UF Combating COVID-19’s Impact on Graduating Seniors’ Job Placement
In a time of great uncertainty and economic instability due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), higher education graduates are finding themselves in a difficult situation – finding a job. The University of Findlay’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is standing by to assist both students and alumni with internship and job placement. Bradley Hammer, director of career and professional development, said, “the CCPD actively engages students and alumni by educating and empowering them through educational and professional development opportunities.”
Hammer stated that, “the uncertainty in the economy and how long the COVID-19 pandemic may last has caused some employers to put hiring on hold.” While the CCPD Job Listing page is still receiving many positions for health professionals and those in the environmental health and safety fields, new listings for other areas have slowed drastically. “I feel like people that are interested in fields that have been the most [negatively] impacted will struggle,” said Hammer. “For example, sporting events have essentially been shut down, the stay home mandate has also impacted the travel and hospitality industry dramatically.”
For graduating seniors, it will likely be more difficult this year than others to find a job in their desired career field. However, there will be some jobs, such as those in healthcare, that will be in higher demand. “I recommend being more flexible and open to a variety of career opportunities given the current situation. Graduating seniors are going to have to be able to set themselves apart through personal branding and having a systematic job search approach during this pandemic,” said Hammer.
To help students find, and secure, the best possible career opportunity for them, the CCPD is available to meet virtually with students to assist with their job search, touching up resumes, practicing interview skills, and more. The CCPD has even expanded their online resources with a series of informative videos such as Resume Basics, Interviewing, and LinkedIn. Hammer explained that, “the CCPD works with each student on an individual basis to help facilitate the internship [and] job search process. We are currently working with students to help locate alternative opportunities in the event that they had an internship opportunity rescinded due to this pandemic.”
The CCPD does not limit their resources to current students and graduating seniors. “We help UF alumni the same way we help students,” said Hammer. “We also work with alumni to help polish up their resume and interviewing skills.” Typically, when it comes to alumni, the focus is on, “developing a systematic job search approach where they retain more control of the process.”
Given the current job market shift and relative need for specific career paths, such as healthcare and environmental safety and health, Hammer’s advice for job seekers is:
- Manage expectations and emotions – focus on what you have control over and develop a system for your job search that works for you.
- Don’t wait – be proactive and continue to explore opportunities.
- Work on developing your network – with most traditional networking opportunities being unavailable right now, building your online network and engaging in professional conversations on networking sites like LinkedIn is crucial.
“The CCPD ultimately hopes to be the bridge for students [and] alumni to connect with employers that have opportunities that align with [their] skills, qualifications, values, and goals,” said Hammer. While the economy will need time to recover for the job market to open up in more industry areas, the University of Findlay stays ready and waiting to help in any way possible; “we’re all in this together; trying to figure out how to move forward during, and after, the pandemic.”
Staff at the CCPD are available remotely throughout this uncertain time. If you are a UF student or alumni and need assistance with your career journey, contact the Center for Career and Professional Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-434-5874.