Students and recent graduates struggle to line up their first job in the COVID-19 economy
AfterCollege has released the results of its survey of college students and recent graduates. As expected, the current pandemic has hurt prospects for graduating seniors, but those who had previous internship experience fared better on the whole.
Over half of active job seekers who had interviews did not receive a job offer, and a number had their job or internship offers rescinded during the Spring.
Thirty-eight percent of college seniors who had one or more internships had a job lined up after graduation, compared to just 24 percent of those with no internship, emphasizing the importance of work experience, particularly in the current environment. Fortunately, over half (59 percent) of responding seniors had an internship, and the majority of those (77 percent) were paid.
Top findings and recommendations include:
- Employer communications. Employers should be transparent about how they’re handling the current situation, to create the right expectations for future employees. Students expect more communication in general, in terms of application status. Quick employer responses, a simpler interview process, and eliminating cover letters feature were among the student requests.
- Remote work and tools. Students are flexible about working from home, whether full time or for a portion of the week, but they do feel appropriate tools, like collaboration, video and virtual face-time are essential to performance.
- Career services at school. Students would like their school to provide more support so they are ready for the working world upon graduation. Types of support include: networking opportunities, faculty-forwarding job openings, alumni support, career fairs, and teachers whose background spans both academic and professional experience.
- Social media. Students research jobs on social media, but limit their use to a few top sites, such as LinkedIn, school-specific networks, Facebook and YouTube.
- Job seeker priorities. Aside from salary, the main priorities for students and recent graduates include: work/life balance, advancement opportunities, medical/dental benefits, and flexible work schedule. Salary still tops all other considerations.
Full survey results are here.
Questions? Contact: email@example.com