Career Advice

4 Tips to Look For and Find a Job in 2021

min read
Vera Chan

In many ways, 2020 was a write-off for careers due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The world experienced a newfound low in the economy and jobs were at stake or lost. Looking for a job became difficult, reaching an all-time high. All the while, everybody faces a new reality and continues to work from home as we enter 2021.


Will 2021 be different and what can we do to increase our odds of finding a job?


Why it will be difficult to find a job in 2021

In a non-pandemic situation, competition is already tough. But in a time of unprecedented global unemployment, competition is on the rise.  Those out of a job are finding it more and more difficult to set themselves apart. Personalising job applications and selling yourself is paramount. When will the job market bounce back?


As the world adapts to remote working, shifts in gravitas on certain skillsets have come to light. Digital collaboration and teamwork are key for employees and leaders. An increasing need for video conferencing platforms and project management tools has surfaced. Additionally, cloud-based applications are more relied on, meaning demand for online skills. Tech-savvy individuals have a higher chance of moving to the top of the candidate list. Strategic decision-making has also taken a new turn. And a greater need for data-centric approaches has cropped up.


Feeling left behind? Take a look at these online courses you can invest in to stay ahead of the curve.


Update Your Linkedin Profile

LinkedIn is the largest online professional network that potential employers and recruiters use. Updating your profile is important, as it will be one of the first things they look at. In the about section, you can write a brief summary about yourself. Bring to attention the highlights of your background that you want most seen. Updating your experience will show where you are now, where you have been, what you have done, and for how long. It is your online resume.


Each section holds a purpose. Either one of them can spark interest in a potential employer looking at your profile. This can prompt them to drop you a message in your inbox to meet up for coffee or send you a particular role. This is the perfect opportunity to market yourself online.


An endorsement from a credible LinkedIn connection can go a long way. Do not underestimate the power of networking. Your profile is a window into online socialising, where some of the best jobs can are through word of mouth. Some roles are not yet advertised and this can allow you to meet someone up for coffee. You never know what it can lead to. Focus on getting your foot in the door.


Brush Up Your Resume

Imagine the hiring manager has a pile of resumes on their desk. You cannot assume they have all the time in the world to read through every one. Most likely, a job interviewer will skim through a resume. If something stands out to them, they will set it aside and read it in more depth. This will be the approval pile for the next step — the job interview. This is where you want to be.


To land yourself in the position to meet a potential employer in person, brush up on your resume. Make sure your resume is eye-catching. In the creative world, some resumes may have graphic design to showcase their skills. But don't overdo it. Keeping it simple is key. Make it minimalist but eye-catching, and easy to read.


Here's what to look out for. Like your LinkedIn profile, write a concise text about yourself. Start with your latest experience and make sure your skills stand out. Include what the job description looks for on the first page of your resume. If there are gaps in your resume, write a one-liner about why you left your previous job. It will save the hiring manager time from contacting you to ask questions. Cut out the guesswork. It is also a great way to show that you are ambitious and are a keen learner. Put yourself out there.


Explore Opportunities Within Your Network

Maximise your opportunities by expanding your network. Connect with people you know. They could be hiring or they may know someone who is. Keep your doors open by having short conversations with connections. They could be willing to help and introduce you to others in the industry you are looking into. It is also a chance for you to get a good word in about yourself if the contact is close to you. Someone who vouches for you can be a helpful networking lead throughout your career.


Never burn your bridges. If you left your previous company on a good note, get a reference letter. Why? Because it shows how valuable you are to the company, team, or reporting lead. Another person's perspective can provide great input to a hiring manager. Some companies will only provide a letter of proof of employment. But if you are able to, try and ask your colleagues who have worked with you on a day-to-day basis to write one up for you. It takes time but is worth the effort.


Start Applying and Be Patient

Do not hold back when it comes to job applications, but pick and choose wisely. It does not hurt to put out feelers and to present yourself to a company you could potentially work for. What's the harm? Make sure you prioritise those roles that are important to you first. You want to spend your time and effort on those roles to maximise your chances of landing a job interview. Some may ask for a cover letter, so be sure you want the job opportunity, because a generic cover letter is easy to spot. A hiring manager wants to know that you are keen enough to put in the effort to personalise your cover letter. Do not forget to personalise your resume too.


Once you have applied, sit back and wait. While you are waiting, continue to apply to other jobs that you have come across. Do not waste time. A popular opportunity can arise where you want to make sure your resume is one of the first 20. This is so you can increase the chances of your resume for consideration. Stay ahead of your job search, but remember it can take up to 2 weeks for a potential employer to get back to you.


The Takeaway


2020 may have been a Get Out of Jail Free card, but when it comes to finding a job in 2021 you can start your search early. Not sure how to look for jobs at the start of the year? You can start by finding jobs here.


Secret tip: Thinking of a career change or have a skillset you are good at? Try going down a less traditional career path. Nowadays, there are a variety of careers that did not exist a few years ago, such as a data scientist or UX designer. This means less competition and more opportunities. Try expanding your search for more unique positions.

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