In the midst of an ever-shifting economy and hiring landscape, Meredith College’s Office of Career Planning (OCP) is taking extra steps to assist recent graduates in their job search.
“OCP has partnered with the StrongPoints team to offer Unstuck, a structured career coaching program for recent graduates who may be feeling unsure about their job search or plans,” said Assistant Director of Employee Relations Jane Matthews. “The program offers strengths coaching and focuses on specific goal-setting based on the individual needs of each student.”
To keep students informed about jobs, internships, and events posted in Handshake, OCP
created The Snap, an informative email update sent weekly throughout the summer. The Snap has a new focus each month, and includes tips on LinkedIn, resumes, interview preparation, and other relevant topics to provide students with quick, easy-to-digest information.
Additionally, OCP has partnered with several organizations that regularly recruit from Meredith College to deliver programming in a virtual format throughout the summer. Recruiters from Genworth, SAS, Northwestern Mutual, and Allscripts have hosted sessions and shared tips on preparing for recruiting processes, resumes, LinkedIn and networking, and virtual interviews.
All sessions are recorded and posted on OCP’s YouTube channel for students and alumnae to view at their convenience.
Lastly, Handshake, OCP’s online career and recruiting platform, continues to be a resource for Meredith students to make direct contact with employers interested in hiring them.
Through this exclusive online platform, students from all majors gain access to top employers from Fortune 500 Companies, nonprofit organizations, start-ups, and government organizations. “Students can explore and identify new career paths and make direct connections with employer representatives,” said Matthews.
Outside of the tangible tools and resources OCP is offering alumnae, Matthews also shares the following advice with those who may have been furloughed, laid off, or had offers rescinded due to the pandemic:
- Be flexible. Use this time to be creative and do something different and get a foot in the door.
- Consider freelance work, mini virtual internships, virtual job shadowing, or short term opportunities.
- Use the time to build new skills. These can include digital marketing, data management, analytics, visualization, and coding, to name a few. There are a number of free resources available.
- Shape your story. What did you do during this time? How did you cope? How did you work through this challenge? What examples of flexibility, resiliency, and adaptability can you share? What new technical skills did you build? Answering these questions will provide the story you tell employers during your search.
- Leverage your network for support, for introductions, for ideas, for direction.
- Stay positive and take steps daily. Focus on what you can control – what you do with your time, how you present yourself, and how you show up.
- Find an accountability partner.
In short, Matthews encourages graduates to use this time to explore options, make connections, and hone skills in creative ways.
“Now is a great time to connect with professionals and Meredith alumnae in fields of interest to explore potential career paths,” she said. “LinkedIn and Meredith Mentors are helpful tools to use for this purpose, and a way to get comfortable using online platforms since most organizations are currently operating virtually.”
Matthews also believes there are many positives to focus on right now despite the uncertainty of the economic climate.
“There are still many industries who are actively hiring, and many who have been able to shift internship and full-time opportunities to a virtual format,” she said. “Spend time exploring industries that are growing, and reflect on how your strengths, skills, and interests might fit within those industries.”
The OCP team is available for career counseling and coaching appointments via Zoom all summer to help students and alumnae navigate the current hiring landscape and create individualized job search strategies. Visit meredith.edu/career-planning for more information.
Not yet a member of Meredith Mentors? Join at Mentors.meredith.edu
And don’t forget about the Alumnae “Ask Me Anything with Career Counselors”
Thursday, July 30, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Career counselors & coaches are on call! Drop-in to the live chat to ask a career expert those burning questions. Let’s talk about resumes, job searches, career changes, interviewing, and more… all in the current context of COVID-19 and an economic downturn.
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.