Navigating the COVID-19 Job Market

How do you find a job when the world is grappling with a global pandemic and a rapidly-changing employment and economic landscape where more than 40 million people are out of work?

A few months ago we brought together a panel of Summer Search alumni and partners to tackle that question from a few different angles:

  • Naming the challenges that recent college graduates and early-career professionals are facing in the job market,
  • Sharing ways that Summer Searchers can adapt to the new reality and make themselves stand out to employers,
  • And discussing how our community as a whole can support each other, and our young people.

Graduating Into Uncertainty: Supporting Young People Navigating the Job Market

Click to watch the webinarClick to watch the full webinar recording.

We invite you to watch the full conversation and read through the recommendations and resources (below). And while the webinar was speaking more directly to Summer Search students and alumni, we hope our entire community can find this helpful!

Meet Our Panel

Truth Hunter – Director of Race and Ethnicity Programs at Connecticut College and a Summer Search Bay Area Alumna.

Doug Ireland – Founder of YouLaunchU.

Ernie Lopez – Technical Sourcer (via Nelson Staffing) at Google and Bay Area Alumnus.

Cristina Perez – Summer Search Bay Area Director of Alumni Relations and Alumna.

Question: How Can Young People Shift Their Mindsets in This “New Reality”? (From 6:00 – 10:50 in the video)

Have a solution-oriented mindset. If you are coming in with solutions, then you are making yourself an asset.

Take this time to build new skills. LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) is free through many public libraries and has thousands of courses.

It’s ok to ask for help.

Q: What are Some Suggestions/Resources for Job Seekers? (From 10:51 – 18:00)

Get on LinkedIn! If you don’t have a profile yet, check out Jobscan’s guide to creating one. If you do have an account, make sure it’s optimized and up to date.

Sign up for job websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Nexxt, and/or Idealist.

Find out if a company is actually hiring on this hiring freeze list put together by Candor.

Q: How Can Young People Use Their Personal Identity in the Job Search? (From 18:01 – 24:08)

Whether it’s on your resume, LinkedIn, or cover letter, include everything that makes you great! Like being fluent in Spanish or how you conquered a 3-week wilderness experience in Colorado with Summer Search.

Show your true self and tell the story of who you are. More and more companies are prioritizing inclusivity and looking for diverse talent. Your story can help you stand out.

Q: How Can Our Summer Search Community Support Job Seekers? (From 24:09 – 29:54)

Volunteer! Your time, experience, expertise, and your connections.

Alumni: join our Summer Search Alumni LinkedIn Group. You can post job openings and learn about ways to connect with other Summer Searchers.

Q: What About Going to Grad School During Such Uncertain Times? (From 31:00 – 34:04)

Remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Analyze all your resources (time, money, responsibilities) to see what is realistic.

Evaluate your industry and what education and skills are needed to advance.

If it’s something you want, don’t wait for everything to be “perfect”.

BONUS: After the webinar, a Summer Search alum who just got a new job shared a few more great tips about the job search and interviewing.

If you are not growing where you are, leave. Don’t let a global pandemic stop you from starting the process.

Plan for self-care before and after each interview!

After each interview, write down every question you were asked and your response. They may ask you the same question again or want you to expand on your answer later.

Find your support system! Connect with Summer Search staff and alumni because they give the best advice!!

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