Advice for graduating seniors

By: Meridyth Sanders ‘21, co-editor in chief

As students make the finishing touches before submitting their final projects, seniors find themselves one step closer to graduation. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, changes and setbacks, the job-search process can be even more tiresome and anxiety-inducing than usual. These factors can turn what should be an exciting and hopeful process into a stressful one. Members of the Breen Center for Graduate Success offer advice to LVC seniors as they enter the professional field in these unprecedented times. 

“The trends of the job market have changed,” Megan Johnson, Career Coach of the Breen Center, said. “The lines of communication and creativity in showcasing yourself virtually has been more of a need than ever.” 

Some things regarding the hunt for an entry-level position remain the same, despite the pandemic.

“What hasn’t changed is the importance of  maintaining current connections and continuing to make more,” Johnson said. “The search strategies also remain the same (handshake, linkedin, indeed, etc).” 

Now that meeting in person is not always feasible, companies are leaning heavily on digital platforms for events such as interviews and meetings. Another employee of the Breen Center stresses the importance of being prepared for any type of interview. 

“Being comfortable on Zoom, or any other video platform for an interview will be necessary,” Dustin Miller, Graduate Intern for the Breen Center, said. “It can feel a bit unnatural to stare into your camera, but that is the true way to demonstrate eye contact and engagement in this virtual world.”

Preparing for a remote application and position also requires highlighting new types of skills on a résumé or cover letter. 

“Communication and quick replies are also going to be a skill that people will seek out,” Miller said. “In some cases, we can no longer just pop down the hall to ask a colleague a question, being a quick responder allows for more effective and team communication.”

While students may stress over figuring out their futures immediately, it is important for them to remember that this is a process that takes time. 

“Don’t expect yourself to have it all figured out in your twenties, that is not realistic,” Miller said. “Tackle one part of the job process at a time, it is not feasible to go through the entire process in one sitting.”

The Breen Center offers many resources to help students figure out steps to overcome these new challenges. Staff members are available for one-on-one meetings (in person as well as on Zoom) and can review résumés and cover letters as well as provide mock interviews and job-searching strategies. 

“We are here to help!” Miller said. “Sometimes just talking it out aloud can be helpful for students. We want to hear from you, so please make an appointment so we can help you all on this journey.”