Today@Sam Article

Career Services: Helping Students In A Struggling Job Market

May 6, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

TWCWebsitesmallStory by: Mikah Boyd

SHSU students have adapted well to life in the “new normal,” taking online classes in stride and pushing through to the end of the semester. For some, there is still a giant stress looming in the distance as graduating seniors look to enter the workforce during a global health crisis..

Those who currently hold positions as essential workers or telecommuters know how work-life has changed drastically with the outbreak. . With these changes, combined with millions already filing for unemployment, recent graduates will be job hunting in one of the toughest markets that the US has seen in years.

Pam Laughlin, the director of Career Services, understands how COVID-19 can impact recent graduates’ job search.

“In February 2020, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a record low. Today, it is around 14 percent, according to some economists,” Laughlin said. “This means that there is a competitive job market for recent graduates with fewer summer internship opportunities, and although not totally across the board, fewer full-time job listings and hires.”

Even though campus is closed, Career Services is still offering resources for students. Some of these services include; resume critiques, practice interviews, job and internship listings, career assessments and a teacher career fair. To see the full list of services now offered remotely, visit the Career Services’ homepage

With new challenges in the job market, graduates need to make themselves more marketable in order to be noticed by employers. Laughlin recommends that recent graduates should consider their online presence. She emphasized the importance of having an active LinkedIn account and well-written resume for employers to review. There are also virtual networking events and career fairs that students should attend.

Laughlin provided some tips for working remotely:

  • Designate a clutter-free workspace where you can work with little or no distractions
  • Get familiar with online meeting services such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx and Skype by setting up an account and practicing
  • Make sure your internet service is working, and you have the proper devices to allow you to work from home
  • Establish a routine just as you would if you were going to work in person
  • Get up and dress for the job or interview; make sure others see you through the webcam in a professional image.
  • If you are going to dress down from the waist down, make sure that you have everything you need so that you aren’t ‘discovered’ if you have to stand up and move
  • Check the lighting; having overhead and side lighting can cause shadows. Natural lighting in front of you is the best option
  • Close your apps and email on your laptop to avoid distracting notifications. 

Even though the job market may be tougher to navigate, Laughlin reminds students that they are not alone and have the support of everyone in Career Services.

“COVID-19 has impacted all of us in our daily lives and our soon-to-be graduates seeking to enter the job market are certainly no exception,” Laughlin said. “Be ready to change and adapt as needed to find and accept a job. Stay positive and know that the friendly SHSU Career Services staff is here for you, now and beyond graduation.”

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