I’ve anticipated my college graduation and entering “the real world” for so long. But in light of recent events, I might have to wait even longer. With COVID-19 spreading rapidly across the globe, many companies are more concerned with the present rather than looking forward to hiring new employees, resulting in several hiring freezes.
I’ve been in the midst of interviewing with different companies across the nation, and while they wanted to move forward with my application process, many companies had to suspend my application for the time being in order to prioritize the current situation. While the situation is unprecedented and understandably stressful, it makes this time extremely difficult for seniors who depend on jobs after graduation to support themselves.
Her Campus was able to connect with Esther Leonard, the Assistant Director of Career Education at Boston University, about what seniors should be doing during a time like this to keep their careers on track. Here’s how to prepare for the future of your career during this pandemic.
Use your college’s resources, even when you’re remote
Even if you’re working remotely, there are so many campus resources still at your fingertips. Leonard advised utilizing the job posting platform run by your college career office and searching opportunities on Indeed.com and LinkedIn, among others. She also recommended visiting the websites of any targeted employers to see what updates or positions they had posted.
Leonard assured that most of the jobs that would be hiring now will still be there when the world begins to return to normal. Some companies will still be looking to fill certain positions even if their entire company is remote. Even more, jobs might be available given the shortage of people in the workplace, so keep your head up and keep applying.
Don’t stop networking
“The greatest thing about our society is that everything is on the internet,” Leonard told Her Campus. Career fairs and similar networking events are now going virtual to adapt to the current climate.
Attending any of these events will give you an edge when companies hire, as networking can inevitably be what gets you the job. Rekindle those professional relationships you’ve made in the past to keep yourself in good standing with those in your network. Networking can even lead to an interview, though interviews have now been moved online.
Train yourself on virtual interviewing
Prepping for virtual interviews can be more challenging than regular interviews, given a number of different factors. Virtual interviews lack personal connection — they can be on the phone or via web camera conference, making it hard to establish whatever you’re trying to communicate with the employer.
It’s important to treat the virtual interview like it’s any other interview you’d have — come prepared with questions and do your research about the company and hiring manager beforehand. A plus to a virtual interview is that you can have your resume or a list of talking points on a notepad or on the side of your screen for reference. That way, you won’t forget any of the important skills or accomplishments you wanted to cover.
Try to stay active with your student groups
During this time, Leonard also said that students need to “keep [their] skills relevant with virtual projects.” Are campus student groups doing any virtual projects or campaigns that you can join?
“Look for virtual freelance projects, or contact local businesses and nonprofits to see if you can volunteer virtually,” she added.
Many organizations on campus are still holding virtual meetings, giving students the opportunity of some normalcy at this time. This way, you’ll be ahead of the curve when the COVID-19 situation comes to an end.
I know that these are difficult times for every single person in the nation. Between online classes, stay-in-place orders and job cuts, everything can seem pretty dismal. The good news is that this is all temporary. Though it might take some time, everything will return to normal. The best thing to do during this time is to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for when normalcy returns.