Students: Now What???

Written by Theresa Hickey, PHR, Director of College Recruiting.

If only we had a crystal ball and could’ve predicted the state our economy would be in while we were on campus this past year. This brings me back to 2008 when our economy was suffering and just like you, I was impacted and found myself being laid off from a job just two months before my wedding. I was sad, angry, unsure of my future, and most of all scared. I was getting ready to start a new life yet there was so much uncertainty. Once all my feelings subsided, I knew I had to refocus my attentions to land my new job. Here are a few things that helped me as I was searching:

  1. Reach out to your network to reconnect: This is a perfect time to reconnect with friends, schoolmates, professors, and previous managers or supervisors. The key is to reach out to those you had a good relationship with and who can vouch for your experience and education.
  2. Use your network to connect with new contacts: After you have reconnected with your network, see who they might know and can make an introduction. Companies are more willing to talk to someone who is a referral than just a blind application on the website or a job board.
  3. Research companies you see are still hiring: Not every industry has been impacted during this pandemic. Take the time to search through Handshake, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other job board sites. Always be ready for a potential interview and have the appropriate technology as most of these interviews will be conducted virtually.
  4. Patience is Key: Companies are trying to figure out the new normal for their every day. Companies might be implementing new interview platforms and training their staff to use them effectively. Interviewing might not be the #1 priority for a lot of companies right now but a pipeline still needs to be in place for when hiring ramps back up.
  5. Keep going-things will get better: Don’t give up!!!! You might not land a job in a week or even a month but that doesn’t mean a job isn’t out there. You might find yourself taking an internship or entry-level role that isn’t aligned with your major, in the industry you had hoped, or the location you most desired but remember to gain all the skills you can for when you do.

As Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”. You will get through this difficult time and come out stronger than ever. Stay focused, determined, and never give up.