It’s always challenging to land a dream job as a senior in college (or anytime), but to launch and manage a career search during the COVID-19 pandemic requires a new set of particularly sharp and effective strategies. To help Gen Z SC&I seniors in need of job searching advice, SC&I spoke with Assistant Professor of Practice in Public Relations Mark Beal and two fellow SC&I seniors, Adam Gray ’20 and Frankie Pignataro ’20.
Beal is a career coach for college students and the author of books about career searching, one specifically for college seniors, “101 Lessons They Never Taught You In College,” and the recently published, “Career In Transition: 101 Lessons To Achieve Job Search Success.”
Below are their top tips:
Assistant Professor of Practice in Public Relations Mark Beal:
Tip #1: Unspectacular Preparation Now Will Lead to Future Success
I am encouraging all the seniors who I am coaching and mentoring to use this time to their advantage. Seniors in college should conduct as much research, preparation and planning now while most companies are in a hiring freeze. I am advising them to identify 25 companies they would like to work for and rank them. They should then research each company’s web site, career page and as much information about the company as possible. Once they have completed that research, they should leverage their professional and personal network now and make real connections with executives at those companies well in advance of the hiring that will happen in the future.
Tip #2: Ready Yourself for the Rehire
There will be rehiring and hiring that will take place in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021. With that in mind, now is the ideal time for seniors in college to ready themselves and fine tune their resume, revise and refine their cover letter templates, update and evolve their LinkedIn profile, launch and design an online portfolio and produce and distribute as much content as possible that is relevant to their future job and industry. Rarely do college seniors have available time to do all these things, but with their classes now being conducted remotely and their part-time jobs and internships most likely on hold, they should take quality time now to ready themselves for the application, interview and hiring process that will eventually arrive.
Adam Gray ‘20:
As Gen Zers, now is the opportune time to fully leverage all of our social and digital media skills. As companies are in a holding pattern with respect to hiring due to the coronavirus, I am using this time to accelerate my networking knowing that executives at companies where I want to work are now working remotely and may have more time to respond to me. I am utilizing LinkedIn more than ever to research and identify the correct names of executives, but then I am utilizing a social media platform like Instagram to reach out to them in a more personal manner.
Frankie Pignataro ‘20:
The global health crisis has changed my approach and shifted my perspective about my current job seeking situation. I am using this as an opportunity to capitalize on both the flexibility and additional time that I otherwise would not normally have. With closures, unemployment, and fear all over the news, it is important that everyone, especially the class of 2020, remain resilient during these trying times.