Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.

Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they’ve learned and apply it immediately.

We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.

Will there be an enduring impact of the coronavirus pandemic on graduates?

Craig Nathanson Ph.D.: I expect that companies will reduce their hiring plans initially in the first half of the year out of caution but gradually resume typical hiring trends by next fall. As a result, this is a good time for graduates to build a work-life portfolio with multiple streams of income and work-focused on the alignment of their abilities and deep interests.

What type of skills will young graduates need when they enter the workforce in the coming years?

Craig Nathanson Ph.D.: I see the essential human skills gaining importance to build a new post-covid work life. These include creativity, leading and working in teams, writing, speaking, being self-aware, and lowering bias and networking, career branding as critical areas for graduates to focus on now.

What experience really stands out on resumes?

Craig Nathanson Ph.D.: Most important on resumes to only show accomplishments you are proud of and reflect measurable success and completion of past work. These accomplishments should be a snapshot of what we have done and can do in the future. The most important two lines of a resume are in the objectives, to list what the person is seeking. These two lines give the reader a quick view of what the person wants.
Now is a great time to start the new year to build a portable work portfolio to represent an alignment of what a person is excited about and enjoys in their work.