are cool/interesting/different, and every other week, we'll post five opportunities (things like research positions, virtual info. sessions, employer site visits). We're aiming for a mix of on-campus and off-campus jobs and opportunities. We're also going to post local part-time jobs starting next week for students who are struggling to find work during the COVID-19 pandemic and need to find employment ASAP.
    • Yale's Office of Career Strategy (OCS) will be allowing students who qualify for the Domestic Summer Award (stipend for unpaid summer positions in: nonprofits, government, research, NGOs, Arts Apprenticeship for students on financial aid) and other OCS funding to accept remote positions for summer 2020. We posted remote work general guidelines for students (grey box at the top of the page), and we're in the process of drafting detailed guidelines for employers, which I can share once they are ready. For students who are still navigating their summer plans (beyond, or in conjunction with, funding), we developed this page on Summer Plans and COVID-19 that includes specific guidance and resources.

    Delivering Programming

    • We are taking some of our regularly occurring presentations—resume building, interviewing, LinkedIn, and so forth—and recording them so that they can be posted to our website and accessed by students at any time. Our plan is to upload the videos to our YouTube channel; we are looking for software that might make this possible and somewhat more engaging than just a voice-over.
    • We are planning to record webinars and move them to Youtube, which has an auto-captioning function that is decent, or host live webinars and move them to Youtube afterward. Our goal for April is to record three sessions (not to exceed 30 minutes) relating to navigating our (newly virtual) spring fair, load each of them into Youtube, announce their availability, and then host a live chat in Zoom at a designated time to answer any Q&A students may have after watching the webinars.

    First-Destination Surveys

    • Class of 2019: Deadline for reporting data to NACE has been extended to June 30, 2020.
    • Class of 2020: Alternatives to cap-and-gown method
      • Work with faculty to have them embed survey in their online course materials for graduating students
      • Direct message graduating students
      • Incentivize completion with online gift cards (DoorDash, GrubHub, Amazon, Netflix, and so forth), a free diploma frame, and other college-branded swag from college bookstore that can be mailed to participating students’ homes.

    Internships (Colleges)

    • Completing hours
      • Interns who are not able to complete their hours can complete a capstone project. It is a combination of reflection on their internship experience and some activities that move their career preparation forward. (See “Internship Completion Project,” compliments of Shawn Albert, Bob Jones University.)
      • See “Career Preparation Activities for Curtailed Internships,” which is shared with faculty to give them ideas about using unmet hours for internships. (Provided by Julia Overton-Healy, St. John Fisher College)
      • Create project-based options for students in any discipline to use.
      • A colleague is reaching out to alumni to see if there is any way to leverage that network for small projects or opportunities.
    • Guidance to students
      • Students are instructed to:
        • Continue in internships but abide by organization requirements.
        • Request to work remotely on current work.
        • Request to be given a project that can be completed remotely.
        • Request alternative projects and assignments from faculty (that must be  approved by faculty), or
        • Apply to have an extension to complete internship hours.
      • The Rutgers Internship and Co-op Program provides updated guidelines to interns/co-ops at
      • Any host organization has to agree to flex to meet the needs of the student to remain safe, including adjusting to virtual work.
      • The center at UW-Madison put together the Guide to Online Internships. It's a brief tour through pros and cons of online internships.
    • Job Search
      • We are thinking of starting up a virtual job search group for seniors. The members, with a facilitator, would meet weekly to compare notes, provide tips and support each other.
      • We call out opportunities for virtual/remote work and ways to earn extra money for our adult learners who are being displaced. We approach it as a way to earn extra money. Students who have lost jobs this week are using the time wisely to focus on their job search for their career opportunity post-graduation with their career adviser.
      • I started running weekly job-search groups with seniors each spring a few years ago. I'll be using Webex because it provides the option to use breakout groups (which other platforms do as well). One of my colleagues ran a virtual group last May/June for just-graduated seniors and that went well. Some general things that have worked well in both cases:
        • Start with a concrete number of sessions (four to five) and ask for a commitment to attend all sessions - this has helped build accountability and group rapport.
        • Meet for one hour each week.
        • Students drive the agenda from week to week, topics include resumes, cover letters, pitches, networking, and a lot of interview prep.
        • Ask participating students to email with their top two or three questions; so the agenda for Session 1 has been: introductions + an icebreaker question (building group rapport is key!), talking through the questions they sent in, & usually looking at resumes. We end the session by having everyone share 1 goal they want to achieve before the next meeting and  making a group decision on the topic they want to focus on the next week.
        • the general agenda I've used for subsequent sessions:
          • 5 minutes: everyone shares an update on their goal and answers a "fun" question.
          • 5-10 minutes: fielding any general questions - these are usually on specific situations they've encountered with postings, following up with contacts, something that happened in an interview, etc.
          • 40-45 minutes: focus on the topic they have chosen for that week, which usually involves some group discussion and then the bulk of the time they pair off or get into small groups to practice interview questions or review each other's cover letters, etc.
          • last 5 minutes: everyone shares their goal for the next week and we decide on next week's topic
          • Group dynamics are always different, but it's always been a win/win situation. It scales my time (helping more students in an hour than individual appointments) *and* the students are huge assets in helping each other. It has been incredibly valuable for them to know they are not the only ones looking for a job or experiencing the ups and downs of the process. I would recommend no more than 10 in a group.
    • Managing credits
      • Allow a waiver for students already in internships to count prior contact time that wasn’t already included in the internship. For example, a pre-PT student who completed 80 hours of observation last summer and has already done 105 hours of her requirement for 210 would be able to include those 80 to bring her current total to 185. This would bring the needed make-up hours to a much more manageable 25 instead of 105.
      • Students who don’t need all of their internship credits could drop to a lower registration, adding a virtual career tools class if needed to qualify as full time.
      • Ask the registrar to allow students to petition to reduce the number of credits they are taking for the internship for so that the hours put in thus far are sufficient.

