Job Hunting Tips for Graduating Seniors

Job Hunting Tips for Graduating Seniors
  • Opening Intro -

    While every graduating class has its own unique story, there's no doubt that the class of 2020 has one of the best of the bunch.

    They finished their classes online, their prom was DJed by John Krasinski, and, of course, they graduated in the midst of a global pandemic.

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While their graduation may be bathed in trepid glory, though, their professional futures are a bit more unsettling. With tens of millions of previously employed (and often highly experienced) workers vying for employment as quarantines lift, graduates have a tough job ahead of them when it comes to finding gainful employment.

If you’re amongst the historically harrowing class of 2020 and you’re facing the dour prospects of job hunting in a post-coronavirus environment, don’t despair. You’re not alone. In fact, 94% of your fellow students plan on forging ahead with their professional ambitions, regardless of the challenges. If that is your plan as well, here are a few job hunting tips to increase your chances of success.

Take a Deep Breath

It’s cliché, but you really should slow down and take a deep breath before you start making decisions. Focus on the present, and don’t allow yourself to make any panicky resolutions. The world is already throwing enough anxiety and stress your way without purposefully adding to it.

Set the Stage

Once you’ve calmed and collected your thoughts, it’s time to assess your situation. Before you start sending in applications, there are four things that you should do:

Gather Your Documentation

Start by assembling your job-hunting toolkit. This should include items such as:

  1. Your resume or CV: Even if it’s sparse, there are plenty of things to include on a solid post-college resume.
  2. A cover letter: Practice writing quality cover letters to go along with your resume when required.
  3. Your professional profiles: LinkedIn is typically the most important social profile to have squeaky clean when you go to apply.
  4. Other letter templates: When applying, you’ll likely need to send follow up emails and thank you and acceptance letters, so find good templates and familiarize yourself with each one.

If you have these documents ready to go before you start applying to jobs, it will make the entire job-hunting process that much easier.

Comb Your Network for Referrals

As a student, you likely already have a network of peers and professionals. Even if it primarily consists of past employers, fellow students, and professors that are largely outside of your desired career path, it’s still important to touch base.

Contact your network and look for any quality candidates that might be willing to be put down as a referral on a job application.

Practice for Interviews

Nailing an interview is an art form. As such, you can’t be too formulaic about the interview process — especially since everyone has their own style.

With that said, it’s still important to study up on common interview tips, such as researching a company beforehand and having questions ready, in order to be as prepared as possible for any situation.

Get Set Up for Remote Work

In the COVID-19 era, it’s essential that you have a properly functioning remote work setup ready to go. This includes:

  1. A working computer.
  2. A phone.
  3. A microphone and camera.
  4. A good internet connection.

Make sure you have these all ready to go before you send out your first application.

Consider Your Options

Once you’re set up for the hunt, it’s time to consider where you’ll apply. Historically, this is fairly straightforward. For instance, if you have a degree in tech, you’d look for a position as a data scientist, IT specialist, or digital marketer.

Things are a bit tricker in 2020, though, as many companies are in limbo as they remain hobbled by the virus. This means you must take extra time to hunt for companies that are actually open and hiring throughout the pandemic. Some sectors of the economy that have been reported to still be hiring fairly aggressively include:

  1. Essential businesses.
  2. Digital entertainment.
  3. Larger tech companies.
  4. Retail and food delivery.
  5. Healthcare.
  6. Online learning.

Even if you don’t have a degree directly related to a field like this, don’t give up. Think out of the box. For instance, if you have a degree in communications, you may want to look into a career in health communication.

Regardless of the specifics, don’t be afraid to industry hop for the time being as you hunt for gainful work in a struggling economy.

other valuable tips:

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Find an Alternative

Finally, if you find that you simply cannot nail down a job within your field at the moment, there are many alternatives that can help you make progress while keeping a foot in the door of your desired industry. For example, you can:

  1. Pick up a side gig to generate income with minimal long-term commitment.
  2. Look for an internship or volunteer opportunity that will boost your resume and prepare you for a better job in the future.
  3. Consider continuing education, such as a master’s degree or professional certification, as you wait for the job market to improve.

Finding Work as a Post-Coronavirus Grad

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has defined the current times. Nevertheless, it does not definitively dictate your success or failure.

As a 2020 grad, it’s true that the deck is currently stacked against you. However, if you can remain calm, collected, and organized, you can build a job-hunting strategy that can help you survive and thrive — even against incredible competition in the midst of a historic pandemic.

Image Credit: job hunting tips by Pixabay

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