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What advice do you have for students applying for entry-level roles as recent graduates amid the COVID-19 pandemic?


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mary’s Answer

I agree with the answers already given for this question! Please don't give up and keep applying.

You can also use this time to brush up on your interviewing skills. Phone and video chat interviews are just as important as an in person interview - make a great first impression. Most companies will be needing to fill positions after this pandemic calms down. Because most corporate jobs/HR jobs may be working from home, you can also network and connect with people through LinkedIn.

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Lisa’s Answer

Companies are still hiring and always looking for college hires or interns. Keep in touch with your Career offices at your school, and keep applying. Connect with Hiring managers, recruiters or alumni from your school on LinkedIn. Take this opportunity to learn a new skill online or practice your interviewing skills. Opportunities are still out there.

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Nawaz’s Answer

Follow these 5 basic rules to stand out from others during this challenging job search race.

Nawaz recommends the following next steps:

Reach out your college alumni group and ask them for referrals.
Write a technical blogs or any inspirational idea and share it in medium or Linked in to grab more eyeballs.
Be flexible with your job search, salary expectations and location. Its about getting experience.
Keep yourself engaged with Volunteer work while doing the job search. You can add it your resume and it keeps you stress-free.
Update your LinkedIn account with relevant keywords that employer is looking for. You can get those from the job postings.

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Colin’s Answer

Hi Augusta, definitely keep applying...We will get past all this and the companies will still need talent. Companies are becoming very innovative during these times including interviews via skype or other video type apps.

Be sure to take the interview just as serious as if you were sitting in front of the interview in person...Dress professionally and avoid having any distractions in the range of the camera. Ensure your environment is quiet so that you can focus.


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Andrea’s Answer

I think its hard to tell how impactful and for how long this pandemic will last in regards to the job market. My overarching piece of advice is this. Don't be too picky. Your first job doesn't have to be your dream job. Consider any opportunities that can be a stepping stone to a bigger dream. Think about what resume checkboxes it will check for you. Take it for that and then work on your longer term plan. Having a job and showing that you are employable it better than not having a job and not starting to gain skills. This may be a fundamental shift in how you think about your first job but unfortunately it may be the reality. The sooner you can understand and accept the realities of the job market the greater advantage you will have to your peers. Good luck and keep your head up! I remember my friends who gradutated from business school in 2008 and they are doing just fine. The market will come back and you want to make sure you have solid experiences when it does!

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Jaclyn’s Answer

We are still pipelining candidates even if we can’t hire for a specific role. So apply. Work your network. Connect with hiring managers and recruiters on LinkedIn Also I’m hearing that many campus / entry level programs are still on, they just may start later. Read online LinkedIn and Yahoo articles as they will give you updates on the top employers hiring periodically.

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Giovanni’s Answer

Hey there Mary, best bet is to keep on applying and get in contact by using LinkedIn which will allow you to obtain connections such as human resources which can significantly increase your chances of getting hired. I hope you find this helpful and dont lose faith on your goals.

Best of luck out there,

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Marcie’s Answer

I think the biggest thing right now is being patient. So many companies have been ordered to put hiring on hold at the moment, but that doesn't mean you can't still apply to places. I would even suggest mentioning this understanding and acknowledgement in your cover letters stating something along the lines of "I know it's a difficult time for your company right now, but, with my experiences, I can help alleviate some of this confusing burden." That way, it shows that you understand what they are going through while at the same time being confident that you would be a good asset to the team based on the skills you have.

Another thing is volunteering. Right now, because there are so many things shut down, there are a ton of online, virtual volunteering opportunities. You can help others during this time and put that on your resume and in your cover letter to show that you weren't just sitting back but leaning into this and helping when you could. Showing initiative in times like these is going to be a huge positive for hiring companies. Hiring companies want to see that you take that initiative instead of stalling.

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Hanleigh’s Answer

Keep applying!

