Reesa Greenwald, Director of the Career Center at Seton Hall University, has over 20 years of leadership experience in career development, experiential education, training and student affairs. A leader in state, regional and national organizations related to student employment in higher education, she is a former trainer at the National Academy of Workplace Learning. Areas of expertise include internship program development, career coaching, mentoring, performance evaluation, team building and relationship building.
Bob Franco is Associate Director of the Career Center and Assistant Professor at Seton Hall. Prior to working at Seton Hall, he had a distinguished career in corporate human resources. He is the author of Business storyteller: the art of noticing things (2015) and On the sidelines (2016), and has been highlighted in The innovation highway (Debra Amidon); Leverage points (Pegasus Communications), the Institute for Business Trends Analysis and was interviewed by WABC-TV, AOL Jobs, NJ-12TV, WalletHub, and Nerdwallet.
Reesa and Bob offered this advice to college graduate students during this unprecedented COVID-19 time.
1. You have been working at the Seton Hall Career Center for over two decades, have you ever had such an employment experience? Although the unemployment rate is currently at its highest level since the Great Depression, a recent national poll showed that more than 3/4 of Americans who have been laid off or on leave expect to be rehired by their former employer. once the stay-at-home orders. in their field are lifted. Does this set this recession apart from others?
While the circumstances that created this situation are very different, there are and will be similarities. Some jobs will be transformed or no longer exist, while others will be created through new innovations. Job seekers should pay close attention to changing employment opportunities and continue to acquire new skills that match the employer’s needs.
2. In previous recessions, university graduates often turned to higher education to âwaitâ for the recession and strengthen their professional credentials. Can this be a good strategy for college graduates now
Graduate students should do their research. For many careers, a graduate degree is required. For others, a graduate degree can potentially contribute to career advancement. Job seekers should consider all options based on the short and long term implications. There are also certificate programs that will add to their credentials.
3. For those who decide to enter the workforce now, what advice do you have regarding job search?
Network, network, network! Connect with professionals in your areas of interest through social media, friends, and family connections. Attend virtual fairs and information sessions to learn about market trends. Identify the skills you have that can translate. If your initial plan is not possible at this time, you can be creative in your approach to your options. Don’t focus exclusively on the job title or the specific organization. The Career Center team is available to all alumni who want our help.
4. Some graduates who already have job offers have had their offers suspended for the time being as many companies continue to struggle to do business amid stay-at-home orders from their states. What advice would you give to students in this position?
There is a distinct possibility that jobs will move to a virtual space, at least temporarily. Job seekers must be able to demonstrate their ability to adapt in a rapidly changing work environment. It is always a good practice to stay up to date and develop additional skills, including those based on technology, which will be valued in the workplace. Stay flexible and be open to new options.
5. You and your office have hosted a series of webinars to prepare students for the job search process. The webinars cover âJob Search Tips and Strategiesâ, âInterview Skillsâ, âResume & Cover Letter Writingâ, âHow to Prepare for Virtual Interviewsâ, âCreate a Strategic Resumeâ and âOptimize your Linkedin profile and your alumni network. âDo you have one final advice for students about to enter the workforce in this unprecedented time and situation?
We haven’t finished. We will continue to organize virtual events, which are available to our students and alumni. Additionally, if they haven’t already, students and alumni who want our help can contact us at [email protected] to access webinars and a wealth of other resources available to them. The Career Center is open for business!