    Internships (Employers)

    • Communicating/Engaging With Interns
      • We engage virtually with our new hires in a few ways.
        • Send welcome gifts 30 days prior to start. My favorite,, allows text or email delivery and the recipient not only selects their favorite treat but also where it is delivered (so no confusion if moving home before internship).
        • Virtual meeting to decide on projects. Managers within a certain division pitched their project ideas to the interns via webinar and interns then ranked their preference.
        • Sent 'look book' of all interns' LinkedIn profiles so interns could start to communicate ahead of program start date.
        • Most interns were also given laptops, so they could extend project work later after formal program ended.
      • We use Facebook Workplace and are considering creating a group on this platform in order to do this. Additionally, we have thought about creating a private LinkedIn group just for our interns as well.
      • We let our interns know that the internship is still expected to take place and to remind them to connect with each other through the LinkedIn group for their site.
      • Create an engaging online community for interns. Currently thinking about using Yammer as the main connection page.
      • Community Service: Service projects where interns are assigned to teams and create solutions to social challenges, creating care kits for sick kids and delivering to partner nonprofits and e-mentoring high school kids from local youth orgs.
      • Professional Development: Team projects w/ presentations to leadership, including some form of skit or roleplay, peer mentors, accountability partners, etc.
      • Social Events:
        • Virtual talent shows/Karaoke, virtual game night, speed networking, trivia, personality bingo, scavenger hunts. Gift cards and other prizes are a plus!
        • Have a question of the week for managers to pose
        • Using Poll Everywhere or similar software to spontaneously ask fun questions and share responses
        • Deliver a pizza to their home location the first day
        • Online scavenger hunt
        • One tactic the company uses is telling employees at the start of a meeting that they have to give "an aha, an apology, or an appreciation" at the end
        • Virtual coffee breaks--GitLab encourages remote team members to take virtual coffee breaks and even pairs them up for randomized video calls
        • Donut is a Slack extension that can take virtual team building to a new level. Donut pairs up team members to converse with one another every 1-4 weeks. These virtual meetings can last anywhere from 15-30 minutes and the aim is to bond employees on a one-on-one basis through non-work-related conversations.
        • Virtual gaming leagues
        • Connect them to the Employee Resource Groups
        • Play icebreaker games
        • Ideas on how to connect interns virtually for the purpose of networking, building cohort, staying engaged, and having some fun: My manager is doing a division-wide virtual dinner party.  She had given us each a budget for food delivery to our houses and we will convene virtually for some conversation and laughs. 
      • As the use of video interviewing platforms ramps up, here's a comparative chart - compiled two months ago – from a comprehensive research project I conducted last semester on behalf of 11 sponsoring career centers. The important takeaway is this: Through the Campus Candidate Experience lens, two-way interviews have some inherent downsides specific to their IMPACT, in comparison with face-to-face interaction. This underscores the critical importance of EXECUTION when using Skype/Zoom, and in finding ways to replicate personal engagement while using digital platforms. Students who are currently in the 'disrupted' job search process will no doubt be sympathetic to employers' need to interact virtually – but their need to take a measure of fit, authenticity and fairness will remain.
    • Internship Planning
      • Our offices are all on a mandatory work-from-home policy, and there is no tentative end to that policy. We are planning on hosting an intern kick-off week (week of June 1) which would require many to travel.
      • Topics our UR teams are discussing and seeing from students:
      • Addressing reneges: Using communication channels to calm incoming interns concerns resulting in rush decisions to renege
      • Housing: Several of our site locations use local university dorms and there is uncertainty around if they will be open or not. We are currently looking into alternate options: in some locations there is concern there is not enough temporary housing available elsewhere for the population. We are looking at apartment buildings, sub leases, AirBnB, etc.
      • Virtual engagement: We were already planning to host a virtual professional development event in early April but also trying to determine if there should be additional engagements or how else outside of our newsletters we could connect with incoming interns.
