'Think outside the box': University of California Riverside recruiter gives new college grads job hunting advice

Many graduating seniors are facing unique circumstances as they begin job searching during the health pandemic. A University of California Riverside recruiter gave us some tips on ways to approach the job market.
Graduating seniors have a lot of uncertainty ahead during this challenging time, and part of that includes finding a job. Through our ABC7 Solutions: SoCal Hiring initiative, we're committed to helping people get hired.

Jeremy McWells, the assistant director of recruitment and evaluation at University of California Riverside, joined ABC7 via Skype with some advice for new graduates.

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What do you tell recent graduates about how they should approach this new normal way of looking for work?
"First of all we want to make sure we get that message out there that this is temporary. UCR does believe that at the end of the day this is only going to be a matter of time before the market gets back to where it's supposed to be. In the meantime, I think it's about being creative, right. Using social media. Certain platforms, like LinkedIn, would be great to reach out to alumni of your institution to see if there are any connections that can be made to get inside the door. Look for jobs that have online components to it. So you're considered essential and can stay home. And another thing is that, you know, make sure that you are pursuing industries that are considered to be essential, stable or growing," said McWells.

What's your advice for recent graduating students who might not be able to find a job in their preferred field?
"Think outside the box, you know. If we're talking about just on the bachelors level, you know, I was a sociology major and I went into a business job right out of high school or college I should say. So sometimes it's about thinking outside the box. If you're graduating in English, you know, you may not be a teacher in a school district, you might be teaching students overseas. So really it's about thinking outside the box. Speaking to your networks I do believe. Speaking to faculty members for their advice. That's the best way to go about it," said McWells.

Do you have any tips for those who might be doing more interviewing via Zoom or other video conferencing?
"First impression is key no matter where you're at. If it's online or if it's in person. So the same rules are going to apply. Making sure that you really have researched everything you can about the company and the position to make sure that you stand out from your competition. Even just learning a personal note about who is interviewing you at the end of the day. Understanding where they went to school and why they connected to this particular position. Whatever you can do to give yourself the advantage I definitely encourage," said McWells.

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