Job Search During a Pandemic: Advice for the Class of 2021

With the one year anniversary of the COVID-19-induced global lockdown approaching, now is a good time to reflect on where we all were last year. For me, a member of the Class of 2020, I was a senior in college, midway through my final semester, preparing for my first real job search.

Nothing could have prepared me for the job market I was about to enter.

Finding your first real job after college in the midst of a global pandemic is something no one can prepare you for, but it’s not an impossible feat. With the Class of 2021 set to graduate in the spring, I want to pass on some tips and tricks that I learned while finding a job mid-pandemic.

A job search is a job in and of itself, so treat it like one.

If you are serious about finding a job, you have to treat it like a job. Act like you are going to work everyday. Wake up at the same time every morning. Set a goal for the day, and stick to it. Maintaining a routine and determining objectives creates a sense of purpose that will move you in a positive direction.

This leads to two specific advantages: 

  1. Increased accountability: ensuring you are actually putting in the time and the work
  2. Greater adaptability: preparing for work-life routines in advance of your first day on a job 

Small steps make big impacts.

Oftentimes, the most simple tasks can make a big difference in the hiring process. Triple check your emails and resume for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Run it by your professors, parents, friends – anyone willing to review it. A simple grammatical mistake could potentially derail an otherwise impressive resume. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out. Sending a simple message to your connections on LinkedIn is an effective way to find a job. Asking for help or advice could go a long way. Even if a connection isn’t actively looking to hire, they may know someone who is. If they can’t help connect you to a job, they can still give you advice for your search. Your connections can be your biggest assets, be sure to use them. 

Always send prompt and specific thank you-s. Sending a short thank you email after an interview is an excellent way to remain top of mind for any hiring manager. While it may not be a deciding factor, it could be the difference between you and another candidate. 

Be patient.

Finding a job is going to take time, and it won’t happen overnight. I consider myself beyond lucky that I was able to find one in only six months, and at such a prestigious agency like Paragon. Throughout this process, it is important to remember that there is no timeline. Everyone goes at their own pace, and everyone will find their place eventually. One of the worst things a candidate can do is compare themselves to others’ success in the job market. Focus on yourself and what you are doing to find the right job and embrace the process. 

It may take some time, but your first job is coming. Don’t let pressures of the job market take away from this major life achievement. Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2021!

For more information about job opportunities at Paragon, please contact us

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