“What a time to graduate?” says every graduate this summer. The socio-economic impact of Covid-19 has affected businesses worldwide making it difficult for them to hire and in some cases retain the existing workforce. What under normal circumstances should have been a time for graduating students to celebrate their accomplishments has turned out to be a time of stress and uncertainty.
Starting with the cancellation of graduation ceremonies, to cancellations of internships and finally to the suspensions on new hiring seems like a case of falling dominos. Students are forced to question themselves if they will be able to land on their dream job or not.
In order to cope up with the exceptionally high level of uncertainty there are a few things that students are advised to do. To begin with, start looking at the profiles of the people who work similar to yours and make a list of skills that are common in the profiles and are missing from yours. Search for the most efficient way of acquiring these skills online and get yourself enrolled. One handy skill that will unanimously boost your employability is programming. There is a bulk of resources that you can use to learn programming including codecademy, udemy, codespark for as low as £10 per course with certification.
One thing to remember during this time is the fact that what you learnt during college/university will be very different from what you will be expected to do at the related job, therefore use this time wisely. Remember you will not be asked if you studied Principles of Economics, Anatomy or Biochemistry, you would rather be expected to demonstrate your knowledge and preferably exhibit your applied experiences. You must be able to demonstrate you applied knowledge in the form of undergrad dissertation or peer group teaching. If you have taken part in open days or other events you must be able to highlight your soft skills in addition to your core academic skills. These skills may include conflict resolution, taking responsibility, delivering at pace and so on.
Another common cliché is to be a self-starter. Since lockdown has given us plenty of time at hand you could use novel ideas to demonstrate your ability to be a self-starter. There are several easy ways such as setting up a small charity project on social media, helping old people in the neighbourhood, creating content for blogs and so on.
Make sure to spend a lot of time reading books and attending online forums to stay updated with new ideas that you could possibly apply. Remember honing your skills is essential because it will differentiate you from other candidates in the pool.
Another important tip is to find a mentor. A mentor could be one of the professors from your academic institution, your relative, a senior, or a recent alumnus. Your mentor can fine tune your application and your writing. Mentors can help you both technically and psychologically. They can go through the different aspects and difficulties that people who want to get in your field. This will boost your motivation. You can use your free time to work on the deficiencies highlighted by your mentor.
Extended job search can be a boring and heart-breaking process, therefore patience is the key. It is important to keep your nerves calm and maintain your focus. Therefore, remember to add some form of physical activity to your daily routine. Stay in contact with your friends and family, try to communicate in designated online forms.