Students encouraged to stay engaged in job hunts

Owen Novy, Journalist

Entering into the job market when everyone is working from home can be daunting and confusing.

“It has been a difficult few weeks – and we have heard from some students who have had internships cancelled or delayed for this summer. The good news is that there are employers who are still hiring, so please stay engaged in your search process, ” said senior business adviser Frank Lanko of the College of Business and Economics. “There are currently 4,700 jobs/internships posted to the UW-Whitewater Handshake site – and our office is receiving nearly 100 new postings every day.”

Still, students may be concerned about the downward trend in stocks and futures. The Federal Reserve noted this downward curve in its Beige Book report.

“Economic activity in the Seventh District [Chicago] declined in late February and March, as the spread of the coronavirus caused major economic upheaval. The intensity of the decline varied by industry, but contacts across industries expected a large decrease in activity over the next 3 months and expected the recovery to still be underway a year from now. Consumer spending decreased sharply; business spending, construction and real estate activity, and manufacturing production decreased moderately. Retail and hospitality payrolls plunged, though employment for most contacts was little changed. Wages edged up and prices were little changed. Financial conditions deteriorated substantially, as did prospects for agricultural income.”

Still, the digital world offers opportunities for those on the job market during this precarious time. LinkedIn has created a section on its site dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic and also spotlights companies who are hiring now while also curating news for those interested.

LinkedIn is providing a series of free lessons to help people navigate these challenging economic times. There are courses that can help build a job search strategy, explain how to lean on professional networks, and hone virtual interview skills.

“While on-campus activities (including interview visits from employers) are cancelled for the time being, employers are very much still engaged in the hiring process,” said Lanko.

Employers are making plans for phone and Skype/virtual interviews in place of on-campus visits. The Career & Leadership Development department remains open and Handshake will continue to be updated with new jobs/internships.

“If you are looking for assistance with the job/internship search, I want to remind you that Career & Leadership Development and the CoBE Academic Advising & Career Services offices will remain open throughout the semester,” Lanko said.