Smith Career Center Offers Up Some Advice for Class of 2020 Amidst The Pandemic

May 7, 2020

For recent college graduates, trying to enter the job market during the COVID-19 pandemic is a daunting task. But Jon Neidy, executive director of Bradley University's Smith Career Center, says there are reasons to be optimistic.

"Companies kind of learned a lesson from the 2008-2009 recession. A lot of companies stopped hiring recent college graduates and then they had this hole in their talent pipeline of students that they're like, oh, we don't have anybody to move up, because we didn't hire anybody for a couple years," he said.

Neidy says so far, only about 5 percent of college grads report a prospective full-time employer revoking a job offer due to the pandemic. Interns face a higher, 22 percent revocation rate. He said in many ways, companies find recent grads more attractive for hiring than older workers who are trying to rejoin the workforce after being laid off.

He said it's important for recent graduates to remain flexible about the types of jobs they consider.

"That's what's really important right now. Because the job they had their heart set on may go away, but that doesn't mean they're not good for another job. Be open to all kinds of opportunities, and be flexible in exploring other industries that are thriving right now," he said.

Neidy said healthcare companies and essential supply chain manufacturers are actively looking for new employees to recruit.

He also said networking to get your foot in the door is more vitally important now than ever before.

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