COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of everyone over the past year. Its impact on education in particular is expected to have a detrimental effect for years to come. We are going to look specifically at how this year’s graduates have been affected; with many university graduates understandably experiencing a lot of stress and uncertainty when it comes to new job prospects. The new reality of 2021 is that there will most likely be more applicants competing for fewer positions for postgraduate jobs.
Lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have meant that many businesses cannot operate fully, if at all. This means there are fewer jobs available, and the roles that do become available may not cover a wide swathe of industries.
Many employers are not able to advertise for graduate positions this year, as many companies have had to make existing staff redundant. This causes an economy where not only are new graduates looking for relevant jobs but there are a high number of skilled and experienced applicants to compete with.
postgraduate jobs will be harder to find this year due to the Corona Virus. It is believed that 27% of employers are cutting graduate job this year. This is due to the lack of funds to employ and train staff.
The whole situation can seem a little doom and gloom, but graduates should not be disheartened from applying for jobs they feel are a good fit. The best option for finding a job is to apply to as many open positions as possible. Some employers will still be hiring so don’t lose hope, they are out there you just need to find the right employers.
Remember, even if your employer of choice doesn’t currently offer a ‘graduate scheme’, don’t overlook trying to be employed another way. There will still be entry-level jobs available that fit graduates’ skillsets. This may lead to other opportunities in the future or may lead to you being in a good position for the postgraduate’s programme when spaces become available. It is very common for people to join the graduate scheme years later as it’s a better fit at a later time.
1. Your soft skills will be valuable
Skills such as
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Managing ambiguity
These skills will help in both your search for postgraduate jobs as well as your personal life. They are skills that are relevant in any job and a recruiter will look for these.
2. Stay up to date with online events
Many events over the last year have been online, this is most likely to stay for the time being, so be sure not to miss out on opportunities to develop skills and stay in touch with recruiters. A great idea is to get started on online networking by getting your professional online presence in tip-top shape and starting to build your personal ‘brand’.
3. There are alternatives to ‘traditional’ work experience
Postgraduate jobs have been harder to secure this year, with potentially a greater number of applicants for fewer opportunities. Many employers understand that many of the traditional ways of gaining experience, such as part-time work have not been available this year. This will often be taken on board when making the decision. However, you can gain experience through online courses as it is a great thing to add to your CV and you may also gain a qualification along with new skills.
4. Employers aren’t just looking for skills and work experience
It is not just transferable skills employers are looking for, for many recruiters motivation is of huge importance. They want to make sure that applicants are genuinely interested in the role and what the company do. A great way to show this is through research, make sure you are aware of the company and have taken an interest in what they do.
5. Make yourself stand out through your applications
Make sure to stand out, include your experiences in part-time work, volunteering, studying and extracurricular activities. You want the employer to know what skills you can bring and what experience you hold.
One main thing to remember is to tailer each application to the employer, you need to fit the skills and requirements they are looking for.
6. You can reassess your options
Plans may have changed due to covid or you may have just changed your mind about what you want to do. A great option to do no matter if you’re looking for a postgraduate job is to look into other options this could be further education or maybe finding a different job within a company even if they don’t offer a graduates programme.
7. Employers are assessing candidates differently
Most employers are having to do all interviews online and the application process is often fully online. This means employers are really having to focus on candidates as they are not able to meet them all in person.
With the world starting to tackle COVID-19 head-on, more and more countries are finding themselves at the other side of the coronavirus tunnel, where restrictions are eased, and economies are boosting. The job market is going to pick up, and there will be opportunities for recent graduates. The main thing to remember is that to get the job you need to apply – so get that CV fine-tuned, craft a cover letter that sells your skills, and get networking to increase your odds of getting an interview.