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Career Development recommends proactive job searching for soon-to-be graduates

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Chrissy Ewald

Staff writer

Career Development office on the third floor of the University Center. Photo by Kegan Rascoe.

The job market for Willamette graduates is different than anyone could have expected or prepared for before the COVID-19 pandemic began. With the pandemic still ongoing months later, the economy remains in bad shape. However, there are signs of improvement that will have direct benefits for Willamette students as they enter the job market this year.

Willamette Career Development Director Mandy Devereux talked about some of the ways Willamette students can adapt to the new normal for the workplace. Technological literacy is key—Devereux noted that students who are more comfortable using online platforms will be better prepared for interviews and starting at new jobs, many of which may begin online. Telework is still relatively common, with 27 percent of Americans working remotely due to the pandemic as of the September monthly jobs report. In addition to fluency in digital communications platforms, Devereux recommended students take advantage of tools like [LinkedIn Learning] to build skills in software that will be relevant to their fields of interest. “Self-awareness is the number one trait of effective leadership,” Devereux said, and noted that showing that you can work well in a self-directed, remote environment will appeal to employers.

The most important thing, Devereux said, is not to wait, even with all the other commitments that come with senior year. Spending even a short period of time working on a job search can make a big difference. Some of the preparations Devereux suggested are to explore areas of interest, research potential employers and proactively network. Devereux added that students can always [schedule a meeting] with the Career Development Center through Handshake to get help starting or continuing their job search.

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