Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, most college grads were able to follow a simple and time-tested formula for finding a job. But over the last two months, it’s become increasingly clear that nearly every industry and company will be transformed to some degree by the coronavirus emergency. As a result, millions of college graduates have been anxiously wondering how and when they’ll be able to start their careers.
In order to be able to enter into a job market that’s changing every day, it’s essential for today’s job candidates to be equally versatile. Finding a job at this stage of the crisis is by no means impossible, but it will require some creativity - and in certain cases, some compromise.
With that in mind, here are four tips for entering into the college grads job market during the COVID-19 crisis:
- Get comfortable with virtual interviewing. Though many companies are still hiring during the pandemic, in-person interviewing is unlikely to become a norm again for quite a while. With that being the case, you should make it a priority to brush up on your virtual interviewing skills.
Luckily, there are several online resources that can help you to master the art of remote interviewing. Here are a few that we recommend checking out:
- Focus your job search on remote work opportunities. Employers across the country are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting a predominantly distributed and remote workforce. Job candidates have the opportunity to stand out, therefore, by becoming familiar with the particular demands and best practices of remote work relationships. From there, you’ll want to make a habit to regularly check remote job opportunity websites. Here are some of our favorites:
- Start networking online. Research has indicated that the vast majority of job opportunities are never posted online. Instead, those positions are filled via direct networking. It pays, in other words, to build a strong professional network. That’s certainly a bit trickier with everyone working remotely, but it can still be done. In fact, this might be the perfect opportunity to reach out to potential mentors, employers, and colleagues via email and social media (with everyone working from home, you may have higher-than-usual chances of getting a quick reply).
- Use this time to expand your skill set. In normal times, we’re often too busy with social or professional obligations to think deeply about what we actually want from our careers, much less acquire the skills that would enable us to land our dream job. But now we have the opportunity to commit large chunks of time every week towards charting an ideal course for our careers. Start by asking yourself some fundamental questions about what type of career you’d like to pursue once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Then, do some research to find out what skills you’ll need to start developing in order to be successful.
At the end of the day, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as well as an unprecedented challenge. If we’re able to spend our time wisely and study the world that’s changing around us, we’ll have a much easier time standing out to employers as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
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