The job market is beginning to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2021 graduates still need flexibility, resilience, and determination when job hunting. Recent graduates should not let uncertain times alter fundamental goals. This article breaks down how to make the most of your job search.
The more prepared you feel, the more confident you feel:
Take advantage of all services that identify jobs and internships. Don’t just rely on job sites; look directly at company website job boards, university websites, and professional social media accounts such as LinkedIn. It’s also good to remember that as the market emerges from the pandemic, other professionals who ended up unemployed will also be looking for work again, so don’t wait for a job to come to you, be proactive in your search.
While you may have a vision for how you want your career to play out, there are many ways to get valuable experience. You may have to take a job as a temporary employee or take a job as a contract assignment to get your foot in the door somewhere. Seek out virtual internships. Create a “volunteer-ship” using your skills to help organizations in the area where you’re interested in gaining skills. Of course, not everyone can forego pay for skill-building. Look for opportunities that may give you an opportunity to grow. For example, taking a role as an essential worker may give you an opportunity to build your skills and get a foot in the door.
Leverage your network:
Faculty, peers, career services offices, fellow alumni, and other people you know are all an essential part of your job search. Devote effort to building professional relationships and staying connected. Even in a social distancing environment, attend virtual industry networking events and connect with others on social media. And tell virtually everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Peers may be hearing about openings in their area or their industry. Word of mouth in networking is always an essential part of anybody’s job search toolkit.
It’s all about how you see your job search:
The way you view your job search could be the difference between success or stagnation. You need to see your search the same way you see a job—searching for a job is a job! Structure your days, track contacts you make, and the follow-up you need to do. Vary your activities from day to day, so you don’t burn out. Also, it is a good idea to recruit an accountability partner—ideally someone who is also searching for a job—to help keep you focused and motivated. Most of all, be persistent and don’t give up!
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