Many recent graduates are understandably worried about their job prospects. Nearly all national economies have taken a significant hit, with few signs of immediate recovery. And entire business sectors, including the hospitality and leisure industries, are running at a fraction of their usual strength, with markedly fewer job opportunities.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite what a plethora of sensationalist newspaper headlines might lead you to think, the job market hasn’t shut down. Companies are still hiring. And some industries, such as healthcare, e-commerce and delivery and logistics, are actually booming.
In this post, we’re going to look at six practical, effective ways that you can make the most of this difficult situation to find a meaningful and well-paid job.
1. Broaden Your Job Search With Social Media
Perhaps the fastest way to increase your chances of finding a good job, given the fact that fewer companies are hiring, is by broadening your search. And one proven way of doing this is by leveraging social media.
Many companies and recruiters advertise openings on popular social media platforms, often entirely eschewing more traditional job boards and job search engines like Indeed and CareerBuilder. What’s more, sites like LinkedIn and Facebook now have their own dedicated search features, and you can opt to receive alerts whenever relevant opportunities are posted.
Spend some time completing your profiles on sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s also a good idea to follow companies and recruiters that align with your career goals. Finally, consider reaching out to employers that you would most like to work for with tailored pitches.
2. Develop Your Remote Working Skills
Remote working will likely continue for many months. And even when society returns to normal, it’s probable that companies will still encourage staff to work from home. Employees have reported a myriad of benefits from remote working, including greater wellbeing, higher levels of productivity and less stress.
Having a comprehensive set of remote working skills will make you more appealing to employers. And time dedicated to learning new skills while job-hunting is well spent. Are you familiar, for example, with the most common project management apps? Do you know how to organize a video conference? How will you describe your personal time-management system during an interview? Questions like these are well worth preparing for.
3. Take Some Time to Build Your Professional Network
After graduation, it’s easy to become hyper-focused on finding work. And valuable relationships fostered when you were a student are sidelined. But your professional network is one of the best safeguards you have against future turbulence in the job market. It will also provide opportunities for partnerships that will help you advance your career.
When searching for your next job, you will likely have some free time. Use it to cement connections you made in the previous few years. You might want to ensure that you’re connected with classmates on LinkedIn, for example, or begin corresponding with important mentors. It’s also worth attending networking and post-graduation events (many of which now run online) to deepen your network and connect with potential employers.
4. Consider Alternative Employers
If you always envisioned yourself working for a large enterprise, now might be a good time to consider alternative options. Several well-known companies have stopped or significantly reduced new employee intake due to directives from senior management. In many cases, graduate recruitment programmes have also been halted to save costs.
While you should still apply to these big organizations, small and medium-sized companies are a feasible back-up option. Working for a company of this sort will also provide valuable experience, increasing the chance that you will be accepted later down the line by an enterprise that offers multiple opportunities for career advancement.
5. Gather References and Recommendations
In order to compete in an increasingly competitive job market, candidates need to make themselves as attractive as possible to employers. One way you can outdo other applicants competing for the same role is by providing high-quality references. And it’s best to collect these as soon as possible after graduation.
Connect with professors, tutors, fellow students with whom you collaborated and any heads-of-department that you interned for, and ask them for written recommendations that cover your skills and talents. Take care of this task straight away to account for possible lengthy response times and to ensure that people don’t forget about you.
6. Clarify Your Ambitions and Values
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some graduates to re-evaluate their ambitions and values. For many, coming face-to-face with injustices and inequalities, especially in countries with poor health infrastructure and less resilient economies, has created a desire to effect social change or work in an ethical company. For others, being at home and distant from loved ones has clarified the importance of flexible working hours and time for personal relationships.
The gap between graduation and employment is an excellent time to clarify your own motivations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Has your idea of meaningful work changed? What impact do you want to have in the world? Do you now place greater value on flexible working hours?
By asking questions like these, you will clearly define your ideal job, which in turn will make filtering recruitment advertisements much easier.
Launch Your Career With Help From EU Business School
Students of EU Business School have access to a range of career development services, including exclusive offers via the EU career centre platform, one-on-one tutoring and numerous training workshops. A variety of internship opportunities are also available. Students will also be able to join the extensive alumni network upon graduating, giving them access to over 27,000 professionals around the world, job openings and our professional mentoring scheme.