The job market is changing drastically, and the risks associated with COVID-19 are creating uncertainty around job prospects and what the workplace will look like as recent graduates begin their careers. On Thursday, July 23, 2020, the YES Prep Alumni Association hosted their first webinar: “How to Navigate the Job Market Through COVID-19.” While this webinar was initially geared for upperclassmen in college and recent college graduates, we quickly realized that this webinar would be beneficial for anyone at any stage of the job hunt.
The webinar guest speakers were Cristina Danial, Americas Project Management Leader at Baker Hughes, and Patrick Danial, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at Terakeet. These super siblings offered valuable advice on all aspects of the job market, whether it is how to apply for a job or how to make a LinkedIn profile stand out.
Here are the top three takeaways from this webinar:
1) Make a personal connection to the company you are interviewing at.
Instead of telling the people interviewing you why you need their company, tell them why they need you. What do you bring to the table? Why are you an asset to this team and company?
Use your experiences to your advantage. For example, if you took a gap year in between college, don’t make this experience sound negative. Instead, talk about how you acquired skills during this year and how you have a year of experience working in the industry. During your gap year, you were able to grow and make connections with professionals. Your experiences matter, so next time you are interviewing, use them.
2) Don’t be discouraged to apply for a position that isn’t related to what you studied in college. Use your degree to your advantage.
Cross-disciplinary skills are essential. Use your skill set to show that you are able to adapt and think outside the box. For example, don’t be afraid to apply to an oil and gas company because you have a degree in humanities. While you may not have a strong skill set in mathematics or science, you possess valuable skills like communication, critical thinking, complex problem solving, active listening and much more.
Use your skill set to your advantage and show your future employer how you are just as valuable and essential as someone with a degree in science, mathematics, technology and engineering.
3) Give your LinkedIn account as much love as you give your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Most of us have social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. We make sure to update our profiles when we have a new selfie, when we are in a new relationship, etc. We spend so much time on our accounts and it’s important to give our LinkedIn accounts the same amount of attention.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, make one. If you do have one, go ahead and take the time to update your profile. LinkedIn is a space to connect with other professionals and it’s a space to show off your skills. Recruiters are always on the lookout and you never know when one may come across your profile.
While the world may not go back to the normal we knew before this pandemic, some things will remain the same like the importance of making a personal connection during an interview, the value of cross-disciplinary work and the need to connect with people.
The YES Prep Alumni Association would like to once again thank Cristina and Patrick Danial for taking the time to speak with our YES Prep alumni.
The YES Prep Alumni Association invites recent high school graduates to join the next webinar, “How to Navigate College through COVID-19” on August 13, at 6 p.m. Karina de Leon, an Admission Counselor at St. Mary’s University and YES Prep East End alumna and Cara Goetz, a YES Prep Alumni Advisor will be discussing how this first year of college will look different for our recent graduates and answering questions our alumni may have. To register and learn more, click here.
About the YES Prep Alumni Association
The YES Prep Alumni Association serves to connect, support and help build the influence of YEP Prep Alumni so that they may lead a choice-filled life and have an opportunity to give back to their community.
About the Author
Samantha Ramirez graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Communications in May 2018 and is an alumna of YES Prep East End. Ramirez joined the YES Prep Communications and Marketing Team soon after in July 2018. She currently serves on the YES Prep Alumni Association Board as the Director of Communications. During her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her family.