Companies are still in search of people to fill positions, and that just won't go away because of this pandemic. There are many ways that employers have to interview or contact you that is not necessarily in-person like video chatting and emails, which I personally think makes your job as an applicant a little less intimidating. Keep pursuing those positions, in spite of the current state of the world.

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Miyoshee’s Answer

My advice is be patient, it will take time for the world the get back to normal. This is a great time to improve on your interviewing skills (have family help you) you can find You Tube videos on how to interview. Also take this time to really research different positions to ensure it is the right fit for you. Don't give up you are our future!

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Howard’s Answer

These are certainly unprecedented times we are living in in regard to the work force and new job opportunities. I think it is important to keep in mind that most companies are now forced to increase daily safety routines and cleanliness protocols as part of job interviews. A clean, neat tiddly appearance at interviews will certainly help create a positive image of someone that can be detailed and meticulous to varies job duties and responsibilities.Do not be afraid to impress upon your interviewers that you are in indeed aware that new precautions to protect employees, customers and clients in this post Covid-19 world.

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Ripudaman’s Answer

Hi Augusta!

Apart from rigorously applying online, I would say concentrate on the quality of application rather than the quantity of application. It is evident that during this time hiring is not as active as before. But still, you would want to stand out in whatever number of opportunities you see.
- Read the job description very carefully.
- Make sure you use the keywords from the job description in your resume.
- Definitely make sure that you are revising your basics every day.
- I have seen students fumbling while explaining things written in their resume.
- Also, keep learning new skills relevant to your job interest.
- Most importantly, have confidence. If you know that you have worked hard and you know your subject, you will eventually come up with flying colors.

All the best :)

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amanda’s Answer

Keep applying and be patient. As you can imagine with the ongoing pandemic, many organizations have longer timelines to hire, obstacles to overcome due to virtual working conditions or limited staffing and there is a little bit of "wait and see" going on so whomever they hire has the best onboarding experience. Keep in touch with career resources at your university and I suggest "saving" roles you're interested in on LinkedIn (or Monster, Indeed, etc..)so you can continue to look for like opportunities and improve your chances of selection.

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celeste’s Answer

Hello,

I too agree with everyone that has written to you on this topic. No matter what keep applying and putting yourself out there to different employers! There is plenty of opportunity to do volunteer work and that will reflect very well on your resume as character and experience!

Good luck to your future endeavors!

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Sonya’s Answer

This is the perfect time to apply for an internship or a temporary position. The benefit is it would give you needed experience while allowing you to showcase your skills and learning ability to a potential employer. I have gotten permanent job offers from temporary positions so this is a good segway. Also be open to accepting a part time position since many companies may be downsizing right now as they ramp back up slowly as the economy improves.

Hi Sonya: I like your advice to Augusta. Temporary jobs are often overlooked because the recipient thinks that permanent is always their first choice. Sometimes to get your feet in the door with a company a temporary position could lead to a permanent job offer. You are correct when you say "be open to accepting a part-time position". Good job on your advice. :) Sheila Jordan

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Dong’s Answer

In addition to everyone's comments, figure out how to stand out from the crowd. If there is a dream company or job where you want to work, offer to work as an intern for a few months. Send a cover letter and explain why they should hire you. Once you get your foot in the door, you can prove your value to the company during that time.

Dong recommends the following next steps:

Know your strengths and values. This will help to market your soft skills which is equally important as your technical/learned skills.

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Ashish’s Answer

I would say please do not think much about the pandemic and situation created around it.
Stay positive and keep on applying.

We can look at this as an opportunity to polish your skill sets and when this time passes away it would open up the market.


Utilize this time to research more on the job/field that you were intending to do.
See what are the skill sets required and try to polish your skills that you do not have command on as of now.
Try to see what value add can you bring in to the job roles that you are targeting. For example - in most of the enterprise and SP networking companies process automation is a good/required skill to have. So if you have basic understanding of the technology and have good command on automating mundane tasks then it is value proposition for the hirer.

