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Employment prospects for graduates during the coronavirus outbreak 

Published: Friday 14th August 2020

It can be a daunting time for graduates, particularly if you are reading the news stories about the lack of graduate jobs. Companies of varying sizes are holding off on recruitment, as the effects of the coronavirus continue to be felt. Yet there are plenty of graduate jobs available, and you should not be deterred when searching for suitable roles. 

Of course, it is a testing time for companies and potential candidates. Over 75% graduates believe that the pandemic will impact their future job prospects. This is a far cry from the usual job openings for graduates, 50% of whom usually secure a role before finishing their degree. More than 250,000 people under the age of 25 have claimed unemployment benefits since the outbreak, many of whom are students. The government has announced a scheme to create thousands of jobs, which will be reassuring for graduates during this time. It is evident that the employment landscape is changing and will continue to change. However, there are ways in which you could put yourself in a better position to secure a new role. 

Graduates should remember to network

Multiethnic group of inspired young people standing and discussing new project in conference room

Being able to craft the perfect graduate CV is still as important as ever. With the employment situation unclear at some companies and certain positions likely to go, being proactive with showcasing your skills is crucial. However, it is perhaps more important to begin networking with people relevant to your desired industry. Making the effort to participate in webinars or Zoom calls can help you stay up to date with the latest trends. 

Furthermore, this could also aid your long-term aspirations, as you may acquire some valuable contacts. Embracing communities that are in your field or interacting with industry leaders can create various job openings for graduates. 

Have a social media presence 

The vast majority of available roles will be posted on social media channels. Graduates are encouraged to be pro-active in their search, particularly on LinkedIn where you can set job alerts. In addition, it is important to boost your own social media presence. A professional view on industry-related subjects and actively engaging on trending posts can help you to stand out. 

Social media is also a good way of keeping track of companies who are hiring during the coronavirus pandemic. Naturally, some industries may not be doing particularly well but some industries and companies have thrived since lockdown. It is worth targeting these companies specifically if you are looking for potential employment. This is because these companies are likely to be in a position to hire much sooner than others. 

Have you considered freelance employment? 

There are plenty of freelance and part-time positions available during the pandemic. Many of these roles can be fulfilled from home, which can be a major benefit for graduates. This could be a great way of securing a source of income during a difficult period. Furthermore, it can also lead to more regular work or even a permanent position within a company. Even if a temporary or freelance role does not lead to full-time employment, this can still be invaluable. You will be able to build contacts, develop your relationship skills and develop a skillset that you have formed at university. 

Become accustomed to remote working 

Young female graduate, professional in glasses using laptop and working from home, communicates on internet

Working from home and talking to colleagues via video calls has become commonplace for many workers across the UK. This way of operating is likely to continue to a degree for a while yet. Therefore, it is important for graduates to get used to the latest technology. You may not have prepared to begin your career remotely but being able to motivate yourself in a quieter environment will be key. Whilst you are looking for employment, it is advised that you complete free online courses and webinars, to get you up to speed with the demands of working from home. In addition, interviews are slowly getting back to normal but it will be beneficial if you are able to master the art of interviewing remotely. 

Check out the latest graduate roles here! You can also get more tips and advice by viewing our Info Hub! 

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