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College graduates: Searching for jobs during a pandemic

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College seniors across the state have overcome the hurdle of graduating college. Now, they have another one to face. Entering the current job market isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean opportunities aren’t out there.

“So I started applying for a job around March time,” said Erin Winterton.

Before COVID-19 forced businesses to close, college seniors like Erin Winterton thought they would be joining a strong workforce. But now they are entering an economy that has taken a major hit.

“I actually got lucky and I was getting stuff in the mail to apply for jobs in my hometown,” said Winterton.

Winterton is a new graduate from Minot State University. She got her bachelor’s degree in education and science. She says she knew it would be difficult to get a job, but not this hard.

“Even in teaching, experience is something that is valued. And we don’t have any of that right now,” added Winterton.

And many other college grads are facing the same dilemma.

“I think it’s going to be a tougher competition for those college graduates, so they are going to need to be very proactive,” said Susan Ogurek.

Ogurek, a workforce manager with Job Service North Dakota, says new job seekers will have to be patient.

Because of the pandemic, many employers have put a freeze on hiring. But other fields, like customer service, still need plenty of help. And even if your dream job isn’t available right away, you can still be prepared.

Brushing up your resume, doing mock interviews and networking with potential employers so when they do start to hire again, you have established that relationship.

Ogurek added, “You can’t control the amount of jobs that are out there, what you can control is how much time you devote to your job search.”

That same advice got Winterton her first teaching gig at a high school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. And even though she isn’t in the exact position she wants to be..she’s off to a good start.

“Keep applying and even if it’s somewhere that you think you don’t want to be, it’s not forever,” added Winterton.

If you’re looking for a job, Ogurek says a good first place to start is the Job Service website.

KX News also has a job-hunting resource.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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