NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Angela Copeland is a career expert who spends her day coaching job seekers. She relates to the class of 2020 as she faced the same bleak job landscape during the great recession of 2008.
“I graduated with a computer engineering degree right after the dotcom crash,” Copeland said. “I thought never again would I be able to find a job.”
But she did, and she thinks the 2020 graduates should embrace the technology she didn’t have then. “There are many great podcasts that have content about how to network. How to look for a job.”
Most importantly, Copeland says, don’t wait for the pandemic to pass to be proactive. ”Research people who work at companies that you like, in your area, who do jobs similar to the job you’d like to do in the future. Reach out through LinkedIn and ask for what’s know as an informational interview. You ask them to sit down and chat with you to learn a little bit about their job. You’d be surprised at how many people really will sit down and talk with you.”
Tell them about yourself, and ask smart questions. Just remember, this is not the time to ask for a job. You’re networking. “If you have a good connection with them, they’ll keep you in mind for later when something is available,” said Copeland.
She goes on to explain there other ways that college graduates can build their resume during this uncertain time. “You might do volunteer work you. Or, you might offer a company to be their intern unpaid if you can afford it.”
If you can’t afford it, Copeland says it’s OK to take a job in a slightly different area than what you were hoping for. ”Just remember, you can always make a career transition later.”
Focus on building transferable skills and join networking groups in the field you hope to one day work in.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the Tennessee job market, but there is still work to be found. News 2 digs deeper into where jobs are available and how you can improve your chances of getting hired in Nashville 2020: Now Hiring. Click here to find additional coverage from the special series.