Whether you’re just beginning your job search or continuing an existing one in the new year, there are a few things you can do to boost your chances of finding a new job in 2021.
Before you dive into your job search, it’s important to take time to reflect on why it is that you’re looking for a new job. Get clear on your motives for wanting (or needing) a change so that you can start your 2021 search off with a strong sense of intention. Once you have clarity on that, it will be much easier to power through the monotony of searching, waiting, and interviewing.
It’s also important to reflect on how you want to work. Remote work is here to stay, but there will also be hybrid working options and companies who choose to return to the office as soon as it’s safe to do so. Figure out what you’re willing and not willing to do, then begin your job search with that in mind. Some job postings will have details about the working model, but most often this is a question you’ll need to ask during an interview.
Once you’ve gotten clarity on those things, there are four more things you can do to get a jumpstart on your job search.
It’s incredibly important to keep track of the jobs you’re applying to and interviewing for. A simple spreadsheet is all you need to keep yourself organized throughout your search. With a spreadsheet, you have all the information you need in one place, ensuring you won’t miss an important detail because you couldn’t find the note you wrote or accidentally deleted an email.
You’ll want to track the job title, company name, date you applied, and then fill in any relevant details if you’re selected for an interview such as the hiring manager’s name, date of your interview, and link to the Zoom room or phone number to call. It’s also helpful to save a link to the job posting so that you can review it before your interview.
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Broaden your horizons.
With remote work here to stay, you’re no longer limited to jobs that are in your immediate area. Be sure to choose ‘remote’ as a location when you’re searching on job boards and include in the keywords you’re using to search as well. Be sure to read the job description fully to be sure that it’s fully remote, and not just temporarily until offices can reopen.
Another important factor to consider is the time zone you’ll be working from – if you live in California but the company is in New York, you’ll most likely be working in Eastern Time, which means an early start to the day for you. With the coasts reversed, it would mean a late start but also a late finish. Nothing wrong with either option, just something you need to seriously consider.
Learn new skills.
The job market continues to become increasingly competitive. With remote work, companies are no longer limited to a geographical pool of talent, significantly increasing the competition for each job posting. This means it’s now more important than ever that you stand out from the crowd.
Sharpen your skills by taking a course or getting certified in a relevant skill. Show your work whenever possible – create a portfolio website, write an article, make an infographic, or create a demo app. The key is to have something tangible you can share with a prospective employer. Another way to highlight your skills is by taking on freelance work to show real-world experience and real-world results.
A job search can be stressful, so it’s incredibly important that you take some time to practice self-care. High stress just isn’t good for anything, and it can easily derail your best efforts and intentions. If you’re able to manage your stress levels, the job search process will be far less taxing. Make time to relax, especially when you don’t feel like you can, because that’s when you need it most.