4 Tips for Class of 2020’s Job Search

Karlene Sanchez

April 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic left at least 22 million Americans unemployed and “The Great Lockdown” has become the worst economic downturn we’ve experienced since the Great Depression.

Chances are when the pandemic begins to fade, people searching for work will bombard agencies.

But until that happens, the class of 2020 is on edge about starting their careers when the nation is at a once-in-a-decade low.

You can’t change the economy, but you can change how you react to it and interact with it. Stand out from the crowd by following these tips from practitioners whose careers have withheld the best and worst of the economy.

Research your dream PR agency

Think about your passions and the things you enjoy learning.

Then look for a company that brings you joy and aligns with your core values. You should actually look forward to going to work each day. Find a position where you can continue learning and growing.

Mary Correia-Moreno, executive vice president of operations and partner of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Public Relations in San Diego, suggests thinking of these qualities in your job search:

  • Company values and culture
  • Value(s) you can bring to the employer that they’re missing
  • Job posting and description

Ask for informational interviews

Most people like to help people.

Informational interviews give you the chance to informally connect with successful practitioners and hear about their paths. While informational interviews aren’t meant to be “real” job interviews, if you do it right and maintain that connection it could pay off down the road.

COVID got you down during #stayhome orders? It is still possible to strengthen your professional ties while working from home by reaching out to professionals who hold the jobs that interest you.

Karin Bodewits, co-founder of an online network of academics in the sciences, says:

“You can ask for a quick phone call or Skype chat. The reality is that the people you’d like to speak with may be working from home too and may be itching for more social contact.”

Build authentic relationships

Relationships can go a long way.

Scott Pansky, co-founder of Allison+Partners, agrees.

“You want to build authentic relationships once you’ve established relationships or connections with people because you never know what doors they may help open for you.”

Leverage your networks. Stay in touch often.

Pansky believes you build authentic relationships by staying in touch and writing thank you notes to people that have helped you. Letters stand out. Stay in touch even after you’re hired elsewhere.

Internships

It takes a job to get a job.

A recent experiment finds that applicants with internship experience have a 12.6% better chance of being asked to interview, which gets feet in the door at a higher rate.

If you don’t have internship experience, donate your time to a nonprofit before you work for an agency.

Nice as you are, employers need to find efficient workers that get results. Make that easy to see.

Apply the PAR method where you spell out the problem faced, action taken and result achieved in every resume bullet.

“Include what you did, your clients and the results for those clients,” says Pansky.

Prepare a portfolio that stands out by including your:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • References
  • Two strongest writing samples
  • Up to date LinkedIn profile that includes a photo

Remember to be prepared. Be patient. Be bold. And be yourself in your job search.

4 Tips for Class of 2020’s Job Search
4 Tips for Class of 2020’s Job Search

The COVID-19 pandemic left at least 22 million Americans unemployed and “The Great Lockdown” has become the worst economic downturn we’ve experienced since the Great Depression.

Chances are when the pandemic begins to fade, people searching for work will bombard agencies.

But until that happens, the class of 2020 is on edge about starting their careers when the nation is at a once-in-a-decade low.

You can’t change the economy, but you can change how you react to it and interact with it. Stand out from the crowd by following these tips from practitioners whose careers have withheld the best and worst of the economy.

Research your dream PR agency

Think about your passions and the things you enjoy learning.

Then look for a company that brings you joy and aligns with your core values. You should actually look forward to going to work each day. Find a position where you can continue learning and growing.

Mary Correia-Moreno, executive vice president of operations and partner of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Public Relations in San Diego, suggests thinking of these qualities in your job search:

  • Company values and culture
  • Value(s) you can bring to the employer that they’re missing
  • Job posting and description

Ask for informational interviews

Most people like to help people.

Informational interviews give you the chance to informally connect with successful practitioners and hear about their paths. While informational interviews aren’t meant to be “real” job interviews, if you do it right and maintain that connection it could pay off down the road.

COVID got you down during #stayhome orders? It is still possible to strengthen your professional ties while working from home by reaching out to professionals who hold the jobs that interest you.

Karin Bodewits, co-founder of an online network of academics in the sciences, says:

“You can ask for a quick phone call or Skype chat. The reality is that the people you’d like to speak with may be working from home too and may be itching for more social contact.”

Build authentic relationships

Relationships can go a long way.

Scott Pansky, co-founder of Allison+Partners, agrees.

“You want to build authentic relationships once you’ve established relationships or connections with people because you never know what doors they may help open for you.”

Leverage your networks. Stay in touch often.

Pansky believes you build authentic relationships by staying in touch and writing thank you notes to people that have helped you. Letters stand out. Stay in touch even after you’re hired elsewhere.

Internships

It takes a job to get a job.

A recent experiment finds that applicants with internship experience have a 12.6% better chance of being asked to interview, which gets feet in the door at a higher rate.

If you don’t have internship experience, donate your time to a nonprofit before you work for an agency.

Nice as you are, employers need to find efficient workers that get results. Make that easy to see.

Apply the PAR method where you spell out the problem faced, action taken and result achieved in every resume bullet.

“Include what you did, your clients and the results for those clients,” says Pansky.

Prepare a portfolio that stands out by including your:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • References
  • Two strongest writing samples
  • Up to date LinkedIn profile that includes a photo

Remember to be prepared. Be patient. Be bold. And be yourself in your job search.