Stepping in the world of work in pandemic times can be challenging. Here are 10 tips to get through successfully.
Source: St George’s University of London
1. Stay positive and persevere
This is a strange time and it’s taking us all a little while to adjust to our temporary new lives, particularly for those who may have lost their job, had their income affected, or who have been struggling to find graduate roles. Whilst it might feel difficult to stay optimistic, if you allow the fear of not finding a job consume you, then you may well find it more difficult to get a new job.
Try to shift your mindset, and choose hope over fear. Thinking positively and openly will help keep you focused on finding the right opportunities and channel your application energy there, rather than settling or not finding anything at all. Many employers are still recruiting and you WILL find something. So, whilst it might be tempting to place your job search on hold, DO keep applying, otherwise you risk those who do continue their job search landing the role that was meant for you.
Yes there has been a decline in graduate recruitment due to the pandemic but the decrease in recruitment is less
in large organisations
for graduate roles compared with internships
in IT/tech roles and sectors
in Healthcare roles and sectors.
Remember too that St George’s graduates have the highest employment rate of any university!
These times are unsettling and understandably stressful. So be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to feel frustrated as THIS IS NORMAL! Try stepping away for a few minutes to exercise, meditate, call a friend, or whatever else helps to calms you down. Then get back to it when you feel ready.
2. Develop your resilience
Tough times can help us to develop the crucial skill of resilience that employers list as a key ‘employability skill’. Read here about developing your resilience, with some motivating links to make view challenges positively. However, if you are struggling If you are struggling to stay positive and have concerns over your mental health then these resources may help.
3. Update your CV
Tailor your CV to your preferred industry and job roles (Prospects.ac.uk and Target Jobs have job profiles of graduate roles and give the key skills required as well as how to apply to them and key industry job websites).
With the number of live vacancies falling during this time, competition for roles may be a little higher. Use this to your advantage! Rather than sending your CV to every role you see (as others might be), be selective and take the time to write a strong and tailored CV or application for each job you apply to. Employers will notice if you have taken the time to do this or not. Prioritise quality over quantity to stand out from other applicants and help you secure the right jobs you really do want.
4. Engage and grow your network. Start ACTUALLY using LinkedIn!
With so many people stuck at home, the lockdown and working from home presents an ideal opportunity to reconnect with and continue to build your network. Reconnect with people from your personal and professional network (e.g. from work placements, part time jobs, volunteering and so on) to see how they are and let them know that you are currently looking for work. Reach out to new contacts and organisations on networking platforms – from social media to LinkedIn. This way, you’re in a good position to find out about new opportunities faster.
LinkedIn is easy to use and can have an enormous impact on your knowledge, network and job search. It enables you to;
Raise your profile
Connect with like-minded people with similar career interests
Find out about people and career journeys
Check what skills others have who work in the roles you would like
Follow key organisations that interest you
Find and join professional groups to stay up to date with developments in the sector and join in conversations
Post articles, examples of your work or other useful info – or comment on other peoples’ posts to show your interest.
Grow a professional network through others that you can nurture for live