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Graduating seniors facing tough job market, services available to help

4 years 5 days 17 hours ago Friday, April 17 2020 Apr 17, 2020 April 17, 2020 5:33 PM April 17, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - College graduates are facing an uncertain future as they venture into the workforce and daunting job market.

Millions of Americans are unemployed right now because of the coronavirus, but the number of people seeking jobs is about to grow as millions of college seniors graduate. 

One of the biggest changes will be the lack of face-to-face contact with future employers. Many job interviews or employee meetings are happening over Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype.

There is no doubt graduating seniors will have an interesting landscape to navigate, but Craig Marinello with Southeastern Louisiana University's Office of Career Services says businesses are still hiring, and applicants have to get creative.

"You just have to be flexible in the way with which you gain those opportunities," Marinello said.

That could mean jumping into a career that's not a number one choice or having a job that's now what was expected.

"For now, you find something that is open and go find that opportunity and get those jobs and then from there gain some more experience and skillsets that may help you in the future. Just don't stand still," Marinello said.

"Standing still means you're going backward, always continue to move forward."

Colleges and universities around the country are offering services to help, including LSU. Jesse Downs, Director of the Olinde Career Center says even though you can't meet someone in person, it doesn't mean you can't network.

"Use the opportunity to do informational interviews to reach out to people who have had career paths that you're interested in, that have graduated in a major that you intend to graduate in, and just learn from them," Downs said.

Online networking through Linked-In, updating your personal presence, resume, and providing examples of your work are all important. Even if the company you had your eye on doesn't have a job available right now, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for the day when they do.

"We don't know how long hiring might be impacted, but when companies need to hire, they'll need to hire quickly and so the most competitive applicants are going to be the ones that are ready," Downs said.

While the job market might be uncertain for some fields, continuing education is also an option. LSU says in an economic crisis, the graduate school numbers increase.

Most colleges and universities have a career office, which students and alumni can use to their benefit. They also have lists of available jobs. They often offer assistance with resume writing and can coach students through interviews.

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