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Week 1 - Job Hunting in Quarantine

Posted: March 27 2020

Connor, BA Creative Writing (2019)

In light of all that's been happening recently, absolutely everything has been affected. For me, this includes my search for a graduate job. Many companies have postponed entry to their graduate schemes, whilst others are hesitant to take new people on at all. Through this and the next few posts, I want to share with you the struggles I’m facing and my tips on what has helped me to push through.

So I’ve been lucky enough that a few of the roles I want to apply to are still open for applications. I’ve found the most useful way to check what's open and what isn't is by using a company’s recruitment social media page. Most companies have one (usually on Twitter) and they’re posting up-to-date information on the status of grad schemes, internships and apprenticeships.

Some schemes are now looking at a later intake of grads and this might directly influence whether you want to apply to that scheme or not. For myself, it’s not ideal considering I’ve moved out of my parents place and London rent isn’t exactly affordable if you're not earning a salary. I found the careers consultants at Brunel PDC super supportive as they helped start the process of weighing up the pros and cons of possibly finding other grad roles that suit my availability, or maybe applying to a role that opens at a later date and considering temp work to fill the gap.

Ultimately, I decided to look for positions that remain open and suit my availability. Next up was my least favourite part of any job application … my CV and cover letters. I find it quite difficult to ‘sell myself’ and highlight why an employer should pick me. Online templates seem to vary on how to structure this stuff, so I went back to the PDC to have a look through their resources. Turns out these resources are created by the PDC themselves and once you have the basics of your CV and cover letter, they’ll talk you through it and help you tailor it to what you’re applying to. This was a life-saver. They’ll give you industry know-how to help make your CV stay close to the top of the pile. Over a few appointments, my careers consultant helped me recognise all the things I had done during my time at uni and how it WAS relevant to what I’m applying to. To me it isn't always obvious about how something I did in a society would be useful in a job, for example.

Once we both felt the CV and cover letters were good to go, I submitted them through the company's online careers portal. In the meantime, I’m waiting to hear back from an application I’ve recently sent off and if it’s good news, I’ll share what the interview process is like during this time.

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