By Helin Turk
Finding a job has become more challenging during the pandemic. For graduating students, it’s been hard to find a job, but they shouldn’t lose their hope as the unemployment rate in Canada fell to 8.2 per cent in February 2021, the lowest it has been since March 2020.
“The pandemic has drastically affected job search for new grads; employers have been hesitant to post many positions due to uncertainty of the labour market, as well as the changes from government directives. Because of this, more people are applying for fewer open positions, so there is more competition,” said Sharon Hussein-Swanton, Career and Work Counsellor, and Employment Consultant at Sheridan College.
Swanton said, “Also, the hiring process may take longer. An employer could take up to a month to get back to an applicant, so be patient. You may be able to follow up with the employer, and I suggest always to keep searching until you have a job offer.”
Networking is a significant part of finding a job, particularly your first job. However, the pandemic is forcing students to get creative when building contacts and breaking into their field while searching for a job.
Joseph Conrad, an Employment Consultant at Sheridan College, said, “2 per cent of jobs are found by applying online. If all you are doing is applying online, you are doing a passive job search”.
He added,”85 per cent of jobs are found through networking, so the most important step a student should take is to expand their network. Sheridan has a networking platform through which you can connect with graduates from your program: www.sheridanconnect.ca; start the networking before you graduate. “
Keeping track of where you have applied to is very significant for those seeking to navigate an effective job search. “I often suggest to students to create a job search tracking chart either in Word or on an Excel spreadsheet. This chart will comprise sections that help you track the date you applied to a position, the company name, the person you sent it to, how you applied, and space for follow-up/comments,” said Stacy Nyamali, Employment Consultant at Sheridan College.
She added,” After working in employment for some time, I have often heard job seekers say that they were invited for an interview, but they don’t remember applying to the position. Having a list such as this can not only help you keep track of where you submitted your resume, but it can also help with remembering which companies you may need to follow up with.”
Covid-19 has been a challenge for students and grads who are seeking to launch their careers. “Consider the support of Career Services – seek out help from our Employment Consultants or Career Counsellors so that you can get yourself ready to find a job at this time,” said Melina Elia, Employment Consultant at Sheridan College.
If you are a Sheridan College student who needs help with anything about launching your career, book an appointment with a Sheridan Employment Consultant: sheridanworks.sheridancollege.ca