The job market hit a near-critical state in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In America, over 14 million people filed for unemployment as a result of it. The job market suffered tremendously but is picking gradually as economies are opening up and more jobs are available in 2021 compared to the peak of lock down in 2020.
In Nigeria, the unemployment rate hit a record high 27.1% in the third quarter of 2020 and the number of those without gainful employment still remains high as the most populous African nation grapples with economic recovery.
These new realities can cause job seekers to be wary and uncertain about how to land jobs and secure their professional career.
In this article, we’d discuss job hunting tips for 2021, why January is the best time to heighten your job search, how to hack the job market, how to get your CV to open doors for you, interview tips among others.
If you are currently seeking employment, here are some tips that’ll help guide your search:
New Year, New You, New Workplace. Seriously, January is arguably the best time to kickstart job hunting. Not only does it pay to start searching for jobs early, another reason is that organizations typically include an allocation for new hires in their yearly plan and budget. Also, organizations usually pause recruitment processes during the festive periods and resume in January to begin on a new page, so to say.
In the New Year businesses are feeling inspired and are pumped for new hands to join their team. They have a more clear outlook during this month as they are more averse to be secured to cutoff times and activities. With a large pool of job seekers to choose from, hiring managers will be more selective, so you have to up your ante.
In addition, December is a popular choice for employees seeking to switch jobs. This is because many employees wait till December bonus and incentives are paid before resigning and therefore creating openings that require new people to fill. What this means is that by January, there is a surge in job listings as companies are prepared to take in new members of staff.
Here at MyJobMag, we have been posting non-stop vacancies this January. So, if you are a job seeker, you might want to start hunting now that the opportunities are more.
Read also: 100 Job Search Mistakes To Avoid in 2021
If you are not getting any call backs after applying for multiple openings, you may want to clean up your CV to get started in 2021 as it represents you in places where you can't speak for yourself. You have to always remember that your CV is the most vital tool in your application process. It is the document that would get you a call back and/or an interview. Make sure your CV is well structured; your contact details are clearly written; your skills stand out.
If you are unsure of how to draw up a CV that would help secure your dream job, our CV Builder helps you with that. In addition to this, it also connects you with employers that are seeking to hire people with your skill set and qualifications. Here’s what one of our subscribers, Derin, had to say:
In addition to the ease of use, the CV Builder’s customized job openings is another excellent feature it has.
Furthermore, the need to tailor your CV for each job opening cannot be stressed enough. No, this is not a call to lie or exaggerate the content of your CV, but to help the hiring manager see that you are the most suitable for the role you are applying.
Similar: How To Optimize Your CV
As much as job openings hit their peak period in January, it still does not translate to employers being desperate. You have to remember that it is still largely an employers market. Do not just apply to rake up numbers. Always seek out jobs you are qualified for to increase the likelihood of success.
Be strategic in your job hunting. Search for jobs that fit your qualification, experience and skill set. When you find them, apply. While it is always advisable to send out multiple applications, applying randomly is a waste of both you and the recruiter’s (assuming the Applicant Tracking System ATS isn’t used). This is why it is very important for you to carefully decide what field you are pursuing and what organizations are best suited for you.
This way, you wouldn’t have to waste your time and resources and would also increase your chances of being hired since the jobs you have applied for are that you can fit into.
You should note that some industries have grown as a result of the pandemic and it may benefit you to include them in your search pool – if you fit in their requirements. The industries are: healthcare, e-commerce, tech and telecommunications.
If you are undecided about your career path, the book, 72 Hours to the Job You Love is a great guide for labor market and work space navigation.
The good thing about the work life is that there is always room for growth and/or change. So, if you feel under-qualified for your desired role, you can always apply for trainings and certifications that are relevant to the said role. Plus, hiring managers are not as strict with qualifications these days as they were before. Employability skills are more sought after by recruiters. So, if you are job hunting this January do well to possess these skills to up your chances.
Further reading: Top Skills Employers Want In 2021
To quote Margaret Cho, “The power of visibility can never be underestimated”. Even if you possess all the right knowledge and skills in the world, jobs do not magically appear from thin air. You have to become visible to employers for them know that you are on the market.
Social media is an important tool for this. Your professional online presence is necessary in this digital age. Asides, LinkedIn, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can also be used to connect to recruiters.
