Different, But Doable: Preparing to Enter the Job Market During COVID-19

COVID-19 has shaken our world. Because of events no one expected, our plans and expectations for the future have been altered. It’s left many of us—especially graduating students—wondering what will happen in the job market in the coming months and years. While you’re thinking about future employment, here are helpful tips from Teri Catanio.
As we try to find comfort (and answers) in the Scriptures, I am personally drawn to the biblical account of Job. Yes, Job went through trials and experienced immense suffering, but he did not give up hope, nor did he lose his faith in God. Neither should we. 
So as you prepare to finish up classes; take your final exams; and wrap up practicums,  internships, and research for final papers, be mindful of the sacrifices that have been made by everyone as we adjust to these new challenges in the world.

Be Ready For What’s Ahead
If you follow current economic trends, many see a recession as a foregone conclusion for 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 has certainly thrust the financial market into the great unknown. However, I would encourage you to think beyond today and try to look for signs of economic stabilization and recovery as scientists make strides to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. 
As you finish up college, there are a few basic resume tips you can implement to be poised and ready for the job market going forward. These tips will put you in a position to succeed in this important time. 

  • Get your resume ready. Build a strong resume or curriculum vitae. A strong resume should express your skills in a clear and concise manner. 
  • Stay true to who you are. It’s helpful to have a friend or career mentor fine-tune your resume, but make sure you come through. Your skills and strengths are unique to you, your field of study, and the industry you desire to join. This will also show employers why you, specifically, will be a great fit for their team.
  • Utilize resume headings. Focus on what you want to convey to the employer, and bring that out through headings. For example, it is important to state your career or job objective. If you leave this out, your resume will not communicate that you have a good handle on the industry you are trying to pursue.
  • Include relevant information. Search various job titles and descriptions to determine if it is a close fit to the position in which you see yourself. Keep in mind, the job objective is as simple as stating the job’s title (i.e., project coordinator, caseworker, physical education teacher, accountant, ministry director, etc.). Other resume headings, depending on your field, can include technical skills, relevant work experience, work history, volunteer work, and campus or professional organizations of which you have been a part. 
  • Clearly display your qualifications. Remember to show your skill set and briefly include it in a bulleted summary of qualifications. Licensures and certifications are very important to highlight, as they strengthen your positioning for the job. Also include things such as any foreign languages you speak or life skills you learned through global missions or travel. 

What Else Should You Be Doing?
There are plenty of other important resources to utilize as you prepare for landing a job and starting your career. And for current Cairn University students, the Career Center is here to help, even during this unique, remote time. Here are some Career Center must-do’s:

  • Visit the webpage. Take advantage of the online resources available on the Career Center webpage. There you’ll find things like Career Explorer, where employers are regularly posting job opportunities.
  • Prepare for virtual interviews. Brush up on your virtual interviewing skills via the Mock Interview tool on Career Explorer.
  • Find a resume template. Career Explorer has dozens of templates to help you build the right resume for the specific field you’re hoping to enter.
  • Ask questions! Career Chat is held on Tuesdays from 10 am–12 pm and on Thursday’s from 11 am–1 pm. This is a good space to express concerns with your fellow classmates and to talk about networking, the job market, and how we can prepare for when we all venture out again. To join the chat, go to cairn.edu/careercenter, and click on “Chat Now.”
  • Schedule an appointment. Set up an appointment for personal career coaching or resume building. Sign up on the Career Center webpage. 
  • Use the resources. Remember to register on Career Explorer and download the Careers by Symplicity app.

For graduating students, COVID-19 has changed the way finishing college looks. But all is not lost. Use these tips to be ready for the rebound.

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