'Key is not to slow down': Chapman University career expert offers advice for grads entering job market

Graduates are facing an uncertain job market with high unemployment rates. A Chapman University career expert gives tips on ways to build a resume and the most important thing grads should be doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seniors who just graduated from college face a lot of uncertainty, especially when it comes to finding a job, but we are dedicated to helping people find work through our ABC7 Solutions: Hiring SoCal campaign.

Jo Bandy, vice president of career and professional development at Chapman University, joined ABC7 via Skype to discuss what new grads can do.

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What do you tell students who were unable to complete their internships?
"About 60% of our students that had internships were able to complete those through other alternatives, such as working with professors, doing types of research we were very, very fortunate for that. I think volunteering can be a great avenue for someone who's lost an internship. The key is to focus on building out your resume. So what are those skills? What are those things that you may be adding? What will support you in your job search and the career path that you're looking for? The key right now is just not to slow down. This is a really, really tough job market and looking for a job - even in the best of markets - can be tough. So now you've got to be really agile, flexible and adaptable and keep an open mind," said Bandy.

Are employers still actively recruiting? What kinds of changes are they making?
"Everything has changed to an online virtual environment. And I think we know those industries that are very successful right now in recruiting. So I think students need to change, perhaps, their focus to be a little more open minded," said Bandy.

What's your best advice for a new grad who may be finding it tough to find work in their field of study?
"The key is to be flexible in your job approach and keep an open mind. Remember that your career is a path, it's not a destination," said Bandy. "I think the most important thing right now is relationships. You can not underestimate the importance of relationships. 80% of all jobs are a result of a relationship. So, reaching out, keeping in touch right now is more important than ever."

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