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The Quarantine Graduate’s Guide to Getting a Job
Graduating during a global pandemic? Just as the world heads into a recession as a result? Now, there’s some bad luck! It’s the unfortunate reality for everyone graduating in Summer 2020, and job hunting is scarier than ever. Here are Restless’ top tips for how to get through the current crisis with a job on the other side.
**Be aware of job market trends**
Remember, despite the fact that it feels a bit like the end of the world, there are still jobs out there. The developing COVID-19 crisis is regularly shifting the job-hunting scene beneath all of our feet, and now, more than ever, you need to keep your finger on the pulse. While the tourism and hospitality industry suffers, demand is likely to increase in the tech and healthcare industries. Healthcare is hiring for obvious reasons, but technology companies are likely to need more staff as previously offline companies are forced by social distancing to move online.
**Think outside the box**
On a related point, now is the time to consider options outside of the obvious. While you might ideally have wanted to become a psychotherapist with that psychology degree, if you’re in need of a job quickly you might want to broaden your horizons – at least for now. Instead, consider your skills, and the different ways they can be applied. You could look into writing for a scientific publication, which are always looking for science graduates who can do complex research and write well, or you could look at teaching or a more direct healthcare role. You can always come back to psychotherapy once the job market has settled down. Similarly, you may have gotten that Graphic Design degree because you want to create gorgeous content for Vogue or other magazines, but consider where else your skills could be utilised. E-commerce is booming, especially now we’re all stuck indoors, so perhaps angle yourself towards online marketing companies if Vogue isn’t hiring right now. This kind of creative thinking can help you no matter where your interests lie, so get to brainstorming!
**Keep up to date**
This seems simple, but keeping up to date with what’s going on in your chosen industry (or industries, if you’re diversifying!) can be surprisingly difficult. Let’s be honest, everyone hates LinkedIn, but it’s actually fantastic for keeping up with companies, potential employers and anything and everything career related. Follow companies you’d like to work for, connect with as many people you can, even those you don’t know – it’s not like Facebook, you don’t need to know people personally, just add someone if you think they could be potentially useful to your job hunting. Outside of LinkedIn, especially for the creatives amongst us, there are plenty of industry-specific job hunting sites, many of which will have a feature that allows you to sign up for job updates. This means you’ll be notified whenever a job that fits your profile goes live, so you can be amongst the first to apply. You may have a very full inbox for a while, but if you pay attention you’ll never miss a potential job opportunity again.
**Networking is your new best friend**
Now is the time to get back in touch with anyone and everyone. We’re all stuck inside and struggling to socialise, so you might as well socialise in a way that might just get you a job. Whether it’s following your old retail manager on Twitter (who has since found a new job in a company you actually would like to work at), or sliding into the DMs of that friend from school that’s didn’t go to uni so is surprisingly high up the career ladder, there are definitely ways to network even in quarantine. Be friendly, be nice, and maybe, eventually, ask if they know of any jobs going that might work for you. You can even put out an open call on your social media to ask if anyone is aware of anything that could be a good fit for you – it’s who you know, after all.
Everyone hates a cold caller, but a cold email can actually be really nice to receive. Even if there are no vacancies posted, if there are companies that you would really like to work for, whether it’s the company ethos or the type of projects they’re known for, if you’re truly passionate about them, let them know! A friendly email in the right inbox can work wonders, but it’s worth doing your research and doing your best to find the right person to email: the hiring manager, the head of recruitment or even the CEO if you get lucky. They’ll be more likely to keep you in mind for future opportunities, and you might even get a headstart on any future vacancies. Don’t be afraid to do this for several different companies, but make sure every email of this kind is really personal and that you do your research!
**Reply to rejections**
Everybody gets rejections, but the key is to take them well. Rather than ignoring that email that leaves you feeling sad and maybe a little angry, you need to master the art of the gracious reply. Thank the interviewer for their time, ask for feedback and let them know how much you love the company, and that you’d love to be kept in the loop for any future vacancies. It can often be the difference between being forgotten about and getting a job with them later down the line.
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