WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate has skyrocketed in the last few weeks due to COVID-19. For graduating college seniors, they’re nervous about entering the workforce during a world pandemic. We spoke with some students and a recruiter with what you need to know to help land a job during this tough time.
Kaprielle Trenard is a graduating senior at Howard University. She said that even though the pandemic hit in the spring, she is concerned about finding employment months from now.
“I’m also just worried that there won't be many job opportunities even come September," she said.
"My biggest concern is that there's not really a market to go into," another senior, Rieley Auger, added.
Others like Journey Rucker have said that beyond getting an entry-level job, she's concerned about the state of many companies she's applying at.
"[I'm worried about] applying for a bunch of jobs and then people just not being able to give you a job because their company is struggling themselves," Rucker said.
These three graduating seniors are nervous a workforce won’t exist when they graduate in May 2020. Now they’re wondering how to make themselves more marketable during these uncertain times.
We got answers for them from Shay Dorr of Kenbrook Inc. She works directly with companies to hire people.
“I’ve never seen where everyone is working from home,” Dorr said.
While the times may cause wary feelings for some, she said it’s important to focus on the things you can control.
"The more you can sell yourself with your technical skills and you can show that you're an asset to the company, the more likely they are to use you," Dorr said. "A lot of technology companies are still hiring. They're already ahead of the curve, they already work from home.”
For recent graduates, she also suggests highlighting that milestone on your resumes. “Some companies love recent graduates. So, it's okay to put that on there. Some companies are specifically looking for someone with zero to three years experience.”
With the uncertainty of the economy looming, patience is key. “Realistically, I would say just be a little patient because right now, a lot of the clients that we're working with. They have put jobs on hold for three weeks to a month.”
Dorr also said if you’ve been in contact with a potential employer, you should follow up bi-weekly with emails.