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5 “New Normal” Student job search tips

In our recent blog, we looked into the trials and tribulations of students looking for jobs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Research from the Institute of Student Employers found 27% of businesses were reducing their intake of graduates and there has been a 31% decline in placement opportunities overall. Metrics like this have created an uncertain time for both students and universities alike. We spoke with Aston University’s Career + Placement Team, winners of NUE Best University Careers team, on how they have managed to communicate with students during the “New Normal”.

Communicating with students

During the first few months of the outbreak, the priority was to communicate with students currently working and making sure they were supported. “March and April were difficult months full of uncertainty and with one clear priority. That priority was making sure that all our students, and employers, who were on placement in the UK and overseas were safe and supported to work remotely. We also had to pause the placement and/or return to the UK safely if they were abroad,” mentions Carolina, Head of Placements.

They now see the current situation as a way to engage students in a new model of placement. “Aston’s Careers + Placements Team has become even stronger during COVID-19 pandemic. Now the priority is to deliver on our new ‘Flexible Placements’ model which we have designed to ensure all students, and employers, have maximum flexibility to search, secure and confirm a placement successfully this year.”

5 Tips for students

Carolina has 5 main tips for helping students in their job search during the “New Normal”;

1) Be flexible, don’t wait for the perfect placement/company/duration, the winners will be those who adapt and make the most of what there is available, even combining 3 different shorter placements.

2) Be generic, and focus on your learning rather than on your subject, over 72% of graduate employers are subject agnostic.

3) Be consistent, allocate considerable, regular time for placement search and application every week.

4) Be honest and practice quality, it’s a numbers game, but with quality! Don’t be afraid of applying to more opportunities and employers than you would have done in other times, but still spend time sending honest quality applications to jobs that interest you.

5) The time is now, don’t postpone or defer the placement, there is a massive learning searching, applying and interviewing in the current climate, employers will certainly value those who have tried and didn’t give up at the most challenging times.

Engaging your students
During these uncertain times communicating with your students currently out on placement is more important than ever. In addition, students looking for placements for next year are looking for ways to engage with employers and find a job to kick start their career.

Want to learn how to better communicate your careers provision to students and help increase engagement with your existing student jobs/placements? Get in contact!

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