There is no way to sugarcoat it; 2020 was a brutal year for job seekers. With the increase in unemployment and underemployment because of the impact of COVID on the economy, there were simply more qualified people applying for fewer available jobs in almost every field. However, at least on the jobs front, 2021 looks more promising. Many companies are starting out the New Year with plans to hire new employees, so now is the perfect time to recommit to your job search.
Revamp Your Resume
Many people are using outdated resumes in their job searches. Does your resume reflect all of your current skills? Is it tailored to the type of job you want to find? Many job seekers are qualified for multiple positions, so you may want several versions of your resume, each specifically tailored to different positions. Ask a qualified friend or hire a professional to look over your resumes.
Find a Mentor
Are you trying to enter a new field or reenter a profession after a lengthy absence? Finding a mentor can help you establish professional contacts, get helpful tips about what skills companies want, and keep you up to date on changes in the field. You can find potential mentors in a variety of ways, but joining professional organizations is one tried-and-true method.
Fix Your Image
Assume that everything you have posted on the internet, particularly social media, is visible to employers. Run a Google search on your own name and take down anything you would not want a future employer to see. This may go beyond your own social media and might include asking friends and family to remove posts. Also, make sure you have accessible, informative, and impressive social media accounts on LinkedIn and any social networking groups that are specific to your field; today’s hiring managers and recruiters do go to those sites to find candidates.
Add Some Skills
The one benefit to being out of work is that it gives you the opportunity to learn new skills, and you can do so affordably and even for free. For example, you can head over to Google for certification on computer skills or pick from one of dozens of language apps to pick up a new language.
If you have sent in your resume and have not heard back from the company, you can and should follow-up to make sure that they received it and see if they have any questions. While you do not want to pester the people in charge of hiring, making yourself stand out from the crowd by following up on an initial submission is a good idea. You also want to make sure you are writing prompt, professional thank you notes after every interview. You not only want to showcase your professional skills and attention to detail, but also want them to keep your name in mind.