Hiring freezes in different industries are affecting more than just people who are already working. It’s also taken quite a toll on our new Class of 2020 college graduates. This is a difficult time for current students and new college graduates to navigate their careers, but I believe there are a few things you can do in the meantime.
Here are a few actions I recommend you take if the companies you want to work for are in a hiring freeze right now. Scroll for a list of things you can do right now:
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
If you’re not already on LinkedIn, leave this blog post and make a profile right now. There are so many opportunities, connections and conversations to be made on LinkedIn. Now is the time to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and let recruiters know you’re available for hire.
- Build authentic relationships.
Some of the best opportunities that ever came my way were ones that came from relationships I built over time. If you don’t have a personal connection that can help you out right now, start reaching out on LinkedIn or ask a friend to make an introduction for you and set up virtual coffee dates. You’re also welcome to send me a message.
- Find a mentor.
Personally, mentorship has been so important in my personal and professional growth. It’s always one of the top pieces of advice I give to college graduates, and I’ve had a few over the years—from professors I loved, past managers, and women I admired in the workplace. They’ve been key to why I’ve felt comfortable and confident in the trajectory of my career in media. Find a mentor. They will help you navigate some of the questions you can’t answer now and later.
- Make sure your resumes and cover letters are in tip-top shape.
Let’s be honest here! Is your resume ready to be in the hands of multiple employers right now? Have you considered creating more than one if you have experience in multiple areas? If you need resume help, I highly recommend hopping on a platform like Canva for templates.
- Find your strengths.
One of the best things I did for myself after college was gain clarity about my skills and talents. I’ll bet that you have a good idea about what you’re naturally gifted in, but if you’re still unsure, I highly recommend taking the tests below:
Clifton StrengthFinders 2.0
High 5 Test
I also recommend reading up on a few books that could give you an extra boost. Here are my favorite books that I buy as gifts for new graduates or always recommend to new graduates. You can also find the books below.
- Practice your interview skills.
If you haven’t practiced your interview answers before, I highly recommend doing it with a friend, a mentor, or even by yourself in front of a mirror. Your soft skills are just as important as the other skills you bring to the table, so get practicing! Here’s a list of interview questions to try!
- Consider interning or freelancing your work.
While some industries are struggling right now, a lot of others are thriving. In my early career, I did whatever I could to gain experience and found a lot of opportunities to help at small businesses. I always recommend interning at a small business if you can! If you haven’t considered the idea of pitching your help, I highly recommend it.
- Do your salary research.
One of the things I wish I had a handle on before I started working in social media was how much a typical full-time salary would be. My first full-time job was at a tech company. I did some salary research, but certainly not enough to negotiate a higher salary for the experience and skills I had. I highly recommend using LinkedIn’s salary research finder to look at insights.
Even though most people wouldn’t call this an ideal time to graduate, I think there are still so many ways to look at this time as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience. Take the extra time to pause and figure out what you want in your career and in your life. It could be the best thing you do for yourself. If you’re still needing some help, consider reading the 5 Pieces of Advice I Always Tell College Grads, How to Land Your First Internship at a Small Business, or The 5 FAQs I Get on LinkedIn.