Impact of COVID-19 on the Graduates of 2020

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which originated in the city of Wuhan, China, has quickly spread to various countries, with many cases having been reported worldwide. As of August 1st, 2020, in India, 1.7 Million positive cases have been reported. India, with a population of more than 1.34 billion—the second largest population in the world— has been so far unable to control the spread of the virus as it has seen a massive spike in the numbers of infected over the last 2 months.

Now as this virus spreads across all over the country, affecting every section of the society, we must remember that although we are all in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat, as the poorer section have found it more difficult with no income whatsoever over the last 3 months.

The greatest impact of this virus must be felt by the graduates of 2020 as before this pandemic forced businesses and schools to close, the Class of 2020 could have expected to graduate into the strongest job market in 50 years. While on the contrary, now, due to massive economic fallout, they are at risk of graduating into a recession.

Many who are already placed are not sure if the companies will honour the offers given the fact that the duration of lockdown and the contours of its graded nuanced and staggered withdrawal are not all known yet.

One must also remember that in the past, the negative effects of graduating in a recession did not affect everyone the same. Highly skilled graduates, those graduating from more selective colleges and universities or who majored in fields that usually lead to high salaries, tend to recover early hits to their earnings by changing jobs and employers once the economy rebounds. All else equal, it pays more to have a degree in engineering than mass communication. And these differences are magnified after recessions.

Now, as a graduate, what can you do?

We must remember that in these testing times, confusion is no answer and to recover from this setback, you can’t just sit lamenting on your bad luck, but take it to your stride and transform this crisis to an opportunity.

We have listed some suggestions that might help you to cope up with this situation:

1. Get into online learning

First, get quickly onto online learning from google classes, webinars, zoom sessions, pdfs and URLs, links and ppts whichever your faculty members share or whatever you can lay your hands on through the internet. For this, you surely need to have a smart-phone with internet, wifi connection at home and a laptop with camera.

Also, watch explainer videos and read manuals about each practical work you are supposed to do to at least know the technology, the process, the operations and the outcome of each practical work. If there is only online exam, obviously the tests will focus on concepts and not in-studio practical

2. Build your technical and soft skills

While there are no jobs coming your way, you need not still panic as you can still improve with personal value-addition in hard and soft skills, an additional degree, multiple internships and freelance projects to make good the loss of the bad economic year and prepare yourself for the big leap when the situation alters. Get familiar with all the technical upgrades in your field and build a better hold upon them. Try to add some new skills into your arsenal relevant to your field of interest.

We must also remember that in most cases, Soft skills matter more than hard skills, since skills like work ethic, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and a whole host of personal attributes crucial for career success, are more harder to teach as well as to acquire than the technical skills. Though you are mostly hired on the basis of your technical prowess, you won’t be able to climb up the ladder and miss out on various occasions to rise without your soft skill attributes.

3. Building a social presence:

Social media can be a very useful tool if you know how to use them. You can find a ton of jobs and internships listed on LinkedIn every day. Try to build a network relevant to your field of skill and interest and keep looking for job opportunities and recommendations. Interestingly 3 out of 4 hiring managers and recruiters check the candidates’ social profile before hiring while 1 of 3 employers reject candidates based on something they found on their social profile. Also, 29% of job seekers use social media as the primary tool for job searching. Hence, your social media handles can prove to be decisive specially now, as more and more interviews as well as jobs are shifting to online grounds.

Social media can also help you keep up-to-date with industry developments as you can be well-informed with all the upgrades in your field of interest.

4. Register yourself on Job Portals:

Job portals can be an excellent option to land a job as they provide you a direct link to the recruiters. They act as a bridge between the job seekers and job recruiters and also provide many opportunities to work on your strengths and weaknesses. For eg: a relatively new portal,Job Vacancy Result believes in adding value to the profiles of the applicants as well to assist them gain the best opportunities out there. JVR’s uniqueness is the filtration of White-Collar and Blue-Collar applicants as well as jobs which is not done by most of the other contemporaries. JVR also has a unique way to evaluate the market worth of the candidates as they not only screen the candidate’s resumes to the correct stakeholders but also adds a multidimensional layer to the complete process of job-seeking and job-hiring. This aids the hiring process as candidates knowing their current skill-set can work on upgrading them or finding correct and relevant job profiles thereby getting them one-step closer to getting their dream job.

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