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Jessica’s Answer

Adding to all the great answers above; one big thing to keep in mind is that companies always need fresh talent.
Be patient while applying since these are uncertain times, but once you have an offer make sure that it's one you can accept and be comfortable in and don't forget to negotiate!
Even in a worldwide pandemic you still have some leverage. So make sure you review the compensation package including all the benefits (especially flexible schedule and remote capabilities).

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Pradeep Kumar’s Answer

Hello Augusta
COVID-19 is not a big challenge in case if you are applying for job it IT industry. You can appear for interview through video call and many good companies already following and promoting this process. So keep your CV updated and keep trying. Even if you don't get call immediately , Utilise your time to learn new skills in your field so that you have an edge over other candidates.
Last but not least stay safe this COVID-19 situation will get over very soon.

Cheers
Pradeep


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jacqueline’s Answer

Hi Augusta I,

Though the world is in the midst of a pandemic like we have never experienced before. I have faith that we will get past this. Young students like yourself will be the voice, the movers and the shakers and the example of the future. With that being said, my advice to you is to continue with applying and not only for entry level jobs, look beyond that. You may be surprised what you will qualify for, young minds are limitless in what they can offer. Organizations, and companies are always looking for something new and innovative. In addition there are many opportunities available right now where you may be able to work remotely. Students have worked hard for the past few years to earn their college degree, do not let COVID-19 place roadblocks that can be easily pushed aside. Keep applying, good luck to you I'm positive you will land a great role!

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Armen’s Answer

If you haven't done so already create profiles on job boards such as Dice, Indeed etc. Definitely familiarize yourself with LinkedIn and brush up on your interview skills. I also highly suggest brushing up on your networking skills as well. LinkedIn is a great tool for that as well. Ultimately don't give up. Set yourself a goal to research and apply for jobs for at least an hour a day (maybe more). Dedication and persistence will ultimately pay off.

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Robin’s Answer

Look for companies that are distributed and do not have an office culture: they are least affected by the pandemic because the entire workforce works distributed anyway and so they have the right infrastructure and can cope with interviews and new-hires that do not need to show up in person.

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Augusta:

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

Continue to research and apply for jobs
Do some volunteer work. There are many virtual opportunities that you could do in the comfort of your home. Here's the link to Volunteer Match: https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering
Start practicing now on your interviewing skills - especially in a virtual environment
Brush up on how to present yourself while on video/virtually (ie, appearance, how to respond to questions, etc.)
Start practicing now on how to respond once you get a job (ie, thank you note, etc.)

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shubha’s Answer

Hi There,

Use this time to do online certifications, now a days lot of universities offering small duration courses.
Stay focused and keep trying, even if you don't get dream job immediately, consider it as well one can always switch whenever convenient.

all the best!

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Abhishek’s Answer

I would suggest to keep applying and at the same time ramping up and revising on basics. Companies will always need a talent pool and like everything this difficult time too shall pass. Keep at it and don't relent in applying.

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Yvette’s Answer

It is all about how you market yourself. Here is a helpful video about how to make a detailed resume in less than 15 mins:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=JuVYWUo2meE

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Donita’s Answer

Hi! I would keep applying, contact recruiters on LinkedIn, and keep your skills up.

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Jasmine’s Answer

I believe preparing for an Video Interview will not only help you now but later as well. Here are some things you can do to help below.

Video Interview Tips
Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions.
Ensure your internet connection is stable.
Check that your computer’s audio is working.
Test your computer’s webcam.
Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications.
Dress professionally and avoid bright colors.
Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk.
When listening, nod and smile to show you are engaged.
Use hand gestures when appropriate.
Place your phone in silent mode.

Practice interview questions before interview. The STAR method is great for behavioral questions which stands for Situation Task Action Result.