      • We are moving forward as planned with our summer internship program. Each of our individual locations hosts their own orientation which range in size of 10 interns to 200+. We have begun receiving questions about the status of individual site locations. Many interns are trying to nail down their housing now.
    • Virtual Internships
      • We are planning for the entire summer to be virtual. Most of our interns move to the area (our US Engineering offices are San Jose, San Francisco and Bellevue, WA) and we feel that the expense would be too great for them to pick up and move mid-summer if our offices suddenly open. We will offer them that option, though. We do not provide housing for our interns.
      • For employers strategizing on ways to reimagine their upcoming internship programs, should the decision be reached to go the virtual route: A comprehensive research project maps out the comparative impact of a range of 'perks' on the full-time offer acceptance decision. The top three perks are: meetings with senior leadership; professional skills/development training; and project presentation to management. The good news is that the top three can all be reworked for virtual implementation.
      • As many internships are pivoting online (as is ours), we are working to recreate our placement plans that companies provide students. Thus far I have identified:
        • Articulation of expected work hours and time zones. For us, time zones are very significant as we work with online international internships.
        • Specifying the tools & systems that will be used for remote working
        • Identifying the preferred frequency of online meetings between the supervisor and intern
        • Noting the preferred tool for online meetings
        • Creating a 1st-month plan with expected goals to be completed by the end of each week.
      • Each of our sites has a private LinkedIn group (something we do every year).
        The intern site coordinator (UR recruiter the rest of the year!) creates and moderates the site and will send out a topic idea (introductions, corporate info, etc.) every few weeks.
      • Last year we hosted five lunch-n-learns with executives and used Zoom capabilities for interns to dial in from other offices, so we will do that, but with everyone dialing in via Zoom. We typically do a few professional development sessions as well which I think we could use Zoom for with a compelling trainer.
      • We'll be using Slack for our interns. They'll have a dedicated, private channel that they can use. For interns not at HQ we use WebEx to broadcast. The new model will look to move fully to WebEx.
      • We're exploring things like virtual lunches and things of that nature.
      • We were planning to host a few Executive Lunch & Learn events in-person this summer, however we may end up switching to a virtual version using Skype conferencing.
      • We created a private LinkedIn group for our interns and share updates monthly. We follow up with email communications for the more important updates.
      • This is the official message we're using: “We appreciate you reaching out! T-Mobile has been closely monitoring the National Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and how this could potentially be impacting T-Mobile's Summer Internship Program. While this situation will remain a fluid decision for the coming weeks, currently the Summer Internship Program is operating business as usual and all hiring is continuing for both of our start dates; in May and June. We certainly acknowledge and share in the concern around the unknown; but as a team are confident that remaining fluid in our response to COVID-19 is the best course of action amidst the rapidly evolving situation. We appreciate your understanding on this matter; and will continue to broadcast communications to any candidates who have applied for internships positions and/or have accepted an offer as an intern with your program for the summer.”
      • We've had to cut back on some intern positions. We have a number of returning interns already locked in and I have been asked to push their start dates to June 1. A lot of our internships are field-based (construction) so it would be hard to have them start remotely.
      • I conduct two orientations hosted out of headquarters and via Webex for non-headquarters-based interns. At this time, orientation will be hosted virtually. 

    On-Campus Interviewing, Information Sessions

    • Work directly with counterpart at college/organization and candidates to provide alternatives using videoconferencing technology or employer-provided systems.

    Study Abroad

    • At The Chicago School, the study abroad experience consists of semester-long courses that culminate in a two-week travel typically over school breaks.
      Students currently enrolled in study abroad will not be traveling. The department is preparing a virtual international experience for them.

