Job Hunting in a Pandemic

A year ago, the Class of 2020 graduated into the worst job market since the Great Depression. So, what’s the outlook for the Class of 2021? It’s hardly a booming economy these days, but thanks to easing pandemic restrictions, a giant infusion of government relief, and the arrival of vaccines, the landscape looks brighter. But job hunters will find a significantly reshaped market out there. 

For this BU Today series, we asked industry experts their advice for new grads looking for work, and we also looked at how the recruitment process has changed. We talked to some 2020 graduates, and current seniors, to ask how their job quest is going. And we looked at a new state-of-the-art online networking and mentoring platform that’s helping students and alums make connections that could have a lasting impact on their career.

In this series

  • Photo of Vlogger Anna Malygin (Questrom'23), smiling, with her hand resting on the base of a green lamp post. She wears a bright red Boston University Sweatshirt, and has her hair down. Video play button is overlaid.

    Part 1 Students, Thinking about Looking for a Job? Watch This Video First

    Spring is in the air, and with it, career anxiety. Looking for that first job after graduation is always daunting. Factor in an economy still struggling to recover from the pandemic, and it can seem, well, overwhelming. Where to start? In this video, Anna Malygin (Questrom’23) interviews Esther Leonard, BU Center for Career Development (CCD) […]

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  • Illustration of students opening doors to find sunshine on the other side. Some doors are closed, one door has an arm sticking out with a key. The illustration has a purple background and the doors are bright pink, blue, yellow and teal.

    Part 2 Career Experts Offer Advice for New College Grads

    The job market is beginning to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2021 graduates will still need flexibility, resilience, and determination for their job hunt. And they should not let the uncertain times alter their fundamental goals, career experts say. In the job market, “there may be areas that are thriving and areas that are […]

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  • Illustration of three different people, two panels per person, in separate houses, getting ready for virtual interviews. In the first house shape, a woman with red hair does yoga. Next, a man works on his laptop; a women with brown curly hair reads a book on her couch. At bottom left, the woman with red hair picks out an outfit. The man also picks out a suit and tie. Finally, the brown curly-haired women is seen on a video call. The background is bright yellow.

    Part 3 Smart Tips for Successful Virtual Job Interviews

    As tough as the pandemic job market is, when it comes to the virtual job interview, graduating seniors may have one advantage, says Anna Pham. “We have Zoom for classes,” she says. “We’re getting very used to talking to a computer. We’re more prepared than we think we are.” Pham (COM’21) has been interviewing virtually […]

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  • Illustration of a student standing in a black graduation cap, diploma in hand, with a gray backpack and blue shorts, looking of into a cloud of uncertainty. The cloud has pieces of paper flying, arrows, coronavirus icons, and money signs, to signify the difficulty of finding a job after graduating in 2020.

    Part 4 Job-Hunting Advice from the Class of 2020: Be Flexible

    Shubhankar Arun’s life since graduating last May shows the wisdom of zigging when you’d rather zag. After COVID-19 floored the economy last year, he shifted his job expectations—and hopped continents as well.  Plan A had been to stay in the United States for a year on his work visa and look for a job in […]

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  • Part 5 How’s Job Hunting Going for the Class of 2021? We Checked In with Some Soon-to-Be Grads

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, it more or less eviscerated the market for entry-level jobs. Thanks to hiring freezes, furloughs, layoffs, and rescinded offers, the national employment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds ballooned to a dismal 25.7 percent last May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly a year later, prospects for […]

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  • Illustration of two women zooming. On the left, a women with a long pony tail and pink dress zooms into a call with a student, she is an alumna and her BU diploma hangs on the wall behind her. On the right, the student appears to be talking, has a Rhett sticker on her laptop, and has a cup of coffee, phone on the desk beside her.

    Part 6 Need a Job? BU Mentors Are Ready to Help

    It was still February, but Fiorella Duarte, who would be graduating from the Questrom School of Business at the end of the semester, decided that it was not too early to start looking for a job. Duarte (Questrom’21), enrolled in the Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) program, signed into BU’s new networking platform, […]

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