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Stephen’s Answer

As many people have mentioned, the key is to keep applying. Having myself graduated during the economic downturn in 2008 with lots of avenues in my field drying up, many people including myself looked to other options, some temporary, some more permanent. They key is to not get too discouraged as we as a nation work on getting back up and running. Keep being diligent in looking for things that interest you. Internships, part time employment etc are other short term help that can do lots of good. These type of things could not only help financially, but also open up other avenues to pursue that you may not have thought of previously. I may not be working in the exact field I have my degree in, but I was able to find a great career that I enjoy in the process. Opportunities are out there, so keep applying and working at it, you may find that you may just end up where you were meant to be, even if it is not where you expected.

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Michael’s Answer

Augusta,
Thank you for the question! I agree with a lot of the comments already made. With any interview - it's paramount to be authentic and be prepared for the meeting. Being that a lot of interviews are being completed in a remote environment - test your phone and video connection well in advance of the interview. Some tips for video conferencing:

• Face a soft light source – for example, if near a window, face the window vs. positioning it behind you.
• Place your camera at eye level or slightly higher – a stack of books can serve as a handy riser.
• Your microphone needs to be closer to you than you’d think.
• Be on the spot with the mute button – a sneeze or background noise can pop up at any time.

Best of luck, Augusta!

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Wayne’s Answer

Tap into your school’s resources. Even though you have graduated, your school's career services center can still assist you in finding employment.
Use every resource available to you. Create polished and professional LinkedIn and Glassdoor profiles and work the networks.
With regards to interviewing, especially video interviewing, practice, practice and practice as much as possible until it's a second nature to you.
Be patient. Job hunting can be nerve-racking. I've been there. But keep pushing and keep applying.
Do not Take Things Too Personally. It's okay to be disappointed if you do not receive the job offer you wanted, but try to remember this is all new for everyone and nobody knows what to expect. Always send a thank-you email and say that you would like to stay in touch.

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Lisa’s Answer

As a student, you are at an ADVANTAGE right now. Check out Madeline Mann’s YouTube videos on how you can position yourself as a student entering the work force and what to leverage. Companies are still hiring!

Lisa recommends the following next steps:

YouTube, Self Made Millenial “Coronavirus Job Search: Change Careers & Students Graduate With a Job - Get a Job With No Experience”
YouTube, Self Made Millenial “Coronavirus Job Search: Ehat Jobs Are Hiring & How to Get a Job During Covid 19 Outbreak”

Hi Lisa, being told to go look at a YouTube video isn't the most helpful advice for students. What can be gained from this video that would help answer this question? Gurpreet Lally

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karthik’s Answer

Hi Augusta,

All the best for your job search.

Its a best time to prepare yourself for job interviews, There is lot of interview questions you can refer online on your field.

As you are in entry level , concentrate more on basics of your field.

Telephonic or video conferencing call is best in this COVID-19 pandemic.


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Carl’s Answer

What a great question! I would say

1. Be patient and ensure you go after the job/career you are looking for.

2. Use this time (if interviews are lacking) to practice, practice practice your interviewing skills! Learn techniques wether it’s through YouTube or getting advise from others. I would highly recommend do a mock interview with someone you don’t really know, like a friends parent, one who has interviewing experience. As a hiring manager, I’ve seen countless of candidates who look great on “paper” but their actual interview creates doubt and are lacking. I have had several direct reports who have all the capabilities in the world and would absolutely do well in the job they are applying for but can convey their skills and accomplishments to the hiring manager, then only to be told after the interviews what their opportunities were which is the complete opposite of the feedback.

3. Research the company in debt. Knowing what philanthropic organizations the company partners with, the goals and aspirations and even some of contributions the business has been a part of can make a difference in the interview process. A great place to start is the About Us section on most business’ s website.

4. In my opinion I think there will be a theme in which company’s may ask “what have you done during your time while the country was in lockdown?” Hint; hanging out with my family and trying to not go stir crazy, probably not going to set you a part from other candidates. Use this time wisely, invest in the ongoing/upcoming process, add to your own aspirations and find ways to contribute to your community.

Hope this helps! Good luck and don’t underestimate the power of smiling in an interview! Be yourself!

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