Job searching right now is no easy feat, but there are ways to ensure you stand out from the crowd when competing against others in the current job market. Unfortunately, the pandemic has changed a lot of industries, meaning it will take different strategies to get noticed.
Taking the time to understand what recruiters and employers are looking for is the first step to tailoring your application to their current needs.
More flexibility is demanded
Both employers and employees hope for more flexibility regarding the job at hand. Some employers have seen the need to adapt to allow for work/life balance, given how COVID-19 has forced us all to juggle our responsibilities in new ways.
Furthermore, employees are more upfront about their needs outside of work and demand respect for those needs.
Due to a dearth in the workforce, recruiters are also seeing more pressure to find employees who are willing and able to be flexible to ensure all the business needs are met. This pressure is also compounded by the need to find ways to cut costs and stretch their employees’ skill sets were possible to get more done with less.
While this brings an intriguing balancing act to the forefront, it will shape job searching tremendously, especially for high-demand roles and roles that have constantly been working throughout the pandemic.
Remote work may not be temporary
The pandemic also forced many employers to allow their employees to work remotely. While there are mixed reviews for how people have responded to working from home, you can expect that your job search will include many more remote positions.
This also breaks barriers for what companies you could potentially work for, given that you do not have to live close to the company to work there anymore.
Many employers were opting for remote work to run their businesses more efficiently while people were staying home, but they have seen multiple benefits from shifting to this working model.
Employers with office buildings and rented space see the ability to downsize or eliminate those costs since people can perform their jobs just as well from a home office.
Diversity has become a priority
Companies are starting to finally see the value in having people from different backgrounds and with different abilities contributing to their work environment. Thus, there is some hope that job searching will be a more equitable process for all, but time will only tell.
This makes it extremely important to highlight your particular skill set on your resume and through your cover letter, given that those are what recruiters will focus on, rather than letting their own biases influence recruitment.
Edit your social media before applying
You should be cognizant of your online profiles before beginning your job search. Because if you do not believe employers Google you, you are mistaken. It is worth changing your privacy settings and removing any posts that are not reflective of your character.
Additionally, recruiters and employers are interested in viewing LinkedIn profiles once again, so it is worth dusting off your dormant profile or starting one if you have not already.
Hiring trends will change
There has been a relatively consistent wave of hiring that one could follow when job searching, but it was shattered when the pandemic occurred. However, hiring trends are no longer as predictable as they used to be.
The typical wave used to be that many jobs were available when a new year started and during the fall. However, businesses tend to be slower in the summer and during the holidays, so they were not hiring as much.
COVID impacted many industries because of restrictions that severely altered how businesses could run. Some industries were hit harder than others, such as dining, gyms, and retail, being that these business models could not completely pivot their operations to virtual or curbside.
The closer we get to higher vaccination rates and properly implemented safety protocols, there should be a surge in available jobs; thus, hiring trends will change.
Some industries are in desperate need of talent
Even if you may not specialize in a particular industry, it is worth taking inventory of your transferable skills before job searching to make sure those are highlighted.
Similarly, if you are planning on brushing up on some new skills or going back to school, it is worth taking some time to sift through recruitment platforms to see what industries are looking for a lot of talent right now.
Industries such as health care, technology, financial technology, and customer service are all industries that desperately need talented employees. Unfortunately, this trend will likely not change for the next few years, so keep these industries in mind when refining your job search and skill development.
Freelancers and contract workers are wanted
While job security is a worry for those who work freelance or on contract, more employers opt for this help for several reasons. First, freelancing or contracting allows the company to bring in more talent with different skill sets to collaborate on projects.
There are some benefits to taking on a contract or freelance job. First, it allows you to gain experience working at different companies and demonstrates your flexibility. Furthermore, it also allows you more flexibility in your schedule.
The downside can be that these jobs are temporary, and further employment is not always guaranteed. But on the other hand, freelance jobs can be a great way to bulk up your resume and get back into the workforce comfortably.
Editing your resume for each job is crucial
Being that companies get a ton of resumes for one job posting, many are using automated services that help them sift through the virtual pile of resumes to select ideal candidates. This eliminates a lot of grunt work for recruiters and employers.
The downside for someone currently job searching is that, through no fault of their own, their resume might be overlooked because of a system. However, there are ways to tailor your resume to the jobs you are interested in to beat the system.
Pay attention to some of the buzzwords and critical skills that the job posting highlights. Then, take these terms and add them to your resume, either within your description of your job experience or in your summary of qualifications.
This software that more companies are using to select candidates for interviews. The software will pick up on those key terms that the job posting highlights and put them in your resume. So, again, this gives you an advantage in getting selected for an interview.
The competition is real
Regardless of what type of job you are searching for, there will be some steep competition. Not only are people looking for jobs out of necessity, but many have chosen to change careers over the last couple of years due to the pandemic. So, it is more important than ever to find ways to stand out.
This could include learning a new language, taking online courses to boost your technology skills, or getting creative in how you market yourself to potential employers. Having an online presence, such as a LinkedIn profile, is also a great way to network and make new connections.
As previously mentioned, tailoring your resume to the job you are applying for, while more labor-intensive, will boost your chances. But unfortunately, many people mindlessly apply to jobs without taking this initiative, making it more likely to be passed over.
Job searching can be a stressful endeavor, but there are strategies you can implement to streamline your experience to what employers are looking for in the current climate. However, all strategy aside, it is crucial to stay authentic to yourself throughout the entire process and be sure to advocate for your worth.
Image Credit: [everydayplus]