Thousands of employers still seek students, despite COVID effects


Leslie Martinez

Despite COVID the Career Center says many employers are still hiring. They recommend students actively use platforms such as Handshake and LinkedIn to get noticed. They also emphasize that attending events hosted by the Career Center, such as virtual job fairs, can connect students with businesses looking to hire.

Although students are frustrated that the number of available jobs has dropped significantly, the Career Center says thousands of employers are still eagerly hiring.

“I have been meeting with employers nonstop,” said Natalie Connors, director of the Career Center. “We have had a lot of dialogue with employers since March about internships and what their hiring practices are.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports wide variations in the impact COVID-19 has had on different industries. Healthcare, educational services, finance and insurance and professional services have been less affected by the pandemic. Meanwhile, industries like hospitality and management services are still struggling to recover.   

To connect students with employers who have jobs, the Career Center is hosting numerous virtual career fairs.

“We hosted a Government and Nonprofit Industry Event, a Technology and Manufacturing Event and a Construction and Engineering Event,” Connors said. “On Oct. 28 we are doing a Health and Sciences Industry Fair that is also in Handshake.”

Some of these events have attracted more employers than some previous ones.

“The Health and Sciences Industry Fair has a lot of employers that we would not normally see at an in-person event,” Connors said. “They reached out to us to virtually recruit because they can expand their scope on the amount of people that they are going to interact with.”

Even though these events are available to all students, turnout has been lower than expected.

“Student turnout was less than stellar,” Connors said. “One thing we know about PNW students is that they tend to decide to go to our in-person events either the day before or the day of the event. Unfortunately, with virtual career fairs that is not something you can do and do effectively.”

To combat this the Career Center has turned to Brightspace to create its own online career center page. It can be found under the PNW Non-Academic tab.

The center is also encouraging students to get active on Handshake.

“We are pushing Handshake because we have 23,000 employers that have connected exclusively with PNW.” Connors said. “They want to recruit our students. Handshake is a great resource and if you’re looking for an internship check it out.

And, when networking with employers, Connors recommends having the camera on and resume ready. 

“Make sure your resume is up-to-date,” she said. “[Also] make sure you have a good space to do these virtual meetings. Not turning a camera on during an interview or an interaction has not gone well for some students that have done that, so be prepared with your technology.”