With a survey by Prospects on the effects of COVID19 on graduate recruitment finding that, of final-year university students, 26% had lost their work placement/internship, 29% had lost their job offer and 28% had had their job offer deferred or cancelled, it’s no wonder that this year’s graduates are worried about their future.
Although there may be fewer jobs available at the moment, and no way to physically reach employers, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be job ready when the market picks up. We've put together our 7 tips to help you improve your chances of nabbing that opportunity when the time comes:
1. Improve your online presence
Make sure that all your details are up to date and that you’ve deleted any posts that can be used against you. Fill in everything you can in your LinkedIn profile including your volunteering and skills, new degree(!) and reach out to previous employers who might be willing to give you a recommendation.
Our blogs How to Use LinkedIn to Help you Find a Job and 6 Tips to Help Employers Find you on LinkedIn give you some great advice when it comes to making your profile stand out so that employers find you, and you gain insight into which companies are hiring.
2. Do your research
Lockdown is a great time to find out everything you need to know about the jobs market. Draw up a list of target companies within your sector or industry that interest you most and you would like to find out more about. You can then join their mailing list and follow their pages on LinkedIn so that you are in the know about advancements in the industry and are also first in line to find out about job openings when they come along.
Use LinkedIn to find employees within the companies you are interested in and reach out to them to see whether they would be willing to give you a virtual informational interview. An information interview gives you the ability to find out whether a career is really right for you, how to best get into the sector and what a career within the industry might look like.
You can also contact recruitment teams in your sector at this point in time to find out whether there are any jobs available, and get into their books so that they contact you up when there are vacancies. You can also work with them to gain a better understanding of what employers are looking for so you can improve on these.
4. Get your CV together
Now that you’ve graduated, it’s a great time to consolidate what you’ve learnt into your first professional CV. You’ll have an understanding of what employers are looking for by this point and can make sure that you fit the bill. If you are unsure of what skills you excel in, use our app iShine to give you a better understanding. You can also use this time to put together a portfolio if necessary.
We have plenty of blogs to help you in your endeavours in our Skills section so go through and make sure you have everything necessary for your career level and industry. You can also come up with situations in which you use these skills so that you are ready for interviews.
5. Learn a new skill
If you realised that you were missing something vital for your CV then there's no better time to develop this skill or knowledge. This could be through an online course, such as Udemy, Coursera or FutureLearn or you could volunteer and develop this skill practically via organisations such as Do-it.
6. Expand your horizons
If you were interested in a specific career and there are now fewer opportunities post COVID19, you might have to re-think your plan. This might include looking at working for smaller companies in the same industry, rather than the top ones or looking at alternative career paths. If you have no clue where to start in figuring out what else you might be good at, our app iShine can help you better understand where your talents lie and pick out some career ideas for you.
7. Practice patience and persistence
Although it's really hard to do in the moment, especially when someone else is telling you, stay positive. This recession and life won’t go on forever. You current set-back is not the whole of your working life, and in five years' time it will be water under the bridge. You might not reach your ultimate goal straight out of university, but you will be able to advance through little steps and get to where you want to be in the long run. Don't beat yourself up if things aren't going smoothly, and make sure that you set aside some time for yourself.