Last updateWed, 28 Oct 2020 1pm


University Community Reacts to Changes in Job Market

University CommunityAs a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, members of the University community and beyond are reacting to changes within the job market.

In the current job market, which has seen a shift largely to online formats, students and educators are attempting to navigate the unique situations created by the coronavirus crisis.

According to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in April, 42 percent of employers plan to shift to some degree of virtual recruitment. Additionally, 23 percent of college career centers plan on going exclusively virtual for “[facilitating] employer recruiting interviews.”

William Hill, M.A., Director of Career Services, spoke to The Outlook about how his job has changed since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The services of my office have gone 100 percent virtual due to social distancing rules and other COVID protocols,” Hill explained. “Fortunately, we have been able to continue to deliver quality services and programming, one-on-one counseling and career advising to students, just as before. While I miss being on campus and seeing students face-to-face, the important thing is we are able to fulfill our mission of delivering the help students need when they need it.”

Kristine Simoes, APR, Specialist Professor of Public Relations, said, “It’s all harder for everyone—grads and those with experience—because of the economic downturn. The first six months of the pandemic were uncertain. Job searches were put on hold or redirected as businesses moved to online; that makes it all different.”

Simoes, a member of the Department of Communication, also explained how students in the field have unique advantages when it comes to the adjusted interview processes.

“The interview process requires connections to leadership and a well-polished online presence,” she said. “It also commands outstanding communication skills, like recognizable verbal ease. Communication minors will be key to helping every student’s major transition to a career.”

“Most interviews are being conducted via Zoom,” Simoes said, referencing the video-chatting app which has become ubiquitous in the job market. “Zoom interviews require today’s grads to know public speaking and have all the answers to all the questions. They are difficult and most jobs require three to four interviews for each job opening. Students need the ability to answer questions in well-stated, concise sound bites, which requires communication. Hiring on the spot is rare.”

Hill remains optimistic about his advisees’ prospects. “People are still getting jobs during COVID. In fact, over 600,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, and unemployment dropped to 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course that is still high compared to pre-COVID times,” he conceded, “but we seem to be heading in the right direction.”

“Fortunately,” Hill said, “we live in a very employer-dense part of the country, with northern New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia all close by. This helps anyone looking for a job in this area.”

Simoes echoed Hill’s sentiment, saying, “There’s a lot of opportunity for communication grads who want to pursue positions with IT, coding, and digital content backgrounds.”

“It also means cleaning up your social media and focusing on professional transitions to the new fields,” Simoes advised. “Graduates need references from professors or bosses, fantastic online resumes, impeccable writing skills and samples, relentless positive attitude, and presence.”

“I’m hoping for a return to something approaching normalcy should an effective vaccine be developed in the coming months,” Hill said. “In the meantime, we must stay safe, socially distanced, and supportive of each other.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Anthony DePrimo

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151