Final-year students are understandably experiencing a lot of panic and uncertainty when it comes to their employment prospects, as they will be graduating during the coronavirus pandemic.\u0026nbsp;\r\nWe spoke to Graduate Recruitment Bureau co-founder and marketing director, Dan Hawes, to find out what students can do to boost their employment prospects during this time and how the graduate application process is likely to be affected by the crisis.\r\nAre companies hiring graduates now?\r\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \r\n“Unlike during the 2008 financial crisis, companies are still recruiting graduates,” said Hawes.\u0026nbsp;\r\nAlthough companies in some sectors, such as hospitality, tourism and leisure, aren’t currently hiring, graduates shouldn’t lose hope. Logistics, health, medicine, and some retailers (particularly online retailers) are booming and are actively looking to recruit graduates. These are the industries graduates should be focusing on applying to.\r\nHawes said: “Graduates need a proper plan. They need to do more research and try to unearth these companies because they might not be advertising widely”.\r\nWhat impact will COVID-19 have on your career?\r\nJoin us for an exclusive on-demand webinar to discuss the impact COVID-19 is having on career plans and how you can adjust to these shifting demands.\r\nSign up here\r\nGaining new skills in lockdown\r\nUsing your time in quarantine to your advantage is a great way to get ahead of the game, advised Hawes. He recommended that students complete a SWOT analysis, identifying personal Strengths and Weaknesses, and the Opportunities and Threats in the workplace at the moment. Only then can students have a clear idea of which skills they need to improve.\u0026nbsp;\r\n“The big question interviewers will ask is ‘What did you do in lockdown?’” said Hawes. “Much like taking a year out, employers will want to know ‘What did you do that’s put you in a better position?’”\r\nWhat you choose to do will vary from person to person, but you should focus on building your CV. This might be through volunteering or developing your skills in an online course in topics such as Microsoft Excel or SEO. This will show potential employers that you’ve done something constructive with your time.\u0026nbsp;\r\n“Make sure you have a reason for doing what you’re doing during this time, otherwise it will just look very unfocused,” said Hawes.\r\nWhere to look for jobs\r\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \r\nOther than finding jobs directly on company websites, there are plenty of other places students can look for jobs.\r\nRecruitment agencies \r\nUsing recruitment agencies’ job boards, such as the graduate job search on the Graduate Recruitment Bureau\u0027s website, is an efficient way to narrow down your job search.\r\nLinkedIn\r\nLinkedIn is also a great place to look for jobs, according to Hawes. He advised creating a profile, even if you haven’t got much to put on it. This will mean that when recruiters Google your name, your LinkedIn profile is what will appear first.\u0026nbsp;\r\nSpeculative applications\r\nHawes revealed: “I’m a big advocate for speculative applications because so many employers don’t advertise. There are just so many companies that go under the radar for students and graduates, so it’s definitely worth doing some research.\r\n\u0026nbsp;“Go on Google Street View and have a look. You’ll see at the entrance of a business park, there will be a list of all the companies that are based there.\u0026nbsp;\r\n“Alternatively, you could look at associations and the members within those associations. If you’re looking to get into procurement, for example, go on the CPS website and find the members on there. Then create a spreadsheet, find the decision-makers on LinkedIn, and drop them an email.\u0026nbsp;\r\n“Follow the same process as you would with a university project: focus on your research, fire out your applications, and then go one step further and give them a call.”\r\nWhen to apply for jobs\r\n“We always advise graduates to start applying as early as possible,” said Hawes. “Usually big employers have quite rigid timetabling, whereas smaller companies tend to hire all year round.\r\n“It’s a myth that if you don’t have a job by the autumn you’ve missed the boat and have to wait for the next round of recruitment. Even if you get to the autumn and haven’t got anything, keep going – that’ll be the key time.”\r\nWhile this applies to direct entry jobs, lots of graduate scheme recruiters are choosing to defer recruitment: “Most are postponing, but none have canceled” said Hawes. “We’ve had clients who have had start dates this month and next month and are still honoring them.”\r\nHawes explained that these graduates had been welcomed to the company online and posted a laptop so they can start working remotely.\r\nWhen it comes to postponed graduate schemes, Hawes suggested keeping an eye on the companies’ websites, as they will make announcements when the graduate schemes reopen. You should then put together a spreadsheet with the jobs and the dates for applying.\r\nOnline Interviews and assessment centers\r\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \r\nMost employers are switching their recruitment process online. Before the pandemic, many larger companies were either already beginning to make the switch or considering it. Now it’s crucial that companies have a strong online presence when it comes to recruitment, as many students no longer have the option to attend an in-person interview.