Job aspirants, especially would-be graduates, are anxious to know how the COVID-19 would affect their job prospects. With social distancing in place and people compelled to stay isolated at homes to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, many universities have canceled upcoming career fairs held on campuses. It is the leading cause of worry for fresh graduates who bank a lot on such fairs to start their careers. When everything seems so negative, there is a silver lining being visible as some recruiting agencies are organizing programs of virtual fairs to enable job-seeking candidates to connect with potential employers.

According to Beth Ann DeBouvre, despite the disruption in our lives caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, businesses will continue to value skilled young people perhaps even more than before. Some of the biggest employers are offering more graduate jobs, school leaver programs, and apprenticeships than last year. Rest assured, recruitment will not stop, and the lull will gradually die.

Meanwhile, students must use the time to prepare themselves to boost their employment prospects by considering the effect of the crisis on the application process.

Beth Ann DeBouvre advises students to gain new skills

Instead of allowing the circumstances to affect the mind negatively while in quarantine, students must use it to their advantage to stay ahead in the game. Students must undertake a SWOT analysis of themselves to identify their Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the Opportunities and Threats in the workplace at this time. This will help them to know the skills that they must improve.

The activity will help in self-development and answer the most obvious question that employers would ask candidates – What did you do during the lockdown to improve your position just in the way they would like to know had you taken a year out.

What to focus on

Although different people will do different things, the focus should be on enriching your CV. You can develop your skills by enrolling in SEO or Microsoft Excel for some online courses to add value to your CV. It will show a potential employer about your positive attitude and willingness to stay focused on your career by doing something constructive. What you choose to do is essential because there must be a clear objective behind it, employers would construe that you do not have any focus.

Looking for jobs

LinkedIn- Creating a profile with online job portals like LinkedIn is a great way to start your job search despite graduates not having much to put on to it. However, it will help employers find your profile quickly when they search the web.

Recruitment agencies – use the job boards of recruitment agencies for graduate job search, which can help to narrow down your search efficiently.

Speculative applications – To approach employers who usually do not advertise recruitment, start sending applications to prospective employers based on your gut feeling and any information that you can gather.

Start applying for jobs early because big employers stick to rigid timetables, whereas small employers keep recruiting round the year.