UW-Green Bay Director of Career Services Linda Peacock-Landrum, advises new graduates and job seekers to use this current COVID-19 experience to their advantage when applying for jobs.
Hello, May graduates. My name is Linda Peacock-Landrum and I’m director of Career Services at UW-Green Bay.
I wanted to take a few moments to really talk with you about your life after graduation and what might be in store for you as a new professional. Trust me when I understand that this is a difficult time this pandemic has impacted the job market in ways that we’re not going to understand for many months in the foreseeable future. But what’s critical for you to understand is that UW-Green Bay and Career Services are here to support you and assist you for the months ahead your Handshake account will remain active. If you’ve not utilized Handshake please take time to login and learn how this tool can assist you. It is a way for you to complete a profile upload a resume and search for jobs online you also can access a vast number of videos recorded workshops and other resources made available by Career Services.
Another thing that I want you to think about too, is focusing on strengthening connections. You can do this easily by utilizing LinkedIn. If you’ve not created a profile, take the time to do that today. LinkedIn is a way that you can network with professionals and connect with organizations to learn about things that will help you in your job search in the months ahead. Once you’ve had a chance to do that, take some time thank those professionals and make certain that you make a timeline to follow-up with them sometime in the future.
Secondly, I want you to reflect a moment about what this pandemic has really done for you and how it has impacted your skills. How have your technology skills changed? Have they gotten better? How have they become enhanced? Think about the transition to online course delivery changes. You can speak to employers about how you’ve become flexible and adaptable. Trust me, your peers have shared stories with me and your stories and their stories are going to help employers to value the commitment, the dedication and the work ethic that you can bring to them into their workplace.
Try to focus on what’s positive in this new normal. I know that might not be easy, but that may help you in the long run.
Thirdly, I want you to think about opportunities that you wouldn’t have been open to before. I know that you may have had a dream to be able to be living somewhere and doing something but that might not be possible at this particular moment, but be open to opportunities. What does that mean? Look at organizations that are in certain industries or organizations that offer the types of opportunities that can help you get your foot in the door for the future. It might mean that you take a short term or temporary assignment. Those are perfectly okay and acceptable but really think about opportunities that might add to your experience base could also add to your skillset or in some cases may allow you to enhance something that needed to have further development.
Lastly, I want you to think about your academic courses and your projects. Likely many of you had good work experience, internships and research opportunities. But also think about your coursework and your projects. What are the things that you can bring from those experiences? Document those on your resume. The best resume for any opportunity is going to be tailored for that unique position that you’re looking for. Think about in detail, how you can adapt to a changing work environment and what critical unique value you can bring to an organization.
I want to circle back to where I started, which is that UW-Green Bay Career Services is here to support you and offer any assistance that we can. We will be available through the summer for appointments by phone and virtual platforms. We can assist you with exploring options and understanding how to apply for jobs, search strategies, reviewing your resume, talking about interviews. But what is critical is understanding that we’re here to help you. Please reach out. Trust us, we’re here to help you and we want you to succeed once you’ve graduated from UW-Green Bay. Remember this is your time to rise as a Phoenix and offer your unique talents to an organization.
Congratulations Class of May 2020! We look forward to celebrating in person with you in August.