In an effort to address the concerns of students whose job and career plans may have been thrown into flux by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn, Joseph Du Pont and Joanne LaRosee from the Career Center hosted a virtual event Tuesday evening to update students on the upcoming career fair and recruiting season.
The Career and Internship Fair will be held virtually this year on Sept. 17, and information about the fair’s schedule and activities can only be accessed through Boston College’s new online platform Handshake.
Du Pont and LaRosee said that this year most job recruiting has turned virtual due to COVID-19 concerns. Acknowledging the unconventional nature of virtual recruiting, they emphasized that navigating the job market will require students to be creative and resilient.
LaRosee said that there may be more opportunities in the spring than the fall with the uncertain economic climate.
“Your job search will probably be a bit longer than your graduates, you know, from a year or two ago who were telling you about their cycles that are wrapped up maybe in August,” LaRosee said. “That won’t be the case for most of you. That’ll probably require you to be a little bit more creative, and we’re here to help you with that.”
Du Pont and LaRosee said that many firms in finance and consulting, specifically, have shifted their recruiting to the spring given uncertainty in hiring projections for these industries.
“What they don’t want to do is have students applying for opportunities and then you’re put in limbo because they can’t act on you,” LaRosee said.
LaRosee assured students that many employers that regularly hire BC students are continuing to work with Career Services. Du Pont added that it is now more important for BC students to maintain a robust presence online through websites such as LinkedIn and BC-specific platforms such as Eagle Exchange and Handshake, as companies are currently more inclined to directly recruit using these mediums.
“They’ll target you more because they now, on the recruiting side, have a very interesting way of matching your experiences to skills that you have written down in your profile,” Du Pont said. “I would really encourage you to think about completing your Linkedin, Eagle Exchange, and Handshake profiles not just as networking opportunities but actually as part of the actual recruiting process to help distinguish yourself from other candidates.”
Du Pont and LaRosee said that the biggest change in recruitment this year is the increased number of opportunities to meet with hiring firms, as the absence of physical events allows for more flexibility.
Du Pont said he noticed a shift toward employers favoring their applicants to demonstrate that they are comfortable with working remotely. Firms respond really well, he said, to applicants who can demonstrate their comfort with technology.
“It’s fascinating to me that employers are looking for you to elaborate a little more on skill sets that relate to working autonomously and taking direction really well,” Du Pont said. “They are looking for people who can function independently—well that’s always been the case—I think it’s amplified more now.”
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Archives