Austin Foley -- October 11th, 2020

With COVID-19 causing absolute chaos to the job market, plenty of people have lost their jobs to the pandemic. This increase in the number of people that are currently unemployed will undoubtedly affect the upcoming graduating class at universities.

With the current situation continually changing, how can you put yourself in the best position to land a job? You can do an abundance of things to stay ahead of your competition to achieve your employment goals!

Here are some tips to get a competitive edge:

Create an Excellent LinkedIn Profile

Having a LinkedIn profile as early as soon as possible can be a huge benefit. Showing information such as where you attended school, extra-curricular activities, awards or accolades, skills, what fields you are interested in pursuing, and your entire work history. Even if you have only worked a job at your local McDonald’s, it will show off many soft skills that can translate to your career. As time goes on, you can remove the less relevant experiences to replace with new skills and internships/jobs. Besides, who was ever against having a humble beginning!

The perks to having a LinkedIn profile are the ability to build connections fast, showing off your skills, search and apply for jobs, and building your brand. Also, LinkedIn allows you to join groups either for your university or field of interest. This platform can help kickstart your career!

Start Networking as Soon as Possible

Networking is one of the most effective ways to secure a job. The best way is to reach out to contacts for information and advice instead of asking people to hire you. Try to contact as many professionals as possible to maximize your chance to learn and know more people. Get ahold of alumni associations, your university’s career office, networking events, and previous employers. This is where having a top-tier LinkedIn profile can help get your foot in the door with these connections!

Join Professional Group(s)

Joining an organization related to your field or industry as a student member if you are still in college or as a professional member after you graduate can help you to get experience outside of having an internship. These are easy to find, and they typically host conferences or events where you can meet others in the industry. This leads to learning, connecting, and potentially the chance to find a mentor.

Use your Career Center as a Resource

While attending or recently graduating from your college or university, it’s essential to use the available resources to discuss your options with the career office and meet with a career advisor. These resources can help with your goals, developing resumes/cover letters, interview preparation, and formulating a job search plan. They can also connect you with alumni who work in your desired field, which will help you in your journey to get a job. Take advantage of an underused resource on campus!

Get Involved with Internships

Internships can be valuable in increasing one’s chance of further employment. Creating new experiences and skills from these internships allows for people to have plenty to talk about with recruiters and hiring managers. Also, experiences can help build confidence amongst college students when competing for future jobs and internships. There are tons of platforms to find these opportunities, including a company like Seedstages, a platform that efficiently matches students with startups.

Takeaway

Finding ways to get ahead of the pack is critical in this current environment, so take advantage of the time and prepare for success!

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