Final-year students are understandably experiencing a lot of panic and uncertainty when it comes to their employment prospects, as they will be graduating during the coronavirus pandemic. But first of all, are companies hiring graduates now? Well, actually they are! Unlike during the 2008 financial crisis, many companies are still recruiting graduates.
Although companies in some sectors, such as hospitality, tourism and leisure, aren’t currently hiring, graduates shouldn’t lose hope. Logistics, health, medicine, and online retailers are booming and are actively looking to recruit graduates. These are the industries graduates should be focusing on applying to. However, graduates need a proper plan. You need to do more research and try to unearth these companies because they might not be advertising widely.
Don’t waste your time in lockdown, graduates can complete a SWOT analysis, identifying personal Strengths and Weaknesses, and the Opportunities and Threats in the workplace at the moment. Only then can graduates have a clear idea of which skills you need to improve.
Usually the big question interviewers will ask is – What did you do in lockdown? Much like taking a year out, employers will want to know What did you do that’s put you in a better position?
What you choose to do will vary from person to person, but you should focus on building your CV. This might be through volunteering or developing your skills in an online course in topics such as Microsoft Excel or SEO. This will show potential employers that you’ve done something constructive with your time.
So where graduates can look for jobs?
Other than finding jobs directly on company websites, there are plenty of other places graduates can look for jobs.
Using online job sites, such as Jobstore.com job search website, is an efficient way to narrow down your job search.
LinkedIn is also a great place to look for jobs. He advised creating a profile, even if you haven’t got much to put on it. This will mean that when recruiters Google your name, your LinkedIn profile is what will appear first.
When to apply for jobs
Graduates shall start applying jobs as early as possible, usually big employers have quite rigid timetabling, whereas smaller companies tend to hire all year round.
It’s a myth that if you don’t have a job by the end of the year, you’ve missed the boat and have to wait for the next round of recruitment. Even if you get to the end of the year and haven’t got anything, keep going – that’ll be the key time.