April 27, 2021, by indybamra1
Entering a Career or Sector Hard Hit by Covid-19
By Sarah Ainger, Senior Careers Advisor
You might know what job you want after graduating but it could be in one of the sectors hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up on your dream career!
Here are four things you can do to secure your first role:
1. Research the skills you’ll need
It’s possible that many of the sectors that are struggling at the moment will start to recover and they’ll need people to join their companies, who are ready and armed with the right skills to help them in their recovery. That means you can do some detective work and figure out what they’ll be looking for. Think about the skills, qualities and competencies you’ve developed during your time at university that you could demonstrate to an employer.
To develop the skills employers look for, visit magpie, our free online learning platform to complete a short course or to find some relevant work experience over the summer period. Some of our work experience opportunities including the Nottingham Internship Scheme are open to this year’s graduates. For some sectors there could be volunteering, job shadowing, or temporary summer job opportunities available to help you get experience and potentially get your foot-in-the-door.
If you know what sector you want to join, it’s important to get to know who the employers and employees are within this sector. You can research the employers, or connect with them on LinkedIn. You could even send in a speculative application – as they may have a suitable role available that’s not been publicly advertised yet and this allows you to be at the forefront of their mind. Our Spotlight On moodle page has some insightful resources from our sector-focused workshops.
2. Speculative applications
You might not be able to find advertised roles in the sector you’re interested in but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Sending your CV and cover letter can be a good way to approach employers you’re interested in. It can highlight your proactive nature and even if there isn’t a vacancy available for you at the time, the quality of your application can encourage them to remember you, if a position that fits your skills and experience does come up. It may even alert you to a different type of role available with that employer that you wouldn’t have previously considered, so it can be useful to have an open-minded approach when sending in a speculative application. Visit making applications or book a CV or application review on MyCareer.
3. Alternative routes
If it’s proving difficult to get directly into the career or sector you want; then try to build experience in another sector. Are there any particular sectors or job roles that require similar interests, skills, or experience that you could explore? Take a look at the types of jobs on our website to find out what different jobs involve, the qualifications they require, and the skills and personal qualities that are needed. The important thing is to not give up!
4. Making connections
Connecting with alumni and employers through LinkedIn or attending relevant events both at the University and employer-focused events can be effective ways to connect with people working in your ideal sector of choice. Even if this doesn’t lead to a job immediately or during the pandemic, it can still help you to build your knowledge and create network links for the future.
If you’re graduating in 2021 and need some guidance, we’re happy to help you. For more information and advice on how to navigate the job market this year and how we can support you, take a look at our Graduating in 2021 webpage. We also have an insightful blog post on how to navigate the job market in 2021.
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