\r\nNearly all interviews, assessment centers, and psychometric tests are now conducted entirely online. This means that firms are able to recruit students and graduates without breaking lockdown rules.\r\n“Students can prepare themselves for this by doing mock online interviews,” said Hawes. “This will help make them more comfortable, as well as making sure that the camera angle’s right and that there are no distractions in the background”.\u0026nbsp;\r\nFind out how to further prepare for a virtual interview here.\r\nRead more about Covid-19\r\nCoronavirus Student Hub\r\nEverything Students Need to Know About the Novel Coronavirus\r\nConfused About Coronavirus? Imperial College Launches Free Covid-19 Course\r\nWharton Offers Course on Consequences of Coronavirus Crisis\r\nDiscovering where to study\r\nIs Postgraduate Education Still Worth It During a Global Recession?\r\nCambridge University: Online Only Lectures Until Summer 2021\r\nImperial College Business School Holds Virtual MSc Information Session\r\nWhat to Consider When Comparing Universities Online\r\nHow to Choose a Business School Without Leaving the House\r\nComparing Virtual Tours of Top Business Schools\r\nWhy Higher Education is Still Necessary in Times of Change\r\nHow Can I Still Study Abroad?\r\nWhy Technology Can Save University Enrolment in Trying Times\r\nQS digital events\r\nQS Digital Events Calendar\r\nHow to Prepare For a QS Digital Event\r\nHow to Impress MBA Recruiters at Home\r\nHow to Navigate Your University Search During Covid-19\r\nWhy Aspiring Grad Students Should Attend HE Events\r\nCoronavirus Advice for In-Person QS Events\r\nAdmissions advice\r\nUniversity Admissions: Coronavirus Hub\r\nBusiness School Admissions: Coronavirus Hub\r\nHow Will the New Clearing Process Affect Students?\r\n‘We’re Working to Ensure Candidate Applications Aren’t Disrupted’: Instagram Live with Imperial College Business School\r\nUniversities Changing Tuition Fees in Response to Coronavirus\r\nHow Covid-19 Is Affecting Wharton MBA Applications\r\nOnline Resources to Use in Your MBA Application\r\nUK Government to Cap University Admissions: Will You Be Affected?\r\nHow To Defer Your University Offer In the UK\r\nHow To Defer Your University Offer In the US\r\nHow to Defer Your University Offer in Canada\r\nHow To Defer Your University Offer In Australia\r\nWharton Holds First Virtual Campus Tour For Students Stuck at Home\r\nEntrance tests \u0026amp; exams\r\nSix Tips to Ace the At-Home GRE and GMAT\r\nINSEAD Accepting Applications Without the GMAT Due to Coronavirus\r\nCan\u0027t Take TOEFL? Duolingo Might Offer Alternative\r\nHow to Take the GRE and GMAT at Home\r\nChina\u0027s National University Entrance Exam Will Go Ahead in July\r\nStudying online\r\n80% of UK Students Struggling Financially Due to COVID-19\r\nBusiness As Usual: ESCP Replaces In-Person Project With Online Version\r\nWhy Coronavirus Will Cause an Ed-Tech Boom\r\nShould UK Students Get A Refund For The Academic Year?\r\nMajority of International Students Happy to Study Online\r\nBenefits of Online Degrees, According to Students\r\nHow to Successfully Work From Home\r\nHow to Organize Your Routine When Working From Home\r\nHow to Set Up Your Home Office When Studying Your MBA\r\nHow to Stay Focused When Studying Your MBA at Home\r\nHow to Stay Engaged While Studying Online\r\n75 Percent of Students Expect Lower Tuition Fees For Studying Online\r\n9 Top Universities Offering Free Online Courses\r\nWhy Hybrid Teaching Might Be the Future of Online Courses\r\nUK Students Will Pay Full Tuition Fees If Classes Remain Online, Say Government\r\n10 Online Courses to Boost Your Business Curriculum\r\nLife in lockdown\r\nQuiz: Which Quarantine Cliché Are You?\r\nMeet the Charity Helping International Students Left Homeless By COVID-19\r\nRe-opening Businesses in COVID-19: Pros and Cons\r\nWhat It’s Like Being in B-school During the Covid-19 Pandemic\r\nLife Under Quarantine: How Coronavirus is Affecting University Students\r\nCoronavirus: Life is Changing on Campus in the United States\r\n25 Productive Things To Do While Social Distancing\r\nFive Inventive Things B-School Students Can Do While Social Distancing\r\nHow to Keep Employee Morale High While Working From Home\r\nHow UK Students Can Help Out During the Coronavirus Crisis\r\n9 Books All B-School Candidates Should Read While Social Distancing\r\nHow to Avoid Back Pain When Working From Home, According to a Chiropractor\r\nBusiness School Professors Recommend Activities to Pass the Time in the Pandemic\r\nStaying healthy\r\nFive Ways to Look After Your Mental Health in Lockdown\r\nHow Can Students Stay Healthy At Home?\r\nShould You Try to ‘Improve Yourself’ in Quarantine?\r\nFun and Unusual Ways Students are Staying Active in Quarantine\r\nHow You Can Stay Happy and Healthy While Studying at Home\r\nCareers advice\r\nThe \u0027New Normal\u0027: Why Digital Skills Matter More Than Ever\r\nThe EdTech Sector Grows as Other Industries Take a Hit from the Coronavirus Crisis\r\nBounce Back Loans: Everything You Need to Know for Your Small Business\r\nStaying Hopeful: MBA Grads on Job Hunting During a Recession\r\nWhat Does Coronavirus Mean For The Hospitality Industry?\r\nHow to Adapt Your Small Business During a Pandemic\r\nHow to Get Hired Without Leaving the House\r\nHow 2020 Graduates Can Find Jobs Amid Coronavirus\r\nEverything Students Need to Know About Virtual Internships\r\nStaying Afloat: UK Small Business Owners on Adapting to a Pandemic\r\nHow My B-School Experience Is Helping Me Run a Hospital During Covid-19\r\nSummer Internships Are Going Online\r\nSafeguarding Talent During Coronavirus: Will Internships Go Digital?