2021 offers the opportunity for a fresh start after the trials and tribulations of 2020. While many parts of searching for a job are the same as ever, the fact of the matter is, COVID-19 has changed many other parts of the process. Here are some tips to make searching for a job in 2021 as smooth and successful as possible.
Try to Go Where Employers Are Hiring
It might seem strange with so many people out of work, but employers are still hiring rapidly. Certain industries such as e-commerce, tech, healthcare, and human resources are hiring more than ever and seeking talented candidates. Even outside of these industries, employers are looking for people to come to work. That being said, you might not get the first job you apply for or even the tenth. There is a high likelihood that you will have a great deal of competition. The good news is, if you stay organized, put your best foot forward, utilize both free online resources and the help of a job strategist, and remain determined, you will find a job that is a great fit in no time.
Be Ready to Make a Good (Virtual) First Impression
At least for the time being, most job interviews are and will be virtual. In fact, most of the recruitment process will be virtual. Even if the job you are interviewing is in-person, to slow the spread of the virus, many companies are limiting in-person meetings as much as possible. What does this mean for making a good first impression? First, you should expect that recruiters and hiring managers will check not only your resume and LinkedIn but also your social media, personal website, or anything else contributing to your digital footprint. Make sure that when people see you for the first time, they are impressed. This starts with cleaning up your social media, making sure your online presence is professional and making sure any platforms showcasing your work are up-to-date and memorable. With so many people out of work, many applicants will vie for the same opportunity. Don’t ruin your chances of landing an amazing job by making a poor first (virtual) impression. Expect that you will interview over some kind of video conferencing platform. Even if you aren’t meeting an employer or recruiter in person, look professional (at least from the waist up), make sure your background is clean and tidy and nothing embarrassing is in your frame, and try to limit interruptions, such as a roommate or child walking through your virtual interview.
Be Ready to Adapt
Being flexible and adapting to any situation is a powerful skill, especially as you search for a new job in 2021. Many small businesses were forced to completely change their models to survive the pandemic, and even larger ones experienced financial hardship and made cuts in response. No matter how much job experience you have, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of most workplaces. Workplaces look, feel, and operate differently than they did just a year ago. If your workplace is in person, there will likely be masking and distancing requirements. If you work remotely, your workday might be longer than it was for the same job just a few months ago. For these reasons and more, you must be ready to adapt to whatever the 2021 job search throws at you. This might mean being flexible on things like pay and start date or being willing to take on different roles than you have in the past. However, it is still completely fine to have some non-negotiables. If you or someone in your household is a high-risk person, look for remote work, share your situation with the recruiter or hiring manager, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a job opportunity if it is incompatible with your non-negotiables. As you start your job search, identify the things you want and need out of a job. Understanding your priorities in this way will help you know if it is better to try to adapt to the situation or, instead, look for a different opportunity.
Let Remote Work Expand Your Horizons
A more remote world means that you have more job opportunities available to you simply because geographic restrictions are removed from the equation. Employers view this as a great opportunity to attract talented applicants who would otherwise have not applied for openings because of physical distance from the job. As a job applicant in 2021, you can make this work to your advantage as well. This might lead you to the job of your dreams or even an opportunity that you would never have otherwise sought out for yourself.
Alicia Perkins is a professional Career Strategist and Resume Writer. She empowers unfulfilled and underpaid professionals to move confidently and strategically into rewarding careers. Alicia is excited to help you plan and execute your next career move and navigate the 2021 job search every step of the way.