Advice to the Class of 2020 in Getting a Job

It is heartbreaking for graduating students to experience the turmoil that is engulfing college recruiting now. Access to job opportunities is severely limited as career fairs and networking events are canceled, internships suspended and even a conversation over coffee is impossible.

A recent New York Times article referred to COVID-19 as the “job-eating virus” and stated that “ all the traditional rules of engagement in a job hunt suddenly feel irrelevant”.

Here is advice that we can offer:

  • Social interactions must now become digital interactions. It is a good time to familiarize yourself with the culture of remote work and technology.
  • Use this as an opportunity to expand your network and knowledge. An informational interview is an informal conversation you can have with someone working in an area of interest to you as an industry or career. It is an effective research tool and is best done after preliminary online research. Use it to learn and plan your next step such as skilling up in an area or cultivating non-paid experiences to enhance your employability.
  • Be flexible. Adapt and persevere. Careers are nurtured over time and come in all shapes and sizes. Think career lattices versus career ladders. Don’t be afraid to switch your focus. Our chief data scientist wrote in a recent blog about her Curvy Career trajectory from archaeology to data science. 
  • Align your skills and experiences with jobs in sectors that are in high demand now. Research what industries are thriving. One tip is to set up a Google alert with keywords. LinkedIn has been offering postings on Who is Hiring Right Now.
  • Build and enhance your online presence. Take an inventory of your accomplishments - leadership positions (e.g. clubs, sports, volunteering), writing (e.g. blogs), research, fieldwork, public speaking, etc. Rebrand your experiences and competencies to highlight what is unique about you.

Above all, stay healthy and remain optimistic.

Topics: Future of Work, Careers, Career Advice

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