College kids are trying to enter the workforce on the heels of online finals and FaceTime commencement ceremonies.
But with no in-person networking events and hiring freezes throughout every industry, finding a job could become more difficult than ever before. Alexa Shoen, the author of #EntryLevelBoss, has some tips to help those looking for a job spend their time wisely.
"The number one thing that I see job seekers do wrong is they panic. They don't know how to get a job, and so they immediately go to LinkedIn, and we all do this, I call it the job search junk food diet," Shoen said.
Mindlessly scrolling through openings, just applying for everything. Shoen said even she's been guilty of it, too.
When she graduated, she said she couldn't get a job to save her life, and she felt desperate.
And after the last recession, when a lot of mid-level employees were laid off, they were forced to apply for entry-level positions. Now, those same jobs look for one to three years of experience. Shoen said it caused the market to shift, and then never went back.
"I always say there are only two reasons that people get hired: they're either going to save somebody some time or make somebody some money," Shoen said.
So, if you're looking for a job, be very clear on what kind of job you want, be specific about where you want to get hired and the identify how you can use your skills to help a business.
Then, you need to articulate the value you can provide to an employer— salary follows skill set. Shoen's advice is to practice your "elevator pitch" because it's going to matter a lot in this economy.
"If you can prove how you can be valuable, then you actually have leverage in the conversation about salary," she explained. "And people who understand how they're affecting a company's ability to succeed, especially in a potential recession, they're going to have that much more of an argument on why they should be paid more."
Don't be afraid to ask for more money, but don't expect it either, Shoen said. Young people newer to the workforce especially need to be able to articulate why they're worth it.
The same specificity applies to networking, and there's no better time to capitalize on the virtual aspect of it then now.
"What you can do right now is shoot your shot in Instagram DMs, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, just by Googling and guessing someone's email address," Shoen explained. "The key thing with networking, in person or not, is you have to figure out what you want from somebody before you go and introduce yourself."
Want to learn more about how to make yourself marketable? Shoen offers free live career classes on her Instagram account every Friday at 11 a.m. CST.