    Student Workers

    • Maintain student employment positions by having peer career advisers see students with drop-in appointments through Zoom.
    • Student employees will provide virtual career coaching and work on projects. We'll be leveraging existing tools including Handshake, Zoom, Trello, and Microsoft Teams.
    • All appointments are online/phone options. Student employees are working on projects (virtually when possible) to provide them hours during the break.
    • Student employees are still able to "work" their shifts remotely in a number of way. There is an email dropbox where students submit their resumes and career peers review and return the resumes during their regularly scheduled hours. Front desk assistants monitor the general mail inbox; marketing interns work on  social media to advise students of all our online services, including virtual appointments; and employer relations interns approve job postings remotely. Event interns have research projects.
    • Our college decided to let students be paid for work study, whether or not they can work, because it is part of their overall financial aid package and may have been a contributing factor in them attending our school.
    • We are allowing our career services interns, graduate assistants, and student workers to telework. The students signed the same university teleworking agreement that staff signed. We continue to host drop-in hours, pop hours, appointments, mini-workshops, etc., all virtually. Students submit a report to their supervisor at the end of each week to outline what they have accomplished. Some are working on special projects, allowing us to get ahead of the game in terms of data collection/input, catching up and fall preparation.
    • We're having our student employees test our virtual services and provide feedback on how to best use and promote them. We're also having them help us do research on what virtual resources already exist online.

    Virtual Career Counseling

    • Scheduling
      • At Tisch/NYU, students requesting a virtual drop-in session sign up via a Google form and then staff will phone them or send a link to Google Hangouts or Zoom to initiate the session. More information can be found at
      • Advisers make appointments during normal walk-in hours, then schedule and complete via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, or telephone.
      • Advisers can use SignupGenius to schedule appointments.
    • Counseling
      • Staff use Zoom Pro Accounts which only cost $20/year and files are now housed online on MS OneDrive.
      • Students will email the general office email address with their documents for review. Then someone (GA, advisors, peer advisors) will review and send them back to the student.
      • Staff will use Google Suite platform for uniformity (Google Docs for shared items, Google hangouts to check-in, Google Meet for video conference calls, etc.). Zoom is also an option. Students will email us at our main address and a designated person will forward the email depending on each of our concentration.
      • A Zoom room is open during business hours, and one team member staffs it for our "open door" policy (not drop ins, but quick questions students tend to ask us in passing).
      • The Webex platform provides access for all students, faculty, staff. The Personal Meeting Room feature in Webex could be used for drop-ins via a static URL for each individual member of your team. Alternatively, you can use the 'normal' Meeting Room option for drop-ins—this generates a specific URL for a specific time block.
      • If you use Blackboard (possibly for internship courses), Blackboard Collaborate also offers an easy option for instructors (and maybe TAs?) to hold office hours/drop-ins for students registered for the course.
      • Some of our meet-ups are a Zoom presentation format, still giving students an opportunity to be a part of an interactive networking/info session. We use platforms like Brazen and Zoom, though there are dozens more to choose from. Students are regrouping and trying to figure out what their new normal will look like. Once the dust settles a bit, I think this option will be natural to them.
      • We decided to go through Zoom because of its waiting room feature. Our plan is 20-minute drop-in appointments since it would be easier for the peer career advisors to manage until they are used to the concept.
    • Jobs/Job Market
      • We call out opportunities for virtual/remote work and ways to earn extra money for our adult learners who are being displaced. We approach it as a way to earn extra money.
      • Students who have lost jobs this week are using the time wisely to focus on their job search for their career opportunity post-graduation with their career adviser.
    • Tips
      • On our school's Zoom enterprise, I used the "generate meeting link" so that my personal meeting link is not co-mingled. I assigned my colleagues as alternative hosts (three of us on the team), so that any of us can be on and bring people from the waiting room.
      • Here is the solution we are going to try: Register on Handshake (registering on Zoom for meetings doesn't send a reminder email and those reminders are effective in getting students to attend), then switch the chat feature in the Zoom meeting to “host only” and ask attendees to "sign in” in the chat with their email so we can check them in on Handshake. That way, if people are watching together on the same link, they can enter the email addresses of everyone in the room.
      • In Zoom:
        • Screen sharing is allowed (different rules for meetings vs. webinar)
        • There is a chat feature in both types (meetings and webinars), the webinar platform also has Q&A
        • You can record
        • Number of participants allowed depends on your subscription level
      • You can add audio to an existing PowerPoint presentation. I am using my presentations to send to our faculty.[See Google how to add audio to PowerPoint presentation for directions.]
      • We have our PowerPoint slides already created and we are planning to record over the PowerPoint slides. We are using Screencast-O-Matic to record over the slides. It is a free service for up to a 15-minute video. We will be breaking up our presentation into two parts in order to help distribute the content easier.

    Working Remotely/Managing Teams Remotely

    Thanks to Theresa Cruz Paul, Western Carolina University, for sharing these resources:

    Thanks to Eilis Wasserman, University of Michigan, for sharing these resources:

    Resources for Remote Work:
    Remote Job Boards:
  • Practicing Law Insitute
    NACE Professional Development