In the wake of COVID-19, jobs are harder to come by. Many businesses, especially brick and mortar locations have closed for the safety of both employees and customers. But, having knowledge of the digital landscape, which we were already traversing before this pandemic began, can be the answer to recent college graduates’ prayers.
Before the outbreak began, Ajao was running a project called LiveInspired, where she taught students 21st-century skills, such as design thinking and creating digital portfolios.
“This is the real world and digital is taking over,” Ajao said to Girls United. “The future is here and [some] people are unprepared. The jobs that are hiring are like, ‘Listen, we don’t have that much money and we can’t wait for people who don’t have these basic skills.'”
Ajao also stressed the importance of the nuances of digital etiquette and believes that our educational systems should be doing more to better prepare the youth for a tech-centric world.
“Even [digital instuctors] are not going in-depth enough about how to have these 21st-century skills. That’s why during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s been such a mess.”
But even if systems fail students, Ajao is determined to help them succeed. She’s continuing to use her voice to help young people understand how they can get through these times, by leaning on one of the pillars of this era — digital awareness.
Check out our tips for job hunting during this time below.
Work On Digital Etiquette
For certain jobs, the initial conversations and interview process will all be virtual experiences. Having a professional email address, strong grammatical skills, a grip on the importance of brevity, and the ability to send an email that’s fluid, and to the point, will put you in a great position to secure the job you’re going for.
Also, for Zoom calls or FaceTime interviews, make sure that you’re dressed appropriately. This shows that you’re putting your best foot forward, are genuinely interested in the position, and willing to go the extra mile.
Tell A Story
It’s imperative that we become comfortable sharing our narratives. There is a way to be candid, and fully professional about your experiences. “A lot of our young people are having problems because one has made it clear to them that that’s what they’d have to be doing,” Ajao said. “They need to be [able to tell] a compelling story about why they should be getting this job.”
One way to communicate your story visually is through apps, such as Canva, or with a personal webiste.
Francine Tamakloe went viral in 2017 for her unique application for Spotify. She created an ad that doubled as an introduction, as well as a website, for an entry-level, content/marketing position. Spotify noticed her initiative, and she was offered the position.
Be Flexible and Innovative
Research what your degree is in, and open yourself up to jobs that you didn’t initially consider to fall within your range. For example, degrees in psychology or communications and rhetorical studies could easily be used for positions in human resources, which will be crucial positions as jobs look to completely reorganize how they operate due to the pandemic.
Also, a key right now is innovation. If you’re able to successfully tell your own story, you can also potentially create your own position. During those initial calls, you can make the position unique to you, and pinpoint why your expertise is necessary.
Use The Internet To Your Advantage
There are job boards on websites and social media apps that will keep you up to date on the latest jobs in any given field. You can also use social media to connect with your peers, as well as seasoned veterans, about opportunities.
If you can, try to send a well-structured email if you’re looking for more information regarding an opportunity someone in your industry has posted. But if their email isn’t listed, don’t be afraid to send a brief, professional DM or tweet.
Be sure to follow Adebukola Ajao on Instagram for updates on business in the digital age.
Photo credit: Getty Images