Organizations are increasingly using these platforms to source for talent. Make sure your social presence is professional, filled with relevant and correct information, and up to date.
For LinkedIn, create a professional summary that showcases your skills and abilities, include your education and certification as well as your experience in your profile. Read more on how to make your profile stand out.
When applicants are not omitting the cover letter while sending their resumes in for job openings, they are adding hurriedly composed ones. Do not forget your cover letter or gloss over it.
A cover letter should not be treated as a formality or mark of politeness – it is a chance to sell yourself to the hiring manager.
When mailing your application, do not send an empty email body. Do well to write an impressive cover letter to append to it. A convincing cover letter is your first potential for success to have out and be viewed as a standout applicant among others.
Quickly accentuating your key qualities will help 'sell you,' catching the hiring manager’s eye and improving the chances of you being selected for an interview.
As stressed earlier your CV and cover letter are very important when job hunting – not just in January, but all year round. Nonetheless, you should not load either document with unnecessary information. Remember to keep things simple.
In particular, your CV should be simple and straightforward. Except it is extremely relevant to the position you are applying for, the job you held 13 years ago should not be included.
The average of 7 years of employment is the advisable timeframe to be included. In the same vein, be careful to not include excessive skills and qualifications that are not relevant to the job you are trying to secure.
Similar: 10 Things To Remove From Your Resume
Most job openings aren’t advertised. What this means is that the limited ones that are listed publicly are competed for by many job seekers. Which is why it is important to build a solid network of individuals you can consult with.
Build a network of key people and ask for their assistance to acquire understanding into where or how you can improve your resume or cover letter. Contact your friends, family, teachers, acquaintances, past employers/colleagues about your job search as well as your objectives and
qualifications and request references. You can also ask that they direct them to you.
If you have issues broaching the topic with them, January is the best time to. You can wish them a Happy New Year and get the conversation started.
Read also: Ten Tools To Help With Networking
The world spent the most part of last year battling the COVID-19 disease and so far in 2021, there is still a global pandemic. How has this affect job search and careers in general? Apart from the job loss and furlough that arose from it, employers have imbibed the culture of flexibility.
As the lockdown impeded movement, remote working rose rapidly. Going forward, more organizations would most likely retain the remote work model or adapt it partly – thus allowing for flexible work models. So, be flexible or at the very least, be open to the idea of flexibility.
So, if you are applying for jobs this year, have it at the back of your mind. The great thing about this is that it greatly expands your choices as distance is no longer a barrier. You can apply for and work remotely anywhere in the world. However, this doesn’t mean that on-site jobs have been phased out. If you are partial to on-site jobs, you will more than find organizations that use the model.
For you: The Ultimate Guide To Remote Work
Digitization has practically impacted all spheres of human life. Recruitment is one of those. Manual applicant selection is becoming less popular with hiring managers and their team members. As the global pandemic is still prevalent, the Applicant Tracking System is being used to select applications that are suitable. Automation so here to stay and it is recommended that you get familiar with it as a job seeker.
If you are a job seeker get your resume to be ATS-proof as it would likely be employed by recruiters to eliminate applicants that are suitable. Also, chat rooms will be more popular, so familiarize yourself with them.
It’s only fitting that final post tackle the interview stage. First impression is key. Dress appropriately for your job interviews to make a great first impression on the hiring manager and/or team.Do not dress shabbily or inappropriately when attending interviews. You may be great on paper but if you cannot impress the hiring manager, it a waste.
If you are actively job hunting in 2021, the likelihood of you being scheduled for a video or phone interview is very high as the world has not fully reopened. Just like the traditional interview method, the questions are roughly the same.
Read more: Telephone Interview Tips
If you are in the creative industry, it is recommended you build a website that has your portfolio. This is to give the recruiter the opportunity to explore your personal works and see proof of your ability. Keep the website professional by including your professional headshot and an easy-to-find contact info. Do not forget to include the link to the website on your CV.
Finally, follow up on the interview a few days after by send an email thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity. Be polite and remind them subtly why you are interested in that role. This helps show how passionate you are about the role and may be the distinction between you and other applicants.
Want to get a job fast?
Signup and complete your profile on MyJobMag. Employers will find you 4x faster with a complete profile. You can download your